Up there with "Love Is the Drug," the deeply discoid "Dance Away" would represent Roxy Music's biggest U.K. hit until a cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" took them to number one in 1981. It also made number 44 in the U.S., with oldies radio making it seem even bigger.
A definite highlight of Roxy's Manifesto comeback, the song was originally written for Ferry's own The Bride Stripped Bare album -- that set, too, nodded toward the then-prevalent disco scene, and the presence on Manifesto of several top American session men suggests that Roxy's treatment of the song wasn't too far removed from Ferry's own original intentions.
In common with then-standard practice, "Dance Away" was radically extended for a 12" mix -- in truth, the extra couple of minutes are largely consumed by a protracted drum beat break in the middle, a bonus which made a lot more sense on the dancefloor than anywhere else on earth. For most listeners, the song's most potent hook fell somewhat earlier in the performance, as the lovelorn, star-crossed Ferry sighs sadly, "you're dressed to kill and guess who's dying?" People simply don't write lines like that any more.