Roxy Music: The Missing Piece of Their Canon – “The High Road”

Roxy Music: The High Road – US – EP [1983]

Warner Bros. Records | US | EP | 1983 | 9 23808-1
  1. Can’t Let Go [live @ Glasgow Apollo] 5:29
  2. My Only Love [live @ Glasgow Apollo] 7:23
  3. Like A Hurricane [live @ Glasgow Apollo] 7:36
  4. Jealous Guy [live @ Glasgow Apollo] 6:10

Some years back when the Roxy Music “Complete Studio Recordings” box was released, its name belied its one failing. Namely that you would not be getting the “Viva!” album with it, but also that “The High Road” would remain on vinyl only. “The High Road” was released as a quick follow up to the “Avalon” tour as a $5.98 mid-price live stopgap EP as seen above. The recording was made in Scotland at the Glasgow Apollo Theater.

roxy music - the high road cover art
Pioneer Artists | US | LD | 1986 | 0E010852

Roxy Music: The High Road – US – LD [1986]

  1. The Main Thing [not on “Heart Still Beating”]
  2. Out Of The Blue
  3. Both Ends Burning
  4. Song For Europe
  5. Can’t Let Go
  6. While My Heart Is Still Beating
  7. Avalon
  8. My Only Love
  9. Dance Away
  10. Love Is A Drug
  11. Like A Hurricane
  12. Editions Of You
  13. Do The Strand [not on “Heart Still Beating”] 
  14. Jealous Guy

Confusingly, the program was also released the same year as a live home video with the same title and cover image, but with a show that was filmed in Frejus, France! The same four songs are included but in different performances. Then seven years later Roxy Music released a CD of the Frejus concert with a very different title and cover, and even some song substitutions. It was called “Heart Still Beating.”

roxy music heart still beating cover art
Reprise Records | US | CD | 1990 | 9-26402-2

Roxy Music: Heart Still Beating – US – CD [1990]

  1. India [not on “The High Road”] 
  2. Can’t Let Go
  3. While My Heart Is Still Beating
  4. Out Of The Blue
  5. Dance Away
  6. Impossible Guitar [not on “The High Road”]
  7. A Song For Europe
  8. Love Is The Drug
  9. Like A Hurricane
  10. My Only Love
  11. Both Ends Burning
  12. Avalon
  13. Editions Of You
  14. Jealous Guy

But that still doesn’t get us “The High Road” on the silver disc, does it? It looks like I will have to take matters into my own hands. Well, I’ve done it before. But a 28 minute CD is rather skimpy. It’s a good thing I have live Roxy Music radio show material that I can fill out the program with!

king biscuit flower hour - roxy music

I also have a “King Biscuit Flower Hour” radio show that is a triple-threat Monastically. Three sides live in America of Graham Parker, Roxy Music and Simple Minds. I’ve had the Simple Minds digitized for years. It’s past time to get the Roxy living in digital. The songs recorded were “Avalon,” “Dance Away,” and “Love Is The Drug.” The latter contractually obligated to appear on every Roxy Music live recording in America, seeing as how it was the closest thing they had to a hit here in this backwater hamlet of a country.

I have another live radio show that is not yet in the Discogs database [ed. note: it is now], so I know there’s at least a five song EP [on CD] that’s a BBC recording that I bought in the 90s. Possibly more. Must get to this sooner than later, but no free time for at least a month on this end! Watch this space.


About postpunkmonk

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7 Responses to Roxy Music: The Missing Piece of Their Canon – “The High Road”

  1. LOVE the High Road, the performances are unbelievable. Heart Still Beating was a relative disappointment, slick and lacking emotional depth. Years ago I digitized the High Road and all my Ferry non-LP material like his fantastic cover of the Detroit Emeralds’ Feel The Need. It made for quite a satisfying playlist on my iPod…now I’m thinking I need to drag it to my phone with all the other bootlegs ;-).

