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 Bête 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.