Mojo (Publisher) (1/00, p.108) - "...brilliant baroque excess..."
Roxy Music: Bryan Ferry (vocals, keyboards); Phil Manzanera (guitar); Eddie Jobson (violin, keyboards, synthesizer); Andrew Mackay (oboe, saxophone); John Wetton (bass); Paul Thompson (drums).
Additional personnel: John Gustafson, Rick Wills, Sal Maida (bass); The Sirens (background vocals).
Engineers include: John Punter, Rhett Davies, Bill Pierce.
Recorded at the Apollo, Glasgow, Scotland in November 1973; The City Hall, Newcastle, England in November 1974; The Empire Pool, Wembley, England in October 1975.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using HDCD technology.
Assembled from three live shows three years apart, VIVA! ROXY MUSIC suffers a little from murky sound, but features uniformly inspired performances. Violinist Edwin Jobson gets his first real chances to shine on "Out of the Blue" (originally appearing on COUNTRY LIFE) and a ten and a half minute version of "If There is Something" (from ROXY MUSIC). "Pyjamarama," the band's second single, ups the funk groove of the original considerably, and to good effect. "Both Ends Burning" comes very close to outstripping the studio version, remaking the song in a faster and more furious mold.
The last two tracks, however, are simply stunning. For the first, a version of "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" that doubles the length of the original, the live production is perfect for the song's sparse desolation. Interestingly, Bryan Ferry's creepy, highly mannered vocal in this song was copied almost exactly a few years later by the vocalists of the Gothic rock movement. The last track, "Do the Strand," comes across as a frenzied locomotive accentuated by Andrew Mackay's saxophone. It also features the band performing brief excerpts of tango and waltz. Not many live albums are as essential as this.