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When We Were Young [Oh Boy 1-9033, 1CD]
BBC sessions from 1972-1973. FM stereo quality.
Last month, BBC6 rebroadcast a 1972 In Concert programme featuring Roxy Music live at the Paris Theatre in August. That was excuse enough to dig out this old Oh Boy bootleg from the archives.
Oh Boy, out of Luxembourg, made a business copying BBC sessions and radio shows and minting them into silver disc bootlegs when the old copyright laws in Europe allowed for such. But they had a bad habit of getting the song titles wrong. Worse still was the lack of accurate dates and venues.
Roxy Music’s When We Were Young was released by Oh Boy in 1989 with a nice color cover, two tracks mis-titled and with just the generic “live in London, 1972″ to put things in perspective.
However, this is probably not the In Concert show. Between January 1972 and March 1973, Roxy Music were in the BBC studios for several sessions for John Peel’s Sounds Of The Seventies. It appears When We Were Young contains the first and last BBC sessions and two songs, including the hit Virginia Plain, from July 1972, just as it was released as a 7-inch single.
The most interesting of the sets is the sessions from January 1972, before Roxy Music had a record deal. This is the band raw and with guest Davy O’List of the Nice on guitar. According to Simon Galloway at the roxyrama site, this session is probably the only proper recording made by this early incarnation of Roxy Music. Pay attention to Davy O’List’s soloing on Sea Breeze. It’s something you don’t usually hear on a Roxy Music song.
Of the final session, this is what Simon Galloway writes, “Pyjamarama is a far more intimate take than the single version, showing something of its Beatles influence until Eno brilliantly wreaks havoc on Andy Mackay’s sax break… In Every Dream Home A Heartache starts out almost identical to the album, with less of the drama but more of Mackay’s subdued improv and Manzanera’s psychedelic arpeggios. When it hits the ‘but you blew my mind’ freak out section, Eno takes hold of Manzanera’s guitar and renders it almost unrecognisable, shifting the whole pitch of the instrument in extremes.”
The version of If There Is Something is stretched to 12 minutes with a climactic duel between McKay and Manzanera. Solid drumming and Eno’s distortion effects make this a wonderful mess.
Those were the days when experiment and performance were part of the whole. This is one great CD with excellent audio. The roxyrama website has an excellent history of Roxy Music’s BBC sessions by Simon Galloway.
- The Little Chicken
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Tks 1-4 likely Jan 4, 1972 with Rik Kenton on bass and broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies with John Peel. Sea Breezes is likely from the Feb 18 session. This session was before the band secured a record deal and features Davy O’List [The Nice] on guitar and bassist Graham Simpson.
Tks 7-8 appear to be the July 18, 1972 Sounds Of The Seventies with John Peel. Tks 5-6, 9-10 March 5, 1973 for Sounds Of The Seventies with John Peel. This session was a preview for the album For Your Pleasure. The bass player here is Sal Maida.
Track 05. Pyjamerama (3.6MB)
Track 06. Editions Of You (4.7MB)
Track 07. Virginia Plain [art says The Bob reprise] (5.2MB)
Track 08. If There Is Something [art says Secret Song] (16.4MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 09. In Every Dream Home A Heartache* (9.7MB)
Track 10 .Do The Strand* (5.0MB)
* Both tracks have a live audience. It is possible they are from a different unidentified session.
This bootleg was issued in Luxembourg 1989. Total time: 51:50m
Bryan Ferry - vocals, keyboards
Brian Eno - Synthesizer, tapes
Andy Mackay - Sax, clarinet, oboe
Phil Manzanera - guitar
Paul Thompson - drums
The first two albums came out quickly, one after the other. Like all the bands before and after them in the ’70s, Roxy Music used the BBC sessions to launch their career. Buy the first two albums here.