“Siren” by Roxy Music (1975)
Release Date: October 24, 1975
Produced by Chris Thomas
Chart Positions: #50 (US), #4 (UK), #8 (Sweden), #9 (Netherlands), #15 (Norway), #3 (New Zealand)
Certifications: Gold (UK)
Singles: “Love Is The Drug” (#30 US, #2 UK, #3 Canada, #9 Netherlands, #15 Belgium, #18 Australia, #24 New Zealand, #39 Germany
“Both Ends Burning” (#25 UK)
“Siren” is the fifth studio album by English art-rock band “Roxy Music. This is the album that put Roxy Music on radio stations across the US due to their hit “Love Is The Drug.”
“Siren” was well received by critics upon it’s release with many of them putting it amongst the best of the year. In the 1975 Pazz and Jop critics poll it was voted the 13th best album of 1975. Cream Magazine music critic, Dave Marsh, rated the album as the 4th best album of 1975 in his Book of Rock Lists. The album was ranked number 371 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The cover features band member Bryan Ferry's then-girlfriend, model Jerry Hall, on rocks near South Stack, Anglesey. Graham Hughes, working during August 1975, took the cover photo directly below the central span of the bridge on a south-side slope. He worked from sketches produced by Antony Price; with photography featuring Hall striking various poses. The idea for the location was Bryan Ferry's, after he saw a TV documentary about lava flows and rock formations in Anglesey, in which South Stack was heavily featured. Hall' recalled in her autobiography, Tall Tales that the blue body paint she wore to look like a mythical siren would not wash off. According to the model, Ferry took her back to his house to help her remove the paint. Jerry Hall left Ferry in 1978 to date Mick Jagger.
Producer Chris Thomas has worked with the most popular British musicians including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend and a host of others. Thomas produced a total of five albums for Roxy Music including “For Your Pleasure,” “Stranded,” “Country Life,” “Siren” and the live album “Viva.” Thomas met Bryan Ferry during recording sessions for Procol Harum.
The first single “Love Is The Drug” originated as an Andy Mackay instrumental which later Bryan Ferry added lyrics. The song was an instant hit in the UK where it zoomed up the charts to #2. It was kept off the top of the UK charts by a re-release of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” “Love Is The Drug” was their first song to bring attention to Roxy Music in the US where it received a good amount of airplay on progressive rock radio stations and eventually jumping over to Top 40 radio. The song peaked at #30 on the US Billboard chart.
"Love Is The Drug"
The second single “Both Ends Burning” was not nearly as successful but did manage to squeak out a #25 peak position on the UK singles chart. Singer Bryan Ferry recalled to The Mail on Sunday June 28, 2009: "We were on a punishing world tour schedule in 1975 and there were a lot of late nights to get the Siren album finished on time. I guess this was the inspiration behind this song.
Other album highlights include the Bryan Ferry/Phil Manzanera written “Whirlwind” and the Bryan Ferry/Eddie Jobson written “She Sells,” the latter a quirky song that is reminiscent of earlier classic such as “Do The Strand” and “Editions of You.”