Avalon, released in 1982, is Roxy Music’s eighth (and, to date, last) studio album. Recorded in 1981–82 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, it is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band’s later work. It was a huge commercial success, hitting No. 1 in the UK (for 3 weeks) and staying on the album charts for over a year. Although it only climbed as high as No. 53, Avalon is notable as the band’s only platinum record in the US. The lush arrangements and synthesizer-drenched sound of Avalon later found its way onto Bryan Ferry’s solo album Boys and Girls (1985).
A single, “More Than This,” preceded the album and was a hit in Britain (#6), Australia (#6) and most European countries (#2 in Norway, No. 6 in Switzerland, No. 8 in France, No. 17 in Sweden, No. 24 in Germany & The Netherlands, No. 32 in Italy). Although a chart failure in the US, the song was popular on the college radio circuit. It is unusual for a pop song in that Ferry’s vocal ends at 2.45 minutes, leaving the last 1.45 minutes as a synth-driven instrumental. It has since become regarded as a classic Roxy Music song. In 1997, a cover of “More Than This” performed by 10,000 Maniacs with the lead singer Mary Ramsey became a US hit when it reached 25 on US Hot 100.
The title track was released as the album’s second single and also became a UK Top 20 hit. A third extract, “Take a Chance With Me,” with a remixed version of album track “The Main Thing” on the b-side, reached UK No. 26 and was Roxy Music’s last UK hit single. The extended remix of “The Main Thing” is only available on the 1995 box set, The Thrill of It All. New York DJ duo Rub N Tug released an official dance remix in early 2007.
The music video for the single “Avalon” was directed by Howard Guard in Mentmore Towers country house and features Sophie Ward.
All songs written by Bryan Ferry except as noted.
1. “More than This” 4:30
2. “The Space Between” 4:30
3. “Avalon” 4:16
4. “India” 1:44
5. “While My Heart Is Still Beating” (Ferry, Andy Mackay) 3:26
1. “The Main Thing” 3:54
2. “Take a Chance with Me” (Ferry, Phil Manzanera) 4:42
3. “To Turn You On” 4:16
4. “True to Life” 4:25
5. “Tara” (Ferry, Mackay) 1:43