Tuesday, 10 July 2007

The Explorers

When Roxy Music called it a day after the brilliant Avalon album Bryan Ferry went on to release the stylistically similar but nowhere near as inspired Boys and Girls, followed by BĂȘte Noir and… some others. To be honest I didn’t really keep track of his career. For all the slick production and good session musicians, or should that be because of them, Ferry’s solo albums always lack something for me; probably the group dynamic. For this reason I have not bothered buying Dylanesque (that old Ferry standby – a covers album) but will certainly buy the next Roxy Music album if and when there is one. As with all great bands the whole is better than the sum of the parts.

Anyway, back to the point of this post: At around the same time as the Boys and Girls album Phil Manzanera and Andy MacKay teamed up with singer James Wraith and released four singles and an album as The Explorers. I remember reading an interview where they said they didn’t want to sound like Roxy Music with a different singer. Almost inevitably, they didn’t entirely succeed but I don’t mean that as a criticism. Let’s be honest, their natural fanbase was always going to be ex-Roxy fans.

mp3: The Explorers – Lorelei
Excellent debut single – sounds Roxy-ish in all the right ways but has it’s own identity.

mp3: The Explorers – Two Worlds Apart
3rd single – more like late period Roxy music and James Wraith seems to be doing a Bryan Ferry impression but again I must stress I don’t mean this as a criticism.


Davy H said...

Wow. Never heard of or heard this stuff, so will have to give it a listen.

Like you I truly love 'Avalon' - unhip as it is in comparison to the early stuff like 'For Your Pleasure' and 'Country Life' and 'Stranded'. God, when Roxy were good they were good...

Mick said...


Of course you’re right, the groundbreaking early albums will always be more hip and I love them too but Flesh and Blood and Avalon are two of the most played records in my collection. I think it’s an age thing. My next post will feature a couple of old songs to show just how good they were when they were good.

I forgot to mention in this post that I only got around to converting Lorelei yesterday and I haven’t been able to stop playing it since. Easily the best of the two.

Anonymous said...

Not bad actually but if they were trying not to sound like Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, they didn't do too good of a job. Thanks for this. Any chance you have the other 2 tracks?

emmett said...

Thanks for these, Mick. I just found out about this band and am doing research.

You know, in certain circles (e.g. dance-Balearic beardos circa 2008), Avalon is just as hip as the early Roxy. Indeed, more so.

mik said...

.. saw em live, camden palace, awesome; ran out bought album... love to get a copy... anyone?

Gaby said...

Could I get a reupload for Lorelei? Thanks so much.