    Liked by 1 person

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jeremy Shatan – What is it that Fripp says about cameras nullifying the fire of a performance? Yes, The Frejus recording was a bit perfunctory. More fun to watch then listen to. Then again, the mixes probably differ wildly! I’d bet that ex-post-facto meddling occurred with the 1990 album! With label money there for an album release, and Ferry’s penchant for “perfectionism…?” Yeah, I’d bet it’s as compromised as “Live In The City Of Lights” by Simple Minds. A classic example of a live album in name only. It would be interesting to digitize the laserdisc soundtrack and replicate the “Heart Still Beating” running order and play “spot the differences.” I can’t say I’ve listened to “Heart Still Beating” more than a half dozen times in the decades it’s been in the Record Cell, though I was infinitely pleased to see it pop up seemingly from nowhere at that time. I love the translucent blue tint to the CD surface more than the actual music itself.

      Apart from the “Windswept” 12″ EP, I also have “Feel The Need” on CD here:
      will you love me tomorrow back cover


  2. Ade.W says:

    The thing that annoys me most about the cd “heart still beating” is that it is one of those gatefold LP replica sleeves , so it sits proud of all the other Roxy CDs. I very rarely play it. I bought the High Road on cassette back in the day but over the years I have sort of gone of Jealous Guy. So not really one of my favourite eras of Roxy Music.


  3. Substrata says:

    You wrote: “seven years later Roxy Music released a CD of the Frejus concert”

    That is not true, it IS the Glasgow Apollo concert (heavily edited someplaces, the guitar solo in My Only Love being the most obnoxious example).

    Plus: i also preferred the Glasgow perfomance to the Frejus one for a few decades, but after playing, watching and listening to the Laserdisc many many times, it is the Frejus concert that prevails, strangely but permanently so.

    Contact me privately if you need proof, i have excellent rips available.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Substrata – Welcome to the comments! That’s some provocative commentary you offer. As we all know, “live albums” are a hotbed of deceit and lies in many cases. I’ve never gone down the forensic path with those shows and you may well be spot on. I do know that various issues of the Bowie Nassau material really play like two different shows even though they are “the same.” I can say that I have watched the Frejus show more than I ever listened to “Heart Still Beating” and any differences I put down to Ferry’s penchant for overwork. Fascinating.


      • Substrata says:

        Thank you, i feel quite at home already
        Trust me, i was (and still am) a big fan of My Only Love on the High Road EP, i just love the drumming by Andy Newmark and the fluid Fender Rhodes tones of Guy Fletcher, the overall sound is fantastic and it’s the best rendition ever.
        I was bitterly surprised when HSB was released, they chopped a big part of the wonderful Neil Hubbard guitar solo, but it IS the same Glasgow recording as the HR EP, i checked, compared and doublechecked many times, and i’m not even a Roxy fan, go figure. (Ultravox 1976-1982 is my thing)

        Consequently over the years with the help of a friend i digitised the vinyl EP and the CD Video laserdisc to very fine top-notch flac and mkv files respectively and seperated the soundtrack to flac in the process. This gave me the chance to compare the perfomances song by song, the result is simple: there was almost no tampering with the laserdisc sound, no editing beyond what one would normally expect, the High Road EP was almost entirely original, the sound was processed a bit, normal for that era, but there are no disputable edits there, but on the HSB CD there are quite a few, mostly rude cuts like the shortened NH guitar part, which drove me nuts for years.

        As for the concerts: Glasgow showcased a very ‘driven’ and focused band, they were at their peak performance-wise.
        Frejus is, well look at the place, there’s a huge crowd, it’s an open air concert, Andy Newmark and Jimmy Maelen are wearing white shorts for Christ’s sake, but the performance is wonderfully relaxed, Alan Spenner on bass guitar absolutely beaming with joy all the time, they’re famous, it has been a sunny and beautiful day in the South of France, they feel like kings, as they should do, i can forgive Neil Hubbard for playing a less intimidating solo on such an occasion, it’s a joy to watch and listen after all those years.

        Liked by 1 person

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