A Young Person’s Guide To: Roxy Music – Manifesto

In 1978 Bryan Ferry got dumped – time to reform the band!

It was 1982 and I had already owned “Flesh + Blood” since its release. The was my first Roxy Music album. In the summer of 1982, I bought “Avalon” and the next obvious step was buying “Manifesto,” the first of the three “late model” Roxy Music albums, but the last to enter my Record Cell. By late 1982, we had MTV and I had seen the over the top video for “Angel Eyes” so I was keen to purchase. I think I got the LP as a mid-priced US issue at the time. It had a pink circular hype sticker letting me know that it contained the hit “Dance Away.” Little did I know at the time that this album would be available for the next 42 years in a bewildering array of variations.

roxy music manifesto LP cover art
Atco Records | US \ LP | 1979 | SD 38-114

Roxy Music: Manifesto – US – LP [1979]

  1. Manifesto
  2. Trash
  3. Angel Eyes [1st LP version] 3:32
  4. Still Falls the Rain
  5. Stronger Through The Years
  6. Ain’t That So
  7. My Little Girl
  8. Dance Away [single remix] 3:45
  9. Cry, Cry, Cry
  10. Spin Me Round

I was very shocked to hear that the version of “Angel Eyes” on the LP was an almost downmarket JazzRock version instead of the hyper-compressed Disco cocktail I had heard on the music video. Wha…??!! In the pre-internet era, I had no idea of the intrigue that had happened to this album over its lifespan. I just knew that I wanted the single re-recording of “Angel Eyes” but this was, for some reason, a difficult record to obtain in America back then. I looked for years to no avail.

roxy music manifesto CD cover art
Polydor | GER | CD | 1984 | 00 031-2

Roxy Music: Manifesto – GER – CD [1984]

  1. Manifesto
  2. Trash
  3. Angel Eyes [single version] 3:06
  4. Still Falls the Rain
  5. Stronger Through The Years
  6. Ain’t That So
  7. My Little Girl
  8. Dance Away [single remix] 3:45
  9. Cry, Cry, Cry
  10. Spin Me Round

In 1986, I went out one night on a tear, and bought the first six Roxy Music albums on CD. I never had the first five [if you can believe that] even on LP and I “felt the need.” I got many of them at Digital Sounds, the amazing CD only store in Altamonte Springs, but before we reached that far flung location, we stopped at East-West Records + Tapes first, in our own backyard, to see that they had a used copy of “Manifesto” in their bins! Score! When I got home later that night and was drowning in Roxy Music, I found that…thank goodness, the 1st pressing German Polydor CD of “Manifesto” had the single version of “Angel Eyes” instead of the vexing downbeat version on the LP. You know how it can be when you get imprinted by the first version of a song you hear. It can be difficult to accept other interpretations.

Roy Music - manifesto picture disc UK LP cover art
E’G Records | UK | Pic Disc LP | 1979 | EGPD 001

Roxy Music: Manifesto – UK – PicDisc LP [1979]

  1. Manifesto
  2. Trash
  3. Angel Eyes [1st LP version] 3:32
  4. Still Falls the Rain
  5. Stronger Through The Years
  6. Ain’t That So
  7. My Little Girl
  8. Dance Away [ballad version] 4:21
  9. Cry, Cry, Cry
  10. Spin Me Round

It was some time in the early 90s when attending a record show, I found the picture disc LP of “Manifesto” where the mannequins on the cover were naked. Being of a strong Roxy Music persuasion i bought it on principle. A period of high earnings for me led to the decadence of “collecting” records that I never had the intention of ever playing. Owning them strictly for the “collector’s sickness.” Such was the case with this copy of “Manifesto!” Had I actually played it, I would have found that not only did it have the now interesting to me downbeat 1st LP version of “Angel Eyes,” but there was a long take of “Dance Away” which had not been remixed by the gifted ears of Bob Clearmountain. But these buried treasures would later reach my ears in a different way.

roxy music - the thrill of it all cover art
Virgin | UK | digibook 4xCD box | UK | 1995 | CDBOX5

Roxy Music: The Thrill of It All – UK – boxed set [1995]

My wife bought me “The Thrill Of It All” when it came out as a birthday present and while the large pull of it was the fourth disc of B-sides and remixes, the presence of the “Dance Away [ballad version]” and the 1st LP version of “Angel Eyes” was the thing that excited me the most. After 15 years of fandom, those cuts were like forbidden fruit to my ears. It was after getting this set that I finally even found out about the 4:21 version of “Dance Away” that had only briefly manifested back in 1979 for buyers of the picture disc and possibly the 1st UK LP edition of the album. The data’s hazy, there and I don’t have a 1st printing UK LP to check.

