Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Song - Roxy Music's 'Do The Strand' (1973)

Had your fill of quadrilles, the Madison and cheap thrills? Bored with the beguine? The samba isn't your scene? They're playing our tune, by the pale moon. We're incognito.

"Oh body swayed to music. Oh brightening glance. How can we know the dancer from the dance?"
-- W.B. Yeats

One thing you really can't help notice in any (as in every!) piece of early Roxy footage is how so totally ordinary, so totally straight and so totally not a fucking oddball loon Brian Eno was (and likely remains)!

And here Briany does not fail to disappoint! ... I do feel sorry though for that poor screaming demented ostrich who's garb he's stolen.

Eno's playing second fiddle again here to Ferry with the literate, smarty pants, ode to dance, 'Do The Strand', the first song from Roxy's sublime sophomore album, For Your Pleasure. A song ahead of it's time, nay out of time.

A pastiche cum pisstake cum homage with a very punkish vibe. An ambiguous, angular, vibrant, Porter-tastic, art-school-alumnus, stream of consciousness classic.

At once a satirical put-down of the vile advertising industry (and the idiots who consume it), and a knowing, poetic, witty ditty of the dark, dizzying, dangerous dance of life.

... Yap, that or an esoteric paean to a simple cigarette!

Yes indeedy, everybody knows the Sphynx and Mona Lisa, Lolita and Guernica did the Strand. Why the fuck don't you?

Oddly "Do the Strand" (featuring Ferry fave John Porter, as an addition to the members of early Roxy) was released as a single (backed by "Editions of You") in 1973 in some European countries but not released in Britland.

This is from a live performance on the Beeb. One where every member of the band appear to be total strangers; each seemingly transported to the stage from a totally different time era ... Ferry from a Forties film noir; sax player Andy MacKay from a 1986 pop promo with bikinied booby babes set aboard a pink phallic yacht; bassist Porter from a 1990's Dinosaur Jr tribute band; guitarist Phil Manzanera from a 1967 San Francisco psych outfit and, of course, Eno from some fierce future space-colony of Earth ruled by the cryogenically preserved skulls of the Village People and Tom Cruise; one where a poor demented ostrich is screaming!

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