John Lennon once quipped that glam was just rock’n’roll with lipstick. Glam historians tend to emphasise the lipstick at the expense of the rock’n’roll; they focus overly on the gender-bending rather than the genre-bending. In Roxy’s case, the attention paid to the group’s fashion world connections, pop art allegiances and other extra-musical credentials threatens to overshadow their achievements as a rock band. In truth, Eno’s feather boas, Bryan Ferry’s gaucho look of 1974… they haven’t aged that well. It’s hard to believe that wearing a white dinner jacket was ever a big deal. Even the celebrated covers of the first five albums, with their lingerie-clad models, look cheesy and chauvinist these days (apart from the still-edgy sleeve of For Your Pleasure, a perversely stylised shot of Amanda Lear walking a panther). The music, though, remains timeless in its weirdness and wildness.
Simon Reynolds on Roxy Music