No, neither one of the two women on the cover are Bryan Ferry's girlfriend at the time. But Ann Magnuson was unceremoniously booted from Facebook a few weeks ago for posting a parody photo of this album cover, which testifies to both the enduring potency of the image and the witlessness of the people running Facebook. Getting to the point, I think this may be my favorite of all the Roxy Music from their first period—I'd call it their classic epoch, but that '80s release is probably the one that's better known to the mainstream. So let's call the first handful of albums their European phase—after all, Bryan Ferry previously demonstrated he's happy to go ahead and belt it out in French when so inclined. Here he airs it out auf Deutsch (again, strictly as inclined). And as much as it thuds and crashes about like that legendary bull in that storied china shop, it never loses its ability for the subtle touch: "The Thrill of it All" entertains the possibility of sincerity, with big, wide, open arms. "Out of the Blue," all cascading shimmer, sinuously pulses and phases across its own surfaces like visible waves. "Bitter-Sweet" plays like a demented interpretation of The Blue Angel. "Triptych" even seems to have a notion of going baroque. And it's possible somebody has started to develop a sense of humor. From the cover shot to the straight-up blues of "If it Takes All Night" to the last song here, "Prairie Rose," a kind of Western ballad filtered through certain sectors of Brussels and incidentally one that both Talking Heads and Big Country obviously listened to closely, there's something a little funny about the whole thing.