Built around the R&B-inflected lead single “Love is the Drug,” 1975’s Siren saw Roxy Music following the lead of David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and other former glam stars by augmenting their hard-driving sound with a healthy dose of silky American R&B. “Love is the Drug” provided Roxy Music with a major stateside hit just as New York was succumbing to the glamour of the nascent disco movement. Always the canny trend watcher, Bryan Ferry wrote a set of songs for Siren that were driven by the steady beat of the American club scene. This doesn’t mean that Ferry entirely abandoned his role as glam tastemaker: the disco-baiting excursions of “Love is the Drug” and “Both Ends Burning” are offset by the comforting presence of three-chord burners like “Whirlwind” and classic Roxy ballads like “She Sells.” Ferry is a consummate showman and plays the role of suave continental debauchee to the hilt, injecting campy melodrama into his every vocal quaver and crooned crescendo.

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