Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home

Phil Manzanera

The Music 1972-2008

Review by Gary Hill

Any time a compilation like this is released, fans will debate whether they like the choice of songs included or not. Typically no set will ever have every song a fan wants on it. And, different fans will want different songs. All in all, this set gives an intriguing look at the career of Phil Manzanera and the two CD set, by itself, would be worth having, but this doesn’t stop there. A DVD is also included and it has a documentary called “Revolution to Roxy” and several performance videos. All in all, it’s a great bonus and this is quite a cool set.  It should be noted that I reviewed the 801 songs previously on the album by that group, so (for the sake of consistency) I’ve used those reviews here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Amazona – Roxy Music

There’s a real rock and roll groove to this and it’s very much in keeping with a classic Roxy Music kind of sound. Still, there’s enough prog on show here to keep it interesting. The dramatic sort of mellower movement feels like a proggy David Bowie. It grows upwards from there in a style that keeps consistent with both a psychedelic Bowie and a progressive rock style. There’s a guitar solo section later in the piece. From there we get a smoking hot jam that combines sounds we’ve heard to this point with something not that far removed from Hawkwind.

Needles In a Camel's Eye – Brian Eno
A raw hard rocking number, this is very much in keeping with the sounds of Brian Eno, but it also wouldn’t be a big stretch to imagine Robert Calvert doing something like this.
Out of the Blue – Roxy Music
A mellower cut this has some Hawkwind built into it, but is still definitely Roxy Music. It powers out a bit more and is quite cool and very proggy. It works through a number of changes and turns quite funky later. Robert Calvert would be a valid comparison here, too. There’s a smoking hot jam further into the piece that has a lot of Hawkwind stylings to it, but still maintains a solid Roxy Music vibe.
Prairie Rose – Roxy Music
There’s definitely some punk along with progressive rock, David Bowie and Robert Calvert built into this tasty rocker.
Frontera – Phil Manzanera
There’s a cool prog meets space rock and Roxy Music elegance here. The lyrics are in Spanish and this is another extremely tasty number. There are some intriguing changes and alterations.
Diamond Head – Phil Manzanera
An instrumental, this is a tasty prog rock jam that’s quite cool. There are some rather symphonic elements built into the mix.
Miss Shapiro – 801
Starting as a hard rocker, this shifts out to a bouncy sort of weird vocal based section. This definitely has some Roxy Music built into it.
East of Asteroid – 801
Here’s a killer instrumental with fusion, space rock and jam band influences all wandering throughout. It’s a cool tune. There’s some killer bass work late in this piece.
Manifesto – Roxy Music
This is a cool number with a lot of intriguing musical concepts and layers. It’s got quite a bit of fusion and some world music built into it. At times this isn’t that far removed from some of the more melodic King Crimson. It’s got an extended instrumental introduction. There’s a noisy bit of space to end this.
Over You – Roxy Music
Combining 1980s dance rock sounds with other elements, this is catchy and less prog-like than much of the rest of the material here. There is a more progressive rock section mid-track, though. A saxophone brings some jazzy elements to an instrumental movement later in the piece.
Running Wild – Roxy Music
A fairly straightahead number, this is a tasty cut with a lot of classic rock and retro stylings built into it.
Criollo – Phil Manzanera
There is a definite Latin texture to this proggy mellow tune. It’s tasty and quite intriguing. It builds up into quite a potent piece with lots of instrumental soloing. It’s purely instrumental and one of the more diverse pieces on show here.
Take a Chance with Me – Roxy Music
Less proggy than some of the other music here, this is more of an AOR number. It’s tasty, but not all that spectacular. There’s even a bit of a rockabilly edge to this, but think modern rockabilly rather than the old school stuff. There are some cool jams as the track continues, turning more towards progressive rock, but it never really crosses into that zone.
Big Dome – Phil Manzanera
This feels a bit like Kraftwerk at times with its robotic, electronic rhythm section. As it builds, Hawkwind type sounds are merged into this mix and it also gets rather tribal at times. There are jazzy sounds as the cut continues with some cool samples coming in over the top.
Disc 2
La Vida Moderna – Vozero
This begins mellow and turns out to a harder rocking exploration that has its roots in Latin pop mixed with electronica and progressive rock. There are a number of changes and alterations throughout the piece and it’s got some tasty textures. All the words are sung in Spanish.
Mystic Moon – Vozero
In some ways this is related to the next piece, as you’d imagine, but it’s also got an almost Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe sound built into it. The lyrics to this one are in English. There’s a cool drop back to almost world music sounds mixed with electronica and a different vocal movement comes in after that. There are some jazzy bits later, too.
Hymn – Vozera
A mellow piece, this is balladic, electronic and catchy. It’s also proggy, but not overly so.
Green Spikey Cactus – 6PM
There’s a killer techno meets prog groove this. Harmonica brings some blues, but the vocals really seem a lot like Robert Calvert. There’s a catchy chorus, too.
Broken Dreams – 6PM
A spacey, rocking sort of number, this has some definite links to Pink Floyd and also Porcupine Tree. It’s a tasty number that’s one of my favorites on the set. There’s some extremely cool guitar soloing present on this piece.
6PM – 6PM
The guitar really soars all over this thing and the music behind it covers a lot of territory. It’s very definitely symphonic and progressive rock in nature, but there are other things going on, too. It’s another of the highlights here. It’s certainly one of the most dynamic and gets quite intense at times. While there are some spoken (non-English) words, other than those it’s an instrumental.
Love Devotion – 6PM
This has a definite folk rock and early psychedelic air to it. In many ways it reminds one of early Pink Floyd. It’s catchy and fun, and quite cool.
Wish You Well – 6PM
Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd are both appropriate references here. This is a killer tune that works through a lot of territory and even has some great jazz moments in the mix. It another standout.
Technicolor UFO – 50 Minutes Later
This number really has a lot in common with Hawkwind. It makes me think of a cross between Roxy Music and Hawkwind in a lot of ways.
Desaparecido – 50 Minutes Later
The early portions of this song are built on a folk meets jazz and space rock kind of sound that’s a bit odd, but also quite tasty. The chorus is powered out into something closer to a soaring modern progressive rock. It’s a wonderful piece of music that works very well. Some European café-styled sounds show up here and there on this.
Enotonik Bible Black – 50 Minutes Later
The arrangement on this is quite stripped down, with empty space seeming as important as the filled space. There are classical elements, though, and jazz and other sounds here. It works through a number of intriguing movements with great textures. It’s one of the most unusual, and coolest, pieces here. It turns out later into a noisy sort of jam that’s quite tasty. It turns quite Crimson-like, but then dissolves out into Hawkwind-like space. At over ten and a half minutes in length, this is the longest piece of the whole set.
Return to the
Phil Manzanera Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./