Roxy Music, ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’

Brian Eno

For Lent this year, we at Jukebox Junior are giving up all music that isn’t connected in some way to Brian Eno. To celebrate the Enoxification of our Lord, if you will. I wonder what that involves. A patina of magic dust maybe.

So let’s start at the very beginning (or near enough). After all, as Julie Andrews – another artist capable of doing amazing stuff with just a spoonful of sugar – says, it’s a very good place to start. On For Your Pleasure’s ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’, Eno stands at the back wearing a feather boa and “playing tapes”. What would ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’ be without tapes? It would be an airless piece of prog with a mannered Bryan Ferry vocal. With Eno’s tapes, it’s an an airless piece of prog with a mannered Bryan Ferry vocal and some whooshy phasing (technical term). Genius.

Junior’s not up on sound beds and production jiggery-pokery (she will be by the time we reach Easter), but from the audio alone she detects a man gritting his teeth as he plays guitar. Phil Manzanera’s fretwork is clearly so meaty it’s almost corporeal. She decides there’s “a little too much guitar” and the song is “too quiet” when Ferry dominates. Bring on the tapes then. Examining the inner sleeve, she declares Andy Mackay “the fashion one, the cool one” and points out that Eno “looks like a girl”. We’re on our way.

[8] Roxy Music, ‘Virginia Plain’

Roxy Music

They say there was playground uproar when Bowie appeared on Top Of The Pops, singing ‘Starman’ and snogging Mick Ronson. And obviously our nation was cramped with confusion at Boy George a decade later. So how did the public react when presented with preening peacock Bryan Ferry? Without bothering to research it, we can only guess: “Why’s Mike Yarwood doing Prince Charles doing Liberace?”

Obviously they all looked so staggering on TOTP that I’m thinking of dressing like Phil Manzanera right now, but the music was something else too. A runaway stallion of glam wrecks’n’effects, with a tune you can never quite nail because it’s always one second in the future.

Junior rolled the words “Roxy Music” around her tongue, trying them for size, then asked if she could dance. The dance involved a stiff-backed march around the room. You can just see those boys in the military, can’t you?