I used to argue with my late friend Persephone Longueuiel (whose death was the subject of a Reader cover feature) about why smooth crooner Bryan Ferry is so often credited as one of the originators of glam rock, mainly from his time fronting Roxy Music. Other than their final album, that band wasn’t exactly a hit machine in the U.S. until they were on their last legs, unless you count the tongue-in-cheek single that spawned a million skeezy pickup lines, “Love is the Drug.” Persephone looked at Roxy more as the godfathers of the new romantics than the velvet goldminers, especially considering Ferry’s subsequent AM radio lounge act, while I factored in Roxy’s bubblegum production and peacock concert staging as squarely in the territory of ground zero glam. We finally decided that Roxy was neither glam nor new romantic, but rather “glamantic.”
Never was that manufactured adjective more accurate than on Roxy’s final album, 1982’s Avalon, which scored the band several smooth-as-glass hits in the title track, “More Than This,” and “Take a Chance On Me.” Now 75, Ferry is promoting his upcoming Avalon Tour as a celebration of that classic album which will also feature other tunes from the Roxy roster, as well as selections from his solo output, presumably including his recent sixteenth studio full-length, Bittersweet. After a lengthy overseas run, Bryan Ferry’s Avalon Tour arrives at Jacobs Music Center on August 27.