217. COUNTRY LIFE by Roxy Music
1974 brought us Roxy Music's fourth record, one of their finest. (The music, the music, I'm talking about the music.) Up to and including Country Life, this British art rock / glam rock band, lead by the ever debonair Bryan Ferry, were known for their album openers - and this one does not disappoint (more below). To me there are two themes running throughout this record - first, there is no theme - the songs jump from genre to genre so fluidly yet so disparately that, somehow, it just works. Second, guitarist Phil Manzanera's contributions cut like a knife through most of the tracks. I think that's maybe why I like this record so much.
It would be kind of silly of me to make such a big deal about opening tracks and then not suggest you start out with 'The Thrill Of It All' so definitely listen to this song first. The repeating bass line on the fade in of 'Out Of The Blue' mesmerizes. Move on to 'Casanova' where Manzanera and horn player Andy Mackay trade licks on guitar and oboe, respectively. Then the frenetic 'All I Want Is You' will leave you breathless in just under 3 minutes. Finally, end on an all out fun, bluesy Southern romp, 'If It Takes All Night.'