2012 picture CD art for Roxy Music's Manifesto
The version of “Manifesto” in the 2012 “The Complete Studio Sessions” box finally brought the1st edition of “Manifesto” to the silver disc

Roxy Music: Manifesto “The Complete Studio Sessions” [boxed set disc 6/10] [2012]

  1. Manifesto
  2. Trash
  3. Angel Eyes [1st LP version] 3:32
  4. Still Falls the Rain
  5. Stronger Through The Years
  6. Ain’t That So
  7. My Little Girl
  8. Dance Away [ballad version] 4:21
  9. Cry, Cry, Cry
  10. Spin Me Round

Finally, in 2012, the “Complete Studio Sessions” boxed set was released, where it finally had the initial picture disc edition of the “Manifesto” album on the silver disc. It boggles the mind to think that there was only a brief window, and on the compromised picture disc format, no less, of the first released version of this album. The only stand alone CDs of this title issued since 2012, were exotic Japaneses variants of the album and they all have the 1 st LP of “Angel Eyes” but the single remix of “Dance Away.” adding a premium to the Roxy boxed set of god.

roxy music manifesto cover with real persons circled
Spot the Doublemint® Twins…I say it’s these two

Finally, there’s always time to learn more music trivia. UMG’s website had a feature on Roxy Music album cover models some time back where they revealed that two of the figures on the “Manifesto” cover were indeed… flesh + blood. There were a pair of twins who were fans of the band that were included in the photo sessions amid the showroom dummies. Comparing the picture disc covers to all others, I think I have managed to figure out which ones are real people, but I have no idea as to who they actually were. Maybe Echorich with his Deep Roxy Connections® will throw us a bone here?

-30-

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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16 Responses to A Young Person’s Guide To: Roxy Music – Manifesto

  1. Fascinating, I had no idea about all these shenanigans! I bought a used LP of Manifesto in the early 80’s and loved it right away. The sound is spectacularly DRY, I think that put some people off but I dig it. Flesh + Blood has many good moments not nearly as consistent as Manifesto.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jeremy Shatan – Yes, the dryness of the [self] production was the only time in their careers where they did not have an outside producer. I wonder what drove that decision? Surely financial concerns were not involved; after all, this was Roxy Music reuniting! Surely money was no object? I am deeply into the Jazz inflected “East Side,” but when making Roxy mix tapes, always had a soft spot for including “Cry, Cry, Cry.”

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      • JT says:

        > dryness of the [self] production was the only time in their careers where they did not have an outside producer

        Definitely not financial. The cost difference to make a more reverberant style mix would have been trivial. The mix engineer and the studio room itself would both have had a lot to do with this. Who mixed it? What did their other mixes of the era sound like? Where was it tracked? What do other records made in that studio sound like (especially in the few years before this record was made)?
        The band chose their studio and engineer for a reason…

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  2. Fantastic article PPM. Absolutely love Manifesto. Will have to track down that single version of Angel Eyes for a start and had no idea there were real people on the cover…I like this era of their music as much as the early stuff.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      the press music reviews – Given that the music video for “Angel Eyes” was always seemingly available in The States, I’m shocked that you don’t know the Disco, single version of “Angel Eyes.” It apparently was even on a US single, though I was looking for this for years without ever seeing a copy!

      angel eyes US label

      There is also a 6:39 12″ extended remix by Bob Clearmountain [who also mixed the 7″] and is just glorious.
      angel eyes UK 12
      I have the Euro edition as shown above, in a hard cover with inner sleeve, but there was even a US promo 12″ of this in a saucy generic 12″ “Disco Single” cover that is thematically resonant. And it sports one of the holy WEA “DSKO” catalog numbers! [DSKO 198]
      us promo angel eyes 12

