Roxy Music was formed in 1971 by Bryan Ferry (Lead Vocals, Keyboards), Andy MacKay (Oboe, Saxaphone), Phil Manzanera (Guitar), and Paul Thompson (Drums, Percussion), and Brian Eno (Synthesizer, Electronic Treatments). In 1970, Bryan Ferry auditioned for lead singer for King Crimson, but leader Robert Fripp decided that Ferry would not fit the band's sound. He was still impressed by Ferry, so when Roxy Music began, King Crimson helped get them a record contract. Ferry put out advertisements for a keyboard player to work with him and bassist Graham Simpson (Roxy Music changed bassists frequently, and after Simpson quit, they would never have a permanent bassist), and MacKay responded, despite not being a keyboard player. He joined, and invited friend Brian Eno to join as a "Technical Adviser", as he could use a synthesizer, although Eno was a self-described non-musician. Their original guitarist was David O'List, but when O'List quit, they discovered that roadie Phil Manzanera, who had previously auditioned, would be a better guitarist than O'List would have been.
They released their self titled debut in 1972. It was an instant hit, reaching #10 in the UK charts. They soon released a non-LP single, "Virginia Plain", which reached #4 in the UK singles chart. In 1973, they released "For Your Pleasure". It was an even bigger hit than "Roxy Music", reaching #4 on the UK album charts, with a non-album single "Pyjamarama", reaching #10 on the UK singles charts. Soon after this, Eno left the band due to differences with Bryan Ferry. He would soon have an amazing solo career, and would produce albums by Devo, Talking Heads, U2, and, most recently, Coldplay (More on Eno later). To me, Roxy Music never really recovered. Although "Stranded" (1973), and "Country Life" (1974), were very good albums, they suffered from the loss of Eno's treatments. They finally recovered with "Siren" (1975), but afterwards broke up. They reunited in 1978 to record "Manifesto", but with some new members. It was not critically well-recieved. As Rolling Stone magazine put it, "Roxy Music has not gone disco. Roxy Music has not gone particularly anywhere else either." , and had similar thoughts for the following album, "Flesh + Blood", saying it was "Such a shockingly bad Roxy Music Record that it provokes a certain fascination". But, in 1982, they released "Avalon", which restored both their critical and commercial success. Sadly, they broke up once again afterwards, and would stay that way until 2001, when they reunited for a comeback tour (Albeit without Brian Eno). They have been touring ever since, and there have been rumours of a new album WITH Brian Eno, although Ferry says that it will be just another of his solo records, although he did confirm that Brian Eno does play on most of the tracks. Yay!