Chance Meeting

Album: Roxy Music (1972)
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Songfacts®:

  • Frontman Bryan Ferry has stated this song was inspired by Brief Encounter, the 1945 British romantic film written by Noël Coward, directed by David Lean, and starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Much like the film, "Chance Meeting" is about a couple of star-crossed lovers. Speaking about the song, Ferry told NME: "Some of my lyrics are pure throwaway, while others are of vital relevance. I think 'Chance Meeting' is of great social importance."
  • "Chance Meeting" is frequently punctuated by the harsh, grating guitar sounds of Phil Manzanera. Manzanera explained to NME how he ended up recording these parts: "On the album I got the chance to prepare some stuff beforehand on my Revox, but even then a lot of it was improvised on the spot. On 'Chance Meeting' they wanted me to play backward, or rather play forward while the tape went backward. When that failed dismally I tried feedback which meant playing so loud I couldn't hear Bryan singing, only the chord changes. Eno likes that a lot – randomness. Taping one track and then sticking another one over the top without listening to the first one. And with 'Chance Meeting' it was singularly appropriate."
  • Roxy Music subsequently sampled "Chance Meeting" on the title song of their sophomore album, 1973's For Your Pleasure. Clocking in at almost seven minutes, the experimental album closer also features a brief cameo by British actress Judi Dench reciting the lines: "You don't ask. You don't ask why."
  • In 1976, Bryan Ferry recorded his own eerie, haunting version of this song. Ferry also recorded new versions of Roxy Music cuts "Sea Breezes," "2HB," and "Re-Make/Re-Model" as part of his third solo album, Let's Stick Together.
  • This song features on Roxy Music's self-titled debut album, released on June 16, 1972. It didn't contain any singles but still managed to peak at #10 in the UK, helped in part by the non-album song "Virginia Plain," released a couple of months later.

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