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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music

(Credit: CTA)

Name  Phil Manzanera

Best known for  Off-the-wall guitarist in Roxy Music.

Current city  London, UK

Really want to be in On a beach on the island of Patmos in Greece.

Excited about  Release of my album AM.PM with Andy Mackay [released in October].

My current music collection has a lot of  First Aid Kit (country rock).

And a little bit of  Max Richter (modern classical music).

Preferred format  They are all different and all have their uses in terms of a listening experience. The most important thing is to have music about at all times from whichever medium possible!

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:


Elvis’ Golden Records, Elvis Presley

I was born in London in 1951 and wasn’t really aware of music except [for] Disney tunes and music from TV shows like Davy Crockett. In Havana, aged 7, my mother started teaching me Cuban/Latin songs, on a Spanish guitar, but when this Elvis album turned up I was excited by “Jailhouse Rock.” I still treasure the same copy. We left after the [Cuban] Revolution and moved briefly to Hawaii then Venezuela, where I begged my parents to send me to boarding school in London. I arrived in September 1960 and the music I heard changed my life over the next ten years.


Revolver, The Beatles 

Aged 11, the Beatles were even more exciting than Elvis and Revolver is my favorite album. The ultimate band – and we worshiped their every move, music, fashion, and fun. Me and Brian Eno put a band together in 1976 called 801 and we did a terrific live version of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which we called “TNK.” Check it out!


Are You Experienced, The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Original technique combined with groove, image and matching voice. I saw Hendrix on a BBC Television show playing “Hey Joe” live and then at the Saville Theatre in London, where the Beatles watched from a box, as he played a version of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” only released that week. It was amazing. It made me delirious with more excitement! 


The Soft Machine, Soft Machine

I met two pop stars when I was 16, Robert Wyatt and David Gilmour, they were from the coolest bands in London in 1967, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine. Both bands were very experimental but also combined a kinda of pop music with great image. I was now one degree of separation from being a rock musician.


The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie

Brilliant songs, attitude, image, and great band. Eventually I joined a band called Roxy Music and we supported [Bowie] at a pub in Croydon, South London. Both this album and our first album were released on the same day June 6, 1972. He asked us to be his support act and, as they say, the rest is history. That was 50 years ago. Long live rock ‘n roll! 

Phil Manzanera’s memoir, ‘Revolución to Roxy,’ will be released in March. Click here to pre-order.