Roxy Music – Do the Strand (1973)

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“Do the Strand” is the first song from Roxy Music’s second album, For Your Pleasure. In contrast to the songs from Roxy Music’s eponymous debut album, this song starts suddenly without any instrumental fanfare. The song tries to convince the listener to do “The Strand”, which refers to the advert for Strand cigarettes and its moody advert. The lyrics are, typically for early Roxy Music lyrics, intellectual references, including The Sphinx, Mona Lisa, Lolita and Guernica.
The song gives no instructions on how The Strand should be danced, but the advert was famous for presenting a lonesome image, and it is likely that the band had no specific dance in mind. Simon Puxley wrote in 1973 that the dance was “indefinable,” and best thought of as “where it’s at, whatever turns you on. The buzz, the action, the centre, the quintessence, the energy.” Incidentally, there was a dance from the 50s known as The Strand and referenced in Maureen Gray’s song “Dancing the Strand,” though this is most likely coincidental. “Do the Strand” was released as a single in 1973 in some countries (but not the UK). It was released as a single in the UK in 1978 to promote Roxy Music’s Greatest Hits album, but it failed to chart. Despite this, the song remains one of the most popular amongst Roxy Music fans, especially at live concerts.

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