Like Britain's Old Grey Whistle Test and America's Don Kirshner Rock Concerts, German television's Musikladen was one of the key music shows of the early 1970s, host to a never-ending stream of guests who reveled in the program's open-minded approach to both musical and stylistic adventure. Roxy Music, whose visits to the program between 1972 and 1975 have long since become familiar from music video TV and documentary clips, were one of the most enterprising of them all.
For a full recounting of Roxy's Musikladen adventures, one needs turn to the bootleg of the same name. The six tracks here, however, are probably the most desirable of them all, concentrating on the years when a befeathered and beautiful Brian Eno served up a glittering foil to Bryan Ferry's besuited
suaveness, and Roxy truly seemed destined to take rock'n'roll in directions that even art rock had yet to discuss. The interplay during "Virginia Plain" is astounding, every member of the band striving to out-costume the other, while the screaming, streaming "Remake Remodel" recaptures - and reanimates - all the promise that Roxy represented when they first touched down.
Elsewhere, "Do The Strand" is worth watching simply for Ferry's hand- and body-movements, while the two later (post-Eno) inclusions, "Street Life" and "All I Want Is You", track the changing face of the Ferry image with icepick accuracy. Overcome the disappointment that Best Of Musikladen is over so quickly, and it ranks among the finest video archive releases around.