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This was based on lead singer Bryan Ferry's 1964 painting of the same title (he was an art student at the time). It features a huge packet of Virginia Slims cigarettes with a picture of Andy Warhol superstar Baby Jane Holzer on the front, standing in the middle of a plain.
The guitar solo by Phil Manzanera was totally improvised at the recording of this song. He later claimed he played the first thing that came into his head.
This was Roxy Music's first hit in the UK. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 3)
Ferry recalled to The Mail on Sunday June 28, 2009: "We had just released the first Roxy Music album and our record company, Island, seemed as surprised as we were by its instant success. But there was no obvious single, so they asked me if I had any other songs knocking about. I did have an unfinished song called 'Virginia Plain', which we quickly recorded. I vividly remember our roadie driving up and down outside the studio as we tried to record the sound of his motorbike."
Like "Up the Junction
" by Squeeze and "Square One" by Coldplay, this is one of only a few songs where the title is never mentioned in the song except in the last line. (thanks, Colin - Elgin, United Kingdom)
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash
The Wishbone Ash guitarist on how touring with The Who inspired one of their most enduring songs, and why they moved to America at the peak of their powers.
On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.