Roxy Music had an international reputation from their earliest days, founded on the success and acclaim for their superior art-rock in their native Britain. From as early as their self-titled debut album of 1972, they were touring not just in the UK but in America.
As subsequent records enhanced their impact, the band played all over Europe, then further into North America and Australia. But only one of their albums earned sales certification in the US. On 2 December 1992, Avalon went platinum there — fully a decade after it was released.
Listen to Avalon right now.
Roxy first made the top 40 of the Billboard 200 with 1975’s Country Life, which reached No. 37. They wouldn’t do that again until Manifesto in 1979, which, although it’s generally regarded as one of their lesser releases in the UK, became their highest-charting US record, at No. 23.
1982’s Avalon turned out to be the group’s last studio album, although as we know, they reconvened in later years for highly successful tours. Its smooth adult sound was a long way from Roxy’s edgy origins, but the superior production values of songs like ‘More Than This,’ ‘Take A Chance On Me’ and the title track were hugely popular. It gave them their biggest-ever impact, spending three weeks at No. 1 in the UK and topping the charts in Australia and Canada.
In the States, the album peaked at No. 53, but had the longest run of any of their albums there, spending 27 weeks on the Billboard chart. Upon the release of Avalon, Roxy focused on the UK and Europe for live work, but in April and May 1983, they toured North America, in an eight-piece line-up, which proved to be the group’s last activity as an active recording unit. The group would go their separate ways, but the album would have a remarkable afterlife.
Avalon went on to give Roxy Music their first gold album in the US in December 1986, four and a half years after it was released. But the record continued to sell even after that, and finally won its platinum certification from the RIAA for one million US shipments, ten and a half years after it came out.
The super deluxe edition of Roxy Music’s seminal, self-titled 1972 debut can be bought here.
Follow the Roxy Music Complete playlist.