Re-Make/Re-Model: Becoming Roxy Music

Michael Bracewell, Author . Da Capo $17.95 (426p) ISBN 978-0-306-81400-6

In this innovative and intelligent book, British novelist and essayist Bracewell (The Nineties: When Surface Was Depth ) explores how the 1972 release of the eponymously named debut album by Roxy Music—“a manifesto written in the language of heavily stylized, nuanced and atmospheric pop and rock music”—was actually the culmination of a decade-long British movement in which “fine art and the avant-garde met the vivacity of pop and fashion” with the goal of dissolving the boundaries between “high” and “low” art forms. Bracewell describes in fascinating detail a range of famous and obscure artists, first in the fine arts departments at Newcastle and Reading universities and later in the London of the “swinging '60s,” and delivers in effect a history of the British pop art movement, with special praise for the influence of artist Richard Hamilton at Newcastle, with whom Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry studied. By the time Bracewell ends his look at Roxy Music “at its moment of becoming,” he has definitively shown how the roots of Ferry's artistic vision of the band, both as a musical group and as a pop art concept, helped him produce “one of the most original” groups of its time, fusing “an eclectic range of influences from modern music, popular culture and fine art” (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/08/2007
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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