Sea Breezes

Album: Roxy Music (1972)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Sea Breezes" is Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry's melodramatic ode to lost love. Despite its title, "Sea Breezes" doesn't include any lyrical references to the sea, with Ferry instead focusing on his lofty heartache:

    We've been running round in our present state
    Hoping help will come from above
    But even angels there make the same mistakes in love
    In love, in love
  • Roxy Music's self-titled debut album is an innovative mix of diverse strands, including '50s rock and space-age electronics. Ferry recalled to The Guardian in a January 2018 interview:

    "Thinking about the songs, some of them are collage-like, with different sounds and moods within them – they will change abruptly into something else. For instance, 'Sea Breezes' is a slow song, and suddenly moves into this angular, quite opposite mood. I found that interesting, and this band was perfect for that; they were game for anything. We were constantly fiddling around, changing things. I was still trying to find my voice. I [now] think sometimes I'm singing too high, or I should have had another go at that."
  • This song opens to the sound of crashing sea waves. According to Ferry, Brian Eno made this sound on his VCS 3 synthesizer. He told Melody Maker: "It's the first thing anyone does when they get a synthesizer, make the sound of waves."
  • "Sea Breezes" features a prominent oboe line by Roxy Music saxophonist Andy Mackay. In an interview with frieze, Ferry discussed working alongside Mackay on the composition:

    "You have to bear in mind that I had five other people in the band whose strengths I was trying to play to as well; in the same way that Duke Ellington always tried to write to the strengths of his band: he had a fantastic sax player in Johnny Hodges, he had Harry Carnie the baritone player. I thought, great, Andy Mackay can play oboe – and so I can get a sense of Europe, or 'proper' music into some of the songs. Something like 'Sea Breezes' has a very haunting oboe line and then suddenly the drums come crashing in with all those wild guitars. The thing about Roxy Music is that there was a larger than usual musical range in the group. We might not have been the best players in the world, but the palette I had to work from was quite extensive."
  • In 1974, Paul McCartney's younger brother, Mike McGear, recorded a cover of "Sea Breezes." It appears on McGear's sophomore album, McGear, as produced by McCartney and featuring backing tracks by Wings.

    The British goth band Siouxsie and the Banshees also recorded a version of this song for their covers album, Through the Looking Glass, in 1987. Siouxsie Sioux and bassist Steven Severin met at a Roxy Music concert in 1975, eventually naming themselves after Ferry's first band, The Banshees.
  • Ferry recorded a funkier version of this song for his third solo album, 1976's Let's Stick Together. He also recorded new renditions of Roxy Music cuts "2HB," "Chance Meeting," and "Re-Make/Re-Model."

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