Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #23 (A Drift)

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December 1, 2009 by admin

“Roxy Music’s ‘More Than This’ is a drift, a float. The sounds coming out of Ferry’s mouth, except for the chorus, when the whirlpool is stopped, when it’s centered, when he steps out as if to make a speech, are a golden smear.

“Four minutes and fifteen seconds long, the song begins to fade after two minutes and thirty-two seconds. You hear ‘More than this — nothing’ — and then Phil Manzanera, who has simply been counting off the rhythm behind Ferry, play his solo. It’s maybe eleven bent blues notes — there and gone in under three seconds. It is the most elegant and ephemeral distillation of the guitar solo, any guitar solo, imaginable, and it brings up a question. What is a guitar solo? What happens when the singer steps back and gives the song — its themes, its argument, its imagery, its story — to a musician?”
– Greil Marcus, EMP Karaoke (2004)

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