Roxy Music

Love Is the Drug

Song Review by

A number two U.K. hit and Roxy Music's long-awaited U.S. breakthrough -- it reached number 30 in early 1976 -- "Love Is the Drug" followed in the footsteps of David Bowie's "Fame" by utterly Americanizing what had hitherto been a stubbornly British phenomenon. The difference was whereas Bowie needed to completely dismantle his own sound and attitude, Roxy simply strengthened theirs, creating a dramatic art funk fusion from ingredients that had been littering their arsenal for years.

Pulsating on an unselfconsciously visceral bass line, "Love Is the Drug" is, nevertheless, as far from the R&B basics of true funk as it is possible to stray without descending into a dance-free zone. Rather, it predicts the Teutonic rhythms which Bowie, again, would himself be employing on his own next album, Station to Station, and which would fuel much of the post-punk electro-funk of the late '70s.

Indeed, peel away the radio-pleasing buoyancy which is the song's immediate calling card and "Love Is the Drug" is as grimly unrelenting as any past Roxy attack -- as taut as it is tight, as sordid as it is sensual. Simple Minds, Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., and the Human League can all trace at least a soup├žon of their future funkiness to "Love Is the Drug," as can Roxy themselves. Regrouping following a three-year layoff, the group's Manifesto album was cut firmly from the same soul as "Love Is the Drug" and its own follow-up single, "Both Ends Burning."

A "Love Is the Drug" remix made number 33 in Britain during 1996.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Siren 1975 EMI Music Distribution 4:11
No Image 1976
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
No Image 1977 Atco 4:05
Atlantic Years (1973-1980) 1983 Atco
Street Life: 20 Great Hits 1986 Reprise 4:04
Sounds of the Seventies: 1976 - Take Two 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:00
In the Air Tonight: Virgin's Greatest Hits 1994
Various Artists
DA Music
Casino [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
MCA 4:07
Thrill of It All 1995 Virgin 4:06
Best Rock Anthems in the World...Ever! 1996
Various Artists
Virgin
Love Is the Drug 1996 Virgin 8:45
70's New Rock 1997
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 3:59
Fantastic 70's 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:04
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Disky Box] 2000
Various Artists
Disky 4:09
The Best Pub Jukebox in the World...Ever! 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 4:07
The Best of Roxy Music 2001 Virgin 4:08
Capital Gold Legends 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:59
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 4:09
Best of the 70's [EMI Gold] 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:09
Garage Days 2003
Original Soundtrack
Twentieh Century Fox 3:59
Almost There! CD2: A Collection Of The Greatest Original No. 2 Hits 2003
Various Artists
Disky 4:08
Almost There! A Collection of the Greatest Original Number 2 Hits [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Disky 4:08
Capital Gold Rock Legends 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:00
The Platinum Collection 2004 Virgin 4:09
Lost & Found in the Seventies 2004
Various Artists
Liberty / Capitol 4:09
The Collection [EMI] 2004 EMI 4:08
Full Throttle 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:08
I Love Music 1975-1979: No More Heroes 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:08
Complete Seventies 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:58
The Wedding Collection: Classical/Party/Love 2006
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertai / United Multimedia 0:00
Summer Nights [Daily Mail] 2006
Various Artists
Daily Mail 3:24
Rock Legends [EMI 1] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:00
Summer Sunshine Party 2007
Various Artists
EMI 3:57
No Image 2007
Various Artists
EMI
The Original 70s Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:08
Pure: Pop 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:09
Pure: 70s [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:09
LateNightTales 2008 Universal Distribution / LateNightTales 3:09
No Image 2008
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:05
Heat Party Anthems 2008
Various Artists
EMI 4:07
Top of the Pops: Love 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:57
Original Hits: 70s 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:07
Original Hits: Love 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:58
Credit to the Edit, Vol. 2 2009 Tirk 6:02
Atlantic Records: The Time Capsule 2009
Various Artists
Atlantic 4:08
101 Running Songs, Lap 2 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:57
Essential 2011 EMI / EMI Gold 4:07
Siren/Manifesto/Flesh and Blood/Avalon 2011 EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:11
The Complete Studio Recordings 2012 Virgin EMI 4:11
Absolute Rock Classics, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Eva 3:57
Classic Driving Songs
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:04
Driving Rock [Global TV 2 Disc]
Various Artists
Global TV
For Dad
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire / Parlophone / Warner Music 4:08
Party! [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music 4:09
Rock Legends: The High Road Universal Music
No Image EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:08