Lost in the ’80s: Roxy Music, “Same Old Scene”

Written by Lost in the '80s, Music

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Roxy Music It’s strange that Flesh & Blood, the most critically reviled Roxy Music LP (Rolling Stone said it was “such a shockingly bad Roxy Music record that it provokes a certain fascination”) would feature a single that would go on to influence an entire generation of Brit-pop art rockers. But “Same Old Scene”(download), the album’s third single, did just that.

A quick listen and you can instantly hear the template for Duran Duran’s first two (or three) albums and half of ABC’s pre-club music catalog. Starting with a “Heart of Glass” synthesized rhythm at the beginning, Bryan Ferry’s typical clenched vocal is laid over soaring keys, arppegiated guitars and a disco beat, a formula repeated just one short year later by New Romantic upstarts Duran Duran and their breakthrough single, “Girls on Film” (and heck, most of the Rio album, too).

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To be fair, Flesh & Blood was a lesser Roxy effort, propped up by too many ballads and remakes (“Eight Miles High”), another symptom in the onset of Ferry Lead Singer Disease, where the band is forced to play in silhouette in all videos and concerts, while Bryan takes the stage in an orange suit and spotlight. But the band proved that even in its weaker moments it could still manage to pull out at least one or two inspirational tricks. The critical drubbing must have sunk in, since Roxy’s next album, Avalon, would prove to be both their most acclaimed and most commercially successful.

“Same Old Scene” did not chart.

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