Often the epicenter of creativity, the 1970’s were an age of strange and developmental times. This was when punk rock would develop, the age of disco would become a dead and deceased breed, and the age of experimentation would take new forms. Country Life is the fourth studio record by Roxy Music, which would catapult to the tops of the charts for its wild ability to shift and mark the largest revolution in music history since art and glam rock hit the scene.
Drawing an inspiration to the growth of sounds and devices in the 60’s, the 1970s allowed musicians and artists to branch out and start to mold this otherworldly sounds with their instruments. As Bryan Ferry who also grew a similar resemblance to Bowie, there was Eddie Jobson on the strings and synthesizer who worked with John Gustafson on the bass. Andy Mackay made an appearance on the saxophone and oboe with Phil Manzanera on the guitar. Leaving Phil Thompson to handle the percussion and start to create heavy, more straight-forward crashes on the percussion.
Country Life follows the more British styled production sound using more spaced out instrumentation and the sense of structure just has that undertone behind it. Rather than focusing on the big band style of rock music, the album is actually smaller subsections of rock that cut through the air in a noisy, feedback and reverb heavy glam rock opera. It is a production of a show and truly feels more and more as a storyboard that Roxy Music rides to create one of the better displays of a glimmering fourth record.
With tracks “Three And Nine”, “If It Takes All Night”, “Triptych”, or even “Casanova”, there are multiple styles that coincide within each other to create the overarching grasp of Roxy Music. With Country Life, the four different listed tracks are all entirely different concepts and styles that create this fluctuation within the tone of Country Life. It relies heavily on moving the listener through these varying stages while keeping a consistent theme and nature to the background.
Roxy Music has these moments of grand bravado that feel as elaborate as they did when released back in 1974. The way the instruments are controlled and the way that there is this somehow, relaxed method behind the very forward style is unbelievable. It is impossible to pinpoint one section of Roxy Music that works here because it simply all works in unison. Without Country Life, there would be little to no explanation on how some of the more inspiring records of yesteryear were made. Country Life makes it possible to have the fireworks display and showcase the little intricacies of the rock ‘n roll icons.