Reason #352 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Avalon
Far from the artsy Brian Eno days, Roxy’s 8th and last album, Avalon, is a suave, sophisticated beast. It has been said that it marks the time in Roxy Music’s career that the band ran out of naiveté, and I would have trouble arguing against that assumption.
Roxy Music helped spawn the ‘new romantic’ movement of the early ’80’s, and their late ’70’s albums (Manifesto, Flesh and Blood) remain the blueprint for such great albums as ABC’s ‘Lexicon Of Love’. And, before you bring it up, they also were responsible for Spandeau Ballet and Duran Duran.
It’s also a very romantic recording; extremely atmospheric, lush and elegant, the songs flowing wonderfully from track to track. In addition it is also an immaculately crafted/produced album, and a rarity in that the gloss doesn’t give it a forced or calculated feel. It still sounds extremely organic to me. It remains mystical and accessible at the same time, and in my opinion hasn’t dated in the least. Some people say that you either like the Eno version of Roxy, or the Ferry version (like Gabriel Vs Collins), but I seem to be that rare breed that likes them both, equally. Call me Switzerland.
I dig it out rarely nowadays, but I always enjoy it when I do. The original ‘late night’ album, perfect for after party cocktails and fishbowl house-key parties!