ROXY MUSIC - BBC 1972-1973

May 17, 2009 – 4:20 am

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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

Click here for more info.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

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.

Track 01. The Bob [Medley] (7.2MB)
Track 02. Would You Believe (4.8MB)
Track 03. Sea Breezes (8.7MB)
Track 04. Remake, Remodel (6.3MB)

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

General lineup:
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.

  1. 16 Responses to “ROXY MUSIC - BBC 1972-1973”

  2. Regarding Fripp & Eno’s John Peel’s Top Gear (November 1973), reader Luis Torregrosa has informed us that the tracks have been officially released. Hence they are no longer available for download. Thanks Luis for the feedback.

    By bigozine2 on May 17, 2009

  3. Awsome! Thank you very much! One of my all-time favorite bands ever.Very interesting versions, especially the ones from the “Sounds Of The Seventies” Show. Thanks again.

    By Alberto on May 17, 2009

  4. Thanks bigO. The music is fascinating and the nostalgia is palpable - I can feel my spots coming back! Early Roxy is always welcome.

    By Big Trev on May 20, 2009

  5. Is ‘If There Is Something’ slightly fast? or does BF just sound so much younger..

    By nora on May 21, 2009

  6. “The bass player here is Sal Maida.”
    No it’s not…it’s John Porter.

    By Unifaun on May 21, 2009

  7. “Is ‘If There Is Something’ slightly fast? or does BF just sound so much younger”
    All the tracks are running noticeably fast.

    “* Both tracks have a live audience. It is possible they are from a different unidentified session.”
    These two songs are from a “Musikladen” tv broadcast, 1973.

    By Unifaun on May 21, 2009

  8. Here’s some more Roxy Music at the BBC:

    By Volker on May 22, 2009

  9. This is the first time that I have been disappointed by a BigO posting. Yes, the tracks seem to be fast and perhaps this is why Bryan Ferry sounds so bad, in fact almost unlistenable. I pray for better Roxy Music BBC tracks. Thank you, BigO, for all the excellent music you have given me on many other occasions.

    By Christopher Maddock on May 22, 2009

  10. Hi Christopher

    Sorry, but this disc is presented as it is. Copied from my original silver disc bootleg. If anyone can do speed correction, I’d be happy to send a CD-R. And then we can share it again.

    By Admin on May 23, 2009

  11. GIVE X10 and they still find fault. Some folks don’t realize the untenable s**t you have to put up with when dealing with the public. What I can’t figure out is why, because you are free of charge, they have the right to slam your offerings??? Some peoples kids-

    Thanks for EVERYTHING
    throughout the last 10+ years

    By Platter Puss Records on May 27, 2009

  12. The pitch needs adjusting slightly and then these tracks sound great. In fact better than great!
    Just finishing them off now…..

    By Jay on May 30, 2009

  13. Lucky you, having the technical ability to correct the pitch.

    By Christopher Maddock on Jun 17, 2009

  14. very good your report, congratulations, I’m a fan of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, and I invite you to visit my blog URL: Made for all Fans around the world .- THANKS YOU for accepting this comment.

    By ALEJO on Sep 26, 2009

  15. hello!
    I have a bootleg called “Rebubbles”, and seems there are nearly the same tracks on it - but the songs are all a bit longer and the voice is deeper - its slower (but I think the sound is not soo good as on “When we were young”…
    If you are interested:

    By lopey on Jul 11, 2010

  16. An adequate pitch&speed correction is achievable by reducing the speed by circa 7,9365 %. Maybe it’s a bit too low then, but the notes are in plain tuning if you drop the speed by that factor.

    By M.B. on Jan 19, 2015

  17. drop at -7,156%

    By pholas on Feb 3, 2015

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