311. Roxy Music - Country Life (1974)
1. Thrill Of It All
2. Three And Nine
3. All I Want Is You
4. Out Of The Blue
5. If It Takes All Night
9. Really Good Time
10. Prairie Rose
Another great album by Roxy Music, but unfortunately you can see how Eno's defection greatly affected the sound of the band. The sense of innovation and experimentation that can be found in the albums with Eno seems to be only really present here in Bittersweet, a song which almost typifies the conflict between the crazy and the beautiful.
The rest of the album is still crazy and beautiful, but because of Ferry the beautiful takes a muh greater precedence than in the albums with Eno. This isn't the first album after Eno left, Roxy had done the misguided Stranded, which really was not nearly as good as the previous albums. This album proves, however that Roxy didn't need Eno to make great music, but that they did need him to make superb music.
That said, I really cherish this album, all the songs are really, really good, just not divine, it becomes a 9 instead of a 10 because of this. I will still happily listen to this album now and then, particularly for The Thrill of It All, Casanova and Bittersweet and so should you. And what a great cover, I have to get this on vinyl to put it up on the wall heh. So get it from Amazon US or US.
2. The Thrill Of It All
4. All I Want Is You
The opening track, "The Thrill of it All", was an up-tempo rocker that developed the style of songs like "Virginia Plain" (1972) and "Do the Strand" (1973); it included a quote from Dorothy Parker's poem "Resume", "You might as well live". Edwin Jobson's violin dominated the heavily-phased production of "Out of the Blue", which became a live favourite. Esoteric musical influences were betrayed by the German oom-pah band passages in "Bitter-Sweet", the Elizabethan flavour of "Triptych" and the countrified "If It Takes All Night".
"Casanova" was singled out for praise by a number of critics as a more cynical and hard-rocking number than the usual Roxy Music fare. Like the earlier "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" (1973), it was seen as a critique of the hollowness of the contemporary jet set, and contained further instances of Bryan Ferry's idiosyncratic word association ("Now you're nothing but / Second hand in glove / With second rate"). A re-recorded version, more mellow than the original, appeared on Ferry's 1976 solo album Let's Stick Together.
The final track, "Prairie Rose", was an ode to Texas and to one of its daughters, Jerry Hall, Ferry's new girlfriend and soon to appear on the cover of Roxy Music's fifth album, Siren (1975), and later in the film clip to Ferry's single "Let's Stick Together".
Ferry took the album's title from the British rural lifestyle magazine Country Life; the cover, featuring two scantily-clad models, was considered controversial in some countries such as the United States, Spain, and The Netherlands, where it was censored for release.
Country Life included Roxy Music's fourth single, "All I Want Is You" b/w "Your Application's Failed", which reached #12 in the UK charts. An edited version of "The Thrill of it All", with the same B-side, was released in the US.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 387 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was one of four Roxy Music albums that made the list (For Your Pleasure, Siren and Avalon being the others).
* The supposedly 'uncredited' cover models are in fact named on the album - but not as models. They were Constanze Karoli (reportedly the sister of Can's Michael Karoli) and Eveline Grunwald, who are credited on the lyric sheet with the German translation of "Bitter-Sweet." Bryan Ferry met them in Portugal and persuaded them to do the photo shoot as well as help with the words to the song.
* On the 1999 CD reissue of Country Life, Paul Thompson is credited for playing guitar and Phil Manzanera is credited for playing drums, when in fact the reverse is true.
Thrill Of it All and A Really Good Time: