Classic Rock Bottom

Disclaimer: All info that does not reside in my brain is gathered from (mostly because Jon can't stand it) unless otherwise noted.

I have chosen Avalon by Roxy Music as your CRB Album of the Week this week.  I have to be honest and tell you I have no personal experience with the band.  So I'm just going to tell you some stats from the album's performance and post the album.  

Avalon is the band's eighth and final studio album.  It was the band's best performing album from a commercial standpoint, as it reached number one in the U.K.  However, it only climbed to 53 in the United States.  It sold well, managing a Platinum certification in the US.  Three singles (Avalon, More Than This and Take A Chance With Me) did not perform well in the US, with the title track not charting at all and the other two not cracking the Top 100. They did perform much better in The United Kingdom.

The album is available new on Amazon in a reissued, remastered format (no bonus tracks) for eleven dollars and change.  You can also find it used on Amazon for about six dollars with shipping.

Side One:

1. More Than This

2. The Space Between

3. Avalon

4. India

5. While My Heart Is Still Beating

Side Two:

6. The Main Thing

7. Take A Chance With Me

8. To Turn You On

9. True To Life

10. Tara

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I remember this album being fairly big, kinda surprised that it "only" reached #53 here. But it did hit platinum so there were obviously says and must have been some longevity as well. Compared to other RM albums, this is a bit more mainstream but it is a fine listen. Very proficient, almost like in a Steely Dan sorta way. Even though it's not really pronounced here, Phil Manzanera is a really good geetarist. Great album. 

I've long admired some of their album covers, this not being one of them, but I've never really got into what little music I've heard. The opener sounds quite familiar though and like the mid-tempo melodic-ness it has. The steady new wav-ish keyboard fills the atmosphere and is quite catchy as well. Not sure about his vocals but they fit the opener. So, I guess I'm into it right from the start!

The Space Between lacks some substance, it’s just running on a loop, and even with that I sat and listened all the way through, like it was hypnotizing me or something. Freaky! The title track loses me though. Aren’t title tracks supposed to represent the best tune on an album? Isnt that like Rule #1 of the album era? No band is going to name an album after filler.

And just like that Side One is over, with a whimper. Electronic before electronic was cool? I have to wonder if this is some kind of a pre-cursor to that genre. There’s a lot of looping going on here and maybe that’s why it feels this way.

Rule #2 of the album era, the first track of the second side has to also be a killer track, not so here. Yet Side 2 Track 2 is better. It’s an up and down listening experience. To Turn You On is pretty good it has catchy moments and you can hear a guitar!. Still I have to think this band had some sort of revolutionary approach to music at the time that I can’t hear anymore. But for me its pace is too slow overall, but dang! That opener!!

You hit on a great subject for a song list: Title tracks that are killer and title tracks that are filler!


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