Siren (Roxy Music album)

Siren is the fifth album by the English rock band Roxy Music, released in 1975 (see 1975 in music).

Studio album by
Released24 October 1975 (1975-10-24)
RecordedJune 1975 (1975-06)–September 1975 (1975-09)
StudioAIR Studios, London
Atco (US)[1]
ProducerChris Thomas
Roxy Music chronology
Country Life
Singles from Siren
  1. "Love Is the Drug"
    Released: September 1975[1]
  2. "Both Ends Burning"
    Released: December 1975[1]

The album was ranked number 371 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and at 374 in a 2012 revised list.[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
Q     [5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[7]
The Village VoiceA−[8]

Siren is one of Roxy Music's most critically acclaimed albums. In a contemporary review of the album for Rolling Stone, critic Simon Frith found that "Ferry's imagery is focused... and there's less synthesized clutter, fewer sound effects, more straight solo trading."[9] In a glowing review, Melody Maker wrote: "It's a superb album, striking the listener immediately with a force and invention reserved only for the most special musical experiences... There's a crispness and vitality in Chris Thomas' production which is reminiscent of the sense of adventure and cavalier spirit which marked their early recordings, an impetuosity which has lately been absent from their work."[10] Siren placed at number 13 on The Village Voice's 1975 Pazz and Jop critics' poll.[11] The Village Voice's Robert Christgau found it to be a "Good album—a lot of fast ones and a great hook",[8] later placing it at number 11 on his Dean's List of the best albums of the year.[12] Critic Dave Marsh rated it the year's fourth best album in his Book of Rock Lists.[13]

The 1983 edition of The Rolling Stone Album Guide states: "Siren's title is appropriate; it has that sort of effect on the listener. It is Roxy's masterpiece, calling the listener back by virtue of its finely honed instrumental attack and compelling lyrical attitude."[14] Rob Sheffield, in 2004's The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, refers to Siren as "the first Roxy Music album without any failed moments".[6] In the Spin Alternative Record Guide, the album is cited as "Roxy Music's masterpiece" and placed at number 46 on a list of the "Top 100 Alternative Albums."[7] In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine notes that the band had embraced "dance and unabashed pop" at the expense of tempering their distinctive "artier inclinations", but nonetheless found Siren "captivating", noting "a thematic consistency that works in its favor, and helps elevate its best songs... as well as the album itself into the realm of classics."[3] Ira Robbins for Trouser Press, on the other hand, found the album "disappointingly dull" and added that despite featuring "some great tracks... an overabundance of forgettable numbers substantially diminishes its value".[15] Critic Simon Reynolds felt that on Country Life and Siren, "the actual fabric of Roxy's sound gets steadily more conventional and tame."[16]

Rolling Stone ranked Siren at number 374 on its 2012 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, describing it as a "delicious LP of lounge-lizard ennui".[2] Vibe included it in its list of the 100 essential albums of the 20th century and wrote that Bryan Ferry "blends the esoteric murk of early Roxy, with the aching, ardently romantic tone that defines their later work".[17] Critic Greil Marcus included it in his appendix of Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, with the accompanying write-up: "Don Juan Faces Life: With the band hitting the limits of the music that grew from Rubber Soul, Ferry dismantled his lounge lizard act bit by bit, until all that was left was what his entire career had meant to hide: 'an average man,' but one with enough emotion to record for Motown."[18]

Cover artEdit

The cover features bandmember 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.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Bryan Ferry except as noted. (1975 E.G. Music Ltd.)

Side one
1."Love Is the Drug" (Ferry, Andy Mackay)4:11
2."End of the Line"5:14
3."Sentimental Fool" (Ferry, Mackay)6:14
4."Whirlwind" (Ferry, Phil Manzanera)3:38
Side two
1."She Sells" (Ferry, Eddie Jobson)3:39
2."Could It Happen to Me?"3:36
3."Both Ends Burning"5:16
4."Nightingale" (Ferry, Manzanera)4:11
5."Just Another High"6:31

On cassette tapes (e.g. Island ZC19344) "Whirlwind" and "Just Another High" (the last track of each side) are swapped, presumably for optimum tape length.


Production personnel
  • Steve Nye – recording engineer
  • Ross Cullum – assistant engineer
  • Michael Sellers – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – remastering engineer (1999)



Year Single Chart Peak
1975 "Love Is the Drug" UK Singles Chart 2
"Both Ends Burning" UK Singles Chart 25
1976 "Love Is the Drug" Billboard Pop Singles 30[19]


  1. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 930. ISBN 1-84195-860-3.
  2. ^ a b Moss, Marissa. "Roxy Music, 'Siren' - 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Siren – Roxy Music". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  4. ^ Ewing, Tom (13 August 2012). "Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Records 1972–1982". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Roxy Music: Siren". Q (156): 122–23. September 1999.
  6. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Roxy Music". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 705–06. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ a b Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Roxy Music". Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 337. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (22 December 1975). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  9. ^ Frith, Simon (1 January 1976). "Siren". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Roxy Music - Articles, Interviews and Reviews - on". 5 October 1975. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Pazz & Jop 1975: Critics Poll". Robert Christgau. 29 December 1975. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  12. ^ "CG: roxy music". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  13. ^ " Marsh Albums 1972 to 1980". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  14. ^ Marsh, David. "Roxy Music". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. October 1983. pg. 437
  15. ^ "Roxy Music". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  16. ^ Simon Reynolds (28 September 2008). "ReynoldsRetro". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  17. ^ Vibe - Internet Archive. Internet Archive. p. 164. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  18. ^ Marcus, Greil. Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island. 2007 p.290
  19. ^ "allmusic (((Siren > Charts & Records > Billboard Albums)))". Retrieved 17 May 2008.