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Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure (1973) and Country Life (1974) & Brian Eno and David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)

April 23, 2021

[Albums 894 – 896 / 1001]

I’m always intrigued by what happens after a formidable musical pair goes their separate ways.

Can they ever reach higher heights independently than they did collaboratively?

In this case, Roxy Music’s first two albums (the 1972 self-titled debut & the 1973 follow-up, For Your Pleasure) featured both Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno. Both team-efforts were deemed 1001-list worthy.

Though Eno left the group after For Your Pleasure, neither Br(y)(i)an would be away from the 1001 list for too long: Roxy Music’s Country Life would make the cut, as would many other Eno-solo & Eno-produced albums.

Not to mention the 1981 David Byrne/Brian Eno collaboration, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

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“I will still tell you one thing, we’re better together”
– Jack Johnson, Better Together

Are the Br(i)(y)ans better together?

Perhaps early Roxy Music adopters would say so and they’re likely not incorrect.

However, I will still tell you one thing that I appreciate: their independent ventures don’t sound like watered-down versions of the first 2 Roxy Music albums.

For Your Pleasure might be my favourite of these albums, but Country Life is probably more consistent and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is likely the most innovative.

So while it’s possible that they’re best together, it’s better that they went in different directions when they separated.

And it’s best that they still had enough in common so that a 3-circle Venn Diagram was still possible!

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…..

Verbalize the Positive

If both spellings are included, I imagine Bryan / Brian (Eno, Ferry, Wilson, Adams, May, Bell, Johnson, Jones…) would easily be a Top 5 Musical First Names contender!

From → 1970s, 1980s

18 Comments
  1. I think For Your Pleasure is their best record, but Another Green World by Eno is even better!

  2. All hail the Brian/Bryans. Very disappointed to see you using the censored cover of Country Life Geoff. Possibly the most thoroughly censored LP cover of all time, that.

  3. I don’t know if you watched our chat last week with Curran but at one point Andy told us that when RUSH was looking for a producer a ways back Eno and John Paul Jones names were looked into.

  4. Great write up. I don’t listen to any of those guys so I will agree with everything you said!!

  5. Even though they’ve been around forever I’ve only just begun my Roxy Music exploration. Brian Eno, though, I know him well. Long live the Br-i/y-ans!

    • I’ve been on an Eno journey over the last 10 years, from bemusement (what’s this guy’s appeal?) to full-fledged enjoyment!

  6. Between them they’ve been involved in the creation of some really excellent music, eh? I can’t pick a favourite Roxy Music album, but I do really like the run after Eno left. Not that that’s a slight on Eno, right enough.

    Also, I wasn’t aware of that censored Country Life cover!

    • I guess that’s a nice problem to have, when it’s tough to pick a favourite from the eras before and after the musical split!

  7. Sarah is way into all of this stuff. I should probably do a deep dive on it at some point. For now, all I know is she has Bryans and Enos filed under “Roxy Music” in the collection and it drives me bananas!

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