Album: Country Life
. . .
Opening with a massive Phil Manzanera guitar fanfare that sounds like an entire village’s church bells ringing out in celebration, “All I Want Is You” is Roxy Music yet again in big-ass rock mode — every one of their early singles were bangers — and in fact, could almost be dismissed as being formulaic except they were still killing it by finding new variants on that formula.
And so, Manzanera’s massive guitar is almost instantly joined by Paul Thompson’s whacka-whacka-whacka-whacka on his snare drum and Bryan Ferry singing about a woman. Same as it ever was. Yet somehow different, too.
Somebody told me
Just the other day
That you’re leaving me
Well if you knew
How it hurt me so
Then you’d change your mind
Don’t want to hear
What’s going on
I don’t care
Don’t want to know
‘Cause all I want
This is of course, followed up by a part that isn’t quite as intense — Thompson lays off of the double timing, though Manzanera continues to make ugly guitar squawks, and you can actually hear either Eddie Jobson or Bryan Ferry on piano — where Ferry calls other girls “a bore” and then pulls out one of his all-time greatest come-ons.
Don’t want to know
All I want is
The real thing
And a night that lasts
“A night that lasts for years” is a brilliant turn of phrase, which sets up a remarkable instrumental section, featuring Paul Thompson doing a series of rolls on his floor tom while Manzanera thrashes his guitar to within an inch of its life. And when Thompson finally gets back to the whacka-whacka-whacka, Manzanera is in the process of uncorking a swirling, