We are temporarily only able to ship Faber Shop orders to addresses in the UK.
‘Re-make/Re-model’ tells the extraordinary and largely unknown story of the individuals and circumstances that would lead over a period of almost twenty years to the formation of Roxy Music – a group in which art, fashion and music would combine to create in the words of its inventor, Bryan Ferry, “above all, a state of mind”.
Written with the assistance, for the first time, of all of those involved, including Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera; the fashion designer Antony Price, the founding guru of Pop art, and Bryan Ferry’s tutor, Richard Hamilton, and many more, ‘Re-make/Re-model’ is also the account of how Pop art, the avant garde underground of the 1960s, and the heady slipstream of London in the Sixties was transformed into the fashion cults of revivalism, nostalgia and pop futurism in the early 1970s.
A natural writer and resourceful researcher - the principal interviews are all original - Bracewell explicates Roxy's 'constellation of ideas' with panache ... a social and intellectual history. As such, bravo.
Re-make/Re-model tells the story of how Ferry and company came to that iconic pass; then it stops dead, before their album Roxy Music is even released. Where the average rock-band biography describes a dismally familiar story arc - camaraderie and ambition giving way to anomie and sloth, diminishing narrative returns matching plummeting creative pros pects - Bracewell has brilliantly sidestepped all of that in favour of a prehistory of the whole Roxy milieu and a study, in a sense, of the creative potential of the scene as such. Extensive interviews with the principals and their numerous associates serve to reconstruct (amazingly, for any book about pop music) the collective invention of the Roxy moment. What emerges - slowly, forensically, stylishly - is nothing less than a portrait of cultural possibilities in Britain during the postwar period. Dutiful mention of the subject's attendance at art school has become a cliché of the 1960s/ 1970s rock-star profile (John Lennon, Pete Townshend) without the writer, generally, having much of a clue what transpired at said institution. Bracewell, however, knows precisely what went on, and what it meant: his account of the creative and intellectual archipelago of British art schools in the 1960s would be fascinating enough, without the added allure of Ferry, Brian Eno and Andy Mackay ... Re-make/Re-model is certainly a marvellous book about art, music, ideas and Englishness. But Bracewell's particular, uncanny achievement is to have brought his subjects to the brink of a future that, however familiar, seems suddenly unpredictable once more. As Simon Puxley's sleeve note asked in 1972: what's the date again?
Michael Bracewell's admirable, thorough, calm books is a 400page attempt to find out, precisely and in astonishing detail, what the tributaries were that fed into Roxy and made both group and album possible...what he reveals is not just the story of this album and these people - it's also, in its unlikely way, the story of these isles.
Roxy Music was pop as pure image - glamorous, flippant, artificial, arty - and Bracewell's intelligent, if overtly serious , account does it justice.
Re-make/Re-model ultimately provides a mirror-image of its subjects in the truest sense, where the reflection is perfect.
This is less a conventional band biography than a prehistory, ending with the epochal arrival of Roxy Music's debut album.What seems a perverse decision is, in fact, an ingenious one. In place of the usual grind through tour dates, record releases and jetsetting, we get an evocative social history of the rich cultural melange which shaped the band members and inspired the music. Re-make/Re-model is an impressive feat of research, including as it does fresh interviews with all the key players - and prose. It's all any traveller in Roxy's world could want from a guidebook.
Browse a selection of books we think you might also like, with genre matches and a few wildcards thrown in.