"Pyjamarama" was a non-album single hastily released to promote Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure, after the band had wrapped up back-to-back tours of the UK and US. The band's synth player, Brian Eno, was disappointed in the track, even after the single broke into the Top 10. "We should never have put it out as a single," he said in a 1973 interview. "We did it in a rush after our American tour. We were still musically disorientated at that time. 'Do The Strand' would have been far better, but we hadn't recorded it at that time. We will never rush a single like that again."
Eno left the band shortly after For Your Pleasure's release.
The song, Roxy frontman Bryan Ferry's first composition on the guitar, finds the sleep-deprived narrator longing to be close to his elusive lover. Ferry was dating French supermodel Amanda Lear, who appeared on the For Your Pleasure album cover as a femme fatale leading a black panther on a leash. Lear was an international sex symbol who socialized with artists and musicians, including surrealist painter Salvador Dali and Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, who allegedly wrote the band's song "Miss Amanda Jones" about her. (By the end of the decade, David Bowie would help launch her career as a best-selling disco singer.) Despite her notoriety, her background remained a mystery, which made her an ideal candidate for the song's enigmatic woman:
They say you have a secret life Made sacrifice your key to paradise
This was re-released as a single in 1977 to promote the band's Greatest Hits album and is included on the track list.
The title is never mentioned in the lyrics.
This partly inspired the name of the British girl group Bananarama.
This was one of the first Roxy Music songs produced by Chris Thomas, who had worked with the Beatles and Pink Floyd. John Anthony, who went on to produce Queen's self-titled album in 1973, is credited as co-producer.
If the title looks odd, you're probably from the US, where "pyjamas" is typically spelled "pajamas."