Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure – [Record 175]
For Your Pleasure is the second album by the British glam rock group Roxy Music, released by Island Records in 1973. It was their last to feature synthesiser and sound specialist Brian Eno, who would later gain acclaim as a solo artist and producer.
1. Do the Strand.
2. Beauty Queen.
3. Strictly Confidential.
4. Editions of You.
5. In Every Dream Home a Heartache.
1. The Bogus Man.
2. Grey Lagoons.
3. For Your Pleasure.
Production: The group was able to spend more studio time on this album than on their debut, combining strong song material by Bryan Ferry with more elaborate production treatments. For example, the song “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” (Ferry’s sinister ode to a blow-up doll) fades out in its closing section, only to fade back in again with all the instruments subjected to a pronounced phasing treatment. The title track fades out in an elaborate blend of tape loop effects. Brian Eno remarked that the eerie “The Bogus Man” displayed similarities with contemporary material by the krautrock group Can.
Of the more upbeat numbers on the album, “Do the Strand” and “Editions of You” were both based around insistent rhythms in the tradition of the band’s first single “Virginia Plain”. “Do the Strand” has been called the archetypal Roxy Music anthem, whilst “Editions of You” was notable for a series of ear-catching solos by Andy Mackay (sax), Eno (VCS3), and Phil Manzanera (guitar).
Eno is very present in the final song from the album, “For Your Pleasure” making it unlike any other song on the album. The song ends with the voice of Judi Dench saying “You don’t ask. You don’t ask why” amid tapes of the opening vocals (‘Well, how are you?’) from “Chance Meeting” from the first Roxy Music album. A live recording of the song has been used in 1975 as a B-side to “Both Ends Burning”.
Promotion: As with the debut Roxy Music album, no UK singles were lifted from For Your Pleasure upon its initial release. A non-album single “Pyjamarama” b/w “The Pride and the Pain”, was issued in advance of the album in Britain, making #10. “Do the Strand” b/w “Editions of You” was released as a single in the US and Europe; it was finally issued as a UK single in 1978 to promote Roxy’s Greatest Hits album, released in December the previous year.
The cover photo, taken by Karl Stoecker, featured Bryan Ferry’s girlfriend at the time, singer and model Amanda Lear, who later became Salvador Dalí’s muse. Original pressings of the album (by Island Records in the UK, and Warner Bros. Records in the U.S.), featured a gatefold sleeve picturing all five band members posing with guitars.
Critical reception: For Your Pleasure made #4 in UK charts in 1973. In 2000 Q magazine placed it at number 33 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 1973 Rolling Stone initially gave it a mixed review but said that “the bulk of For Your Pleasure is either above us, beneath us, or on another plane altogether.” By 2003, the album was ranked number 394 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was one of four by the group that made the list (Country Life, Siren and Avalon being the others). It placed at 87 on Pitchfork Media’s Top 100 Albums of the 1970s. The citation notes that Morrissey told the British press that “he could ‘only think of one truly great British album: For Your Pleasure.”