Iterations: Roxy Music – “More Than This”

Iterations: Roxy Music – “More Than This”
Roxy Music - "More Than This"

Which is more classic? This song, the first single from Roxy Music’s final album – 1982’s Avalon – or Bryan Ferry’s leather jacket tux look from the video. Honestly, it’s a coin toss but for our purposes let’s just say it comes up “song” and move on.

This “performance” on German television programme Na sowas! is totally lip-synched to the album version, but they’re so game it’s fascinating to watch. Interestingly, they didn’t seem to ever play it live when touring Avalon, so these mimed television appearances are all there seem to be.

They couldn’t not play it in their 21st century reunion shows, though, so there’s this clip from 2010 in Lisbon, Portugal. Note the key change to accommodate Bryan Ferry’s lower vocal range:

Ferry kept it in the set when he performed at Glastonbury in 2014, albeit in a slower, torchier form:

And an abbreviated version was included in their set at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2019:

Now to other interpretations. Blondie included it in a digital album of covers available to those who bought tickets to their 2006 “Road Rage” tour with The New Cars:

English post-punk outfit Electrelane included a version in their 2004 Peel Session, which was compiled on their 2006 release Singles, B-Sides and Live:

Like pretty much every song of the era, it was covered by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs on one of their their Under The Covers – look to Volume 3 for this one:

Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians released an acoustic version as a b-side of their 1989 EP Madonna Of The Wasps and thought enough of it to include it on their 1996 Greatest Hits compilation:

As the lead single from 1997’s Love Among The Ruins, this version was the first introduction to Mary Ramsay as Natalie Merchant’s replacement in 10,000 Maniacs. It’s… a choice.

And since it’s not possible to discuss this song without including this scene, here you go.

Which invites this postscript via IndieWire in a 2011 interview with Sofia Coppola:

iW: I love the scene when Bill Murray sings Roxy Music’s “More Than This” at the karaoke bar. How was that song selected?

Coppola: That’s funny, we were in the karaoke place and Bill and I were just talking about how we love that album [Roxy Music’s “Avalon”]. I said, “Will you sing it for me?” So he did, and I thought it was so sweet that we filmed it, and luckily we got permission to use it in the movie.

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Ride @ Town Hall, Oxford - 1990
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