Love Is The Drug: How Roxy Music's Hit Song Became a Classic
Roxy Music was one of the most influential and innovative bands of the 1970s, blending glam rock, art pop, and avant-garde elements into their distinctive sound. Their 1975 single \"Love Is The Drug\" was a breakthrough hit that catapulted them to international fame and established their legacy as pioneers of modern music.
In this article, we will explore the history and meaning of \"Love Is The Drug\", how it was recorded and produced, and why it remains a timeless classic that still resonates with listeners today.
The History and Meaning of \"Love Is The Drug\"
\"Love Is The Drug\" was written by Roxy Music's lead singer Bryan Ferry and bassist John Gustafson, who joined the band in 1974. The song was inspired by Ferry's turbulent relationship with model Jerry Hall, who later left him for Mick Jagger. Ferry said that the song was about \"the idea of love as an addiction, as something that you can't get enough of, but also something that can destroy you\".
The song also reflected Roxy Music's fascination with American culture, especially the glamour and decadence of Hollywood and Las Vegas. Ferry said that he wanted to create a \"cinematic\" song that evoked the atmosphere of a film noir or a spy thriller. He used imagery such as \"the big wheel\", \"the roulette wheel\", \"the big casino\", and \"the big time\" to suggest the thrill and danger of love as a gamble.
\"Love Is The Drug\" was also influenced by the disco craze that was sweeping the world in the mid-1970s. Ferry said that he wanted to make a danceable song that could appeal to a wider audience than their previous experimental albums. He said that he was inspired by the rhythm and groove of songs like \"Rock Your Baby\" by George McCrae and \"The Hustle\" by Van McCoy.
How \"Love Is The Drug\" Was Recorded and Produced
\"Love Is The Drug\" was recorded at AIR Studios in London in July 1975, with Chris Thomas as the producer. Thomas had worked with Roxy Music on their previous album Country Life, and he helped them achieve a more polished and accessible sound. He said that he wanted to make \"Love Is The Drug\" sound like a \"hit single\", with a catchy hook and a strong chorus.
The song featured Roxy Music's classic lineup of Ferry on vocals and keyboards, Gustafson on bass, Andy Mackay on saxophone and oboe, Phil Manzanera on guitar, Paul Thompson on drums, and Eddie Jobson on violin and synthesizer. The song also featured some guest musicians, such as Ray Cooper on percussion, Morris Pert on timpani, and Chris Mercer on tenor saxophone.
The song was built around Gustafson's funky bass riff, which he came up with during a jam session. Ferry added some piano chords and lyrics, while Manzanera added some guitar licks and effects. Mackay played a prominent saxophone solo in the middle of the song, while Jobson added some atmospheric synth sounds. Thomas mixed the song with a lot of reverb and compression, giving it a spacious and dynamic feel.
Why \"Love Is The Drug\" Is a Timeless Classic
\"Love Is The Drug\" was released as the lead single from Roxy Music's fifth album Siren in September 1975. It became their first top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number two, and their first top 40 hit in the US, peaking at number 30. It also charted well in other countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
\"Love Is The Drug\" was praised by critics and fans alike for its catchy melody, witty lyrics, groovy rhythm, and stylish production. It showcased Roxy Music's versatility and creativity as a band that could combine different genres and influences into their own unique sound. It also demonstrated their ability to adapt to changing musical trends and tastes without compromising their artistic vision.
\"Love Is The Drug\" has been covered by many artists over the years, such as Grace Jones, Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones, Bryan Adams, Divinyls, Lisa Stansfield, The Soup Dragons, Liz Phair 0efd9a6b88