      For those whose ardor cannot be sated by the 6:39 mix, the very first Razormaid release [MT-001] from 1984 was a Joseph Watt re-edit of the 12″ mix into 8:22 of luxury.
      razormaid angel eyes cover

      This comment has now turned into The Young Person’s Guide To: Roxy Music – “Angel Eyes!” Damnit! I wasted a post!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ade.W says:

    I like both versions of Angel eyes, not so much bothered about Dance Away and did not like the big pink suit on the video. For my money Trash is a forgotten Roxy gem. Over all , the last 3 albums don’t come anywhere near the 1st 5. But you know that’s just me.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Ade.W – My Roxy Fail is “Siren.” Hate that album. “‘Manifesto” starts the rehabilitation and the last two form a new band. Also good. The first four are spectacular in bold ways though. The first two are the only groundbreaking work, but that’s fine. They are so groundbreaking that Ferry gets a pass on decades of coasting and refinement. And the pink silk Antony Price suit? Totally rocking for me!

      “Trash” was a great pivot to New Wave for the band that was simultaneously a throwback and a sashay forward for the band that sadly fell on deaf ears in the charts of the time. Apart from those of Duran Duran, who recorded their “Violence of Summer” song as a pastiche of “Trash” a decade later. I’m certain of this.

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  4. Gavin says:

    Although I own all of their albums,I can’t have played this more than 2 or 3 times since I bought it.Love the sleeve though and the anecdotes about the release variations are fascinating.
    I listen to the first two and last two Roxy albums regularly,but rarely anything in between.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Gavin – I get it from your perspective. In your case you are not missing much… apart from “Stranded,” which is often my fave rave Roxy Music album. It’s the one that had the greatest impact on the New Romantic movement, in my opinion. And was Eno’s favorite as well!

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  5. Which version of “Angel Eyes” appears on the 1989 RM/BF Street Life compilation? I do remember my high school friend picking up a copy of Manifesto roughly about the same time as Sparks’ No. 1 Song in Heaven, although I preferred Viva Roxy Music myself

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      diskojoediskojoe – As far as I know, all compilations use the re-recorded “disco” version of the single that was a hit. “Street life” certainly does. I own a copy. The “downbeat jazz” version is actually difficult to hear. It’s on the first pressings of the album, the Picture disc, and appears on the “Thrill Of It All” and “Complete Studio Recordings” boxes.

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  6. diskojoe says:

    Thanks, I also have the 1995 box set. By the way, I’m only one “diskojoe”, not 2. It’s a WordPress mistook, not a Duran Duran cover band!

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  7. RobC says:

    Great post on a great Roxy album. Avalon remains my fave as it was the gateway album for me – as a youngster fed an appetite of KROQ and local video shows like Video One with Richard Blade one could get their Roxy fix.

    In terms of the sound quality and overall satisfaction I’ve always preferred the HDCD remaster of the Roxy catalogue. I find the sound much fuller while the Complete Studio Albums box set sound is much too soft.

    Curious to get your take on which Roxy editions sound best – the HDCD or the 2012 box set versions.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      RobC – I can’t say because I only have the German Polydor 1st mastering and the 2002 mastering in the Complete Box. I also have the hybrid SACD of “The Best Of Roxy Music” with Ms. Cave on the cover, and the CD layer is mastered from DSD like every SACD, but the CD layer sounds brickwalled! So it’s a huge letdown.

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  8. Vlad says:

    Haven’t heard this album yet, but have a (maybe) funny story – I once heard “You spin me round” by DOA on the radio and the announcer didn’t tell the name of the band. The song grabbed me, as it seems to do with people of all ages (I have a colleague who’s barely 25 and she’s nuts about the song and fascinated by Pete Burns), and I wanted to find out who it was by. At the time I didn’t have the Internet and the sources of information were few and far between. But at roughly the same time I chanced upon one “rock discography” book and somehow saw that RM had the song called “Spin me round”. And for years I was dead sure it was that song I heard on the airwaves :) Only a bootleg CD of various extended mixes called something like “1983 MTV New Romantics” (whatever…) got me out of my misery. Still, sometimes I wonder how “You spin me round” by Roxy Music would’ve sounded like…

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