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Country Life

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iTunes Review

Though not released until 1990, Heart Still Beating was recorded on Roxy Music’s 1982 tour in support of its last album, Avalon. Though the band’s music was in its most forlorn and ethereal state, the live setting always brought out Roxy’s edge. Guitarist Phil Manzanera shines particularly strongly on these recordings—it’s possible he was egged on by the guitar showmanship of King Crimson, which was co-headlining the tour. “Impossible Guitar” is his solo showcase, but Manzanera’s ability to elevate a song's majesty in order to impress a giant theater is evident on “While My Heart Is Still Bleeding” and an utterly elegant rendition of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” While the band digs sharply into old dance floor killers like “Editions of You” and “Love Is the Drug,” Roxy's specialty at this point was images of gauzy and eerie R&B. You can hear it in “My Only Love” and “Avalon,” but nowhere more so than on a cover of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane.” Like so many of Bryan Ferry and Roxy’s cover songs, it shows the group’s ability to completely transform material that the listener assumed would never suit it.

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Biography

Formed: 1971 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s, '10s

Evolving from the late-'60s art-rock movement, Roxy Music had a fascination with fashion, glamour, cinema, pop art, and the avant-garde, which separated the band from their contemporaries. Dressed in bizarre, stylish costumes, the group played a defiantly experimental variation of art rock which vacillated between avant-rock and sleek pop hooks. During the early '70s, the group was driven by the creative tension between Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno, who each pulled the band in separate directions: Ferry...
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