Roxy Music continued their excellent sequence of 1970’s albums with their fourth album, Country Life. It’s a continuation of the lush, sophisticated sound of Stranded, although the group are gradually becoming less experimental and there are no long multi-part tracks on the album. But Country Life is Roxy Music’s most diverse album, taking in country influences (‘Prairie Rose’), psychedelia (‘Out Of The Blue’), a funk groove (‘Casanova’), a German pub song (‘Bittersweet’), and most bizarrely a medieval styled number about the crucifixion of Jesus (‘Triptych’).
The best song though, is the six minute opener ‘The Thrill of It All’, with a lush and vibrant arrangement, with Phil Manzanera’s guitar shredding, Eddie Jobson’s violin, and Andy Mackay’s saxophone all vying for attention. When Country Life was released nobody really noticed the music, because of the controversial cover artwork; the original American release removed the two semi-naked women from the cover, leaving some grass and trees.
Country Life is the last stand of the glam-rock Roxy Music; on their next album, 1975’s Siren, they would explore dance beats, before returning with a more stripped back sound in their second phase.