Avalon

Album: Avalon (1982)
Charted: 13
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was the second single and title track of British rock band Roxy Music's eighth (and, to date, final) studio album.
  • The song features Yannick Etienne. The Haitian singer later contributed backing vocals on Roxy singer Bryan Ferry's 1985 solo album, Boys and Girls. Ferry recalled to The Mail on Sunday June 28, 2009: "I was in a studio in New York when I heard the most haunting voice coming down the corridor. It was Yanick Etienne, a singer from Haiti, who was doing a demo next door. I asked her to sing on our record, which she did in one take, and a piece of recording history was made."
  • UK dance act M People covered this on their 1997 album Fresco.
  • That's Bryan Ferry's girlfriend (and soon to be wife) Lucy Birley, formerly known as Lucy Helmore, on the Avalon album cover. She is wearing a medieval helmet with a falcon perched on her gloved hand, evoking King Arthur's last journey to the mysterious land of Avalon. The model and socialite was married to Ferry from 1982 until 2003 and they had four children together: Otis, Isaac, Tara and Merlin. She remarried in 2006 to Robin Birley, the son of Lady Annabel Goldsmith, and died on July 23, 2018 aged 58.
  • Avalon was the mythical island of Arthurian legend where King Arthur's sword, Excalibur, was forged. It was also his final resting place after he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann.

    "Avalon is the isle of enchantment," Brian Ferry told LA Weekly's Don Waller in November 1982. "A fantasy place, a very romantic place... I thought this was the most romantic, dream-like album I'd ever done. I started working on the songs for Avalon on the west coast of Ireland, on the very lake that's used in the photograph on the album cover."
  • Roxy Music played the song live on the June 17, 1982 episode of Top of the Pops with a masked Martha Ladly of Roxy Music support band Martha and the Muffins on backing vocals and The Cure founding member Michael Dempsey on bass.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")Songwriter Interviews

Inspired by his dear friend, "Seasons in the Sun" paid for Terry's boat, which led him away from music and into a battle with Canadian paper mills.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Francis Rossi of Status Quo

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Penny Ford of Snap!

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap! this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.