Roxy Music, Heart Still Beating (Live)

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 05.18.11 in Reviews

Heart Still Beating (Live)

Roxy Music

Released in 1990, eight years after the final MK III-era European tour it documents, this isn't the best way to remember Roxy Music. Heart Still Beating captures the band at the height of its popularity just before its 1983 split. Whereas Viva! Roxy Music skimmed the surface of the group's raw mid-'70s live sound, this one plunges into the deep end of early-'80s arena rock.

The deep end of early-’80s arena rock

Given that then-recent Avalon was both the group's most relaxed and successful record, one would think that Bryan Ferry and company would've paced themselves accordingly. Instead, most songs are performed considerably faster than their studio incarnations, particularly Siren's "Both Ends Burning." Even "Avalon" itself is rushed.

Phil Manzanera's trademark tastefulness and ear for melody is nowhere to be heard on his jarringly generic instrumental showcase "Impossible Guitar." The other tracks not on Roxy's studio albums — a ramped-up rendition of "Can't Let Go" from Ferry's 1978 disc The Bride Stripped Bare, and extended versions of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane" and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" (a U.K. chart-topping hit when released as a superior 1981 single in the wake of Lennon's death) — had already appeared on 1983's four-song live EP The High Road.