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Reunited Roxy Music Heading Back to the Studio

From left: Bryan Ferry, Andy MacKay and Phil Manzanera

The great British band Roxy Music, long slated to make their first new studio album since the 1982 classic Avalon, look like they’re finally on track to complete the project. As guitarist Phil Manzanera explained to Mix during a recent interview about the new David Gilmour Live in Gdansk CD/DVD (to appear in Mix’s October 2008 issue)—which Manzanera co-produced and played on—work on the new Roxy Music album was originally slated to begin a couple of years ago, “but while I was away [on tour with Gilmour], Bryan Ferry decided to do a Dylan covers album [titled Dylanesque] and go on tour, and then David asked me if I wanted to help him sort out the live material from the tour for a CD set.”

With the Gilmour and Ferry projects now out of the way, the Roxy album went back onto the front-burner again. “We’ve got something like 18 tracks already, but now we’ve got to finish it off,” Manzanera said on September 1. “Everybody’s been getting along very well. It’s me and Andy MacKay, Paul Thompson, Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry and Guy Pratt, who played bass with me and was on David’s tour. Chris Thomas was producing.

“We haven’t done a proper album for more than 20 years, so it’s got to be good. And even though I say we’ve got 18 tracks, we’ve probably got seven really good ones, and we want to have at least 10 really good ones. There’s no point in doing it unless it’s going to be really good. If it isn’t good enough, it won’t come out. We’re trying to be good. The whole record industry is down the tubes, but you still have your self-pride,” he adds with a laugh. “You want to do a good job. Maybe you have to make your money from something else: touring, T-shirts, whatever. But those of us who started with analog and 16 tracks and songs and all that… we want it to be really good; otherwise what’s the point?”

Blair Jackson is Mix’s senior editor.

For more on Roxy Music from Mix’s archives, read Rick Clark’s “Classic Tracks” story on the recording of “Avalon” and “Avalon in Surround: The Best Gets Better” from the June 2004 issue; Steve Jennings’ and Chris Michie’s “All Access” coverage of Roxy Music’s 2001 world tour from the November 2001 issue; Bryan Reesman’s interview with Bryan Ferry about Ferry’s 2003 album, Frantic, in “Recording Notes” from the March 2003 issue; Reesman’s interview with Ferry about Ferry’s Dylanesque release—featuring Ferry’s covers of 11 Dylan songs— from the June 2007 issue; Blair Jackson’s January 1999 interview with Roxy Music producer Chris Thomas; and Maureen Droney’s March 2004 “Mix Masters” interview with Avalon engineer Bob Clearmountain.