Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. Roxy MusicRoxy Music

Art school had never seemed more glamorous or seemed more exclusively inclusive. At the same time Bowie was inventing himself, Roxy entered the scene fully formed and seemingly more sophisticated than anything else on the planet, thereby upping everyone’s game. Bowie doubled his glitter and piano quotient overnight, Roxy twisted everything from the Velvets, to Elvis, to French chanson into a wistful, romantic tide of enveloping glamour. It was poised, playful, erotic, warm – and women loved it just as much as men. It was an adaptation of pop art and Warhol and Hamilton – a more imaginative retake of Playboy, Bond, Hollywood, Woolworths and Madison Avenue. It contained penthouses, rhododendrons, mother of pearl, sunsets, California poppies, mysteries and longings from cinema and half-forgotten eras – an F. Scott-Fitzgeraldian sadness of unlived glamour. It was built for council house consumption in rainy matter-of-fact northern cities, by aspirational dreamers all across a very grey Britain. Just what the doctor ordered – a joyful injection of careless glitter after all those dull, authentic guitar bands on the Old Grey Whistle Test. A generation played it, lived it, then used it to repurpose themselves into punks, new romantics, young fogeys and tragi-sophisticates of all kinds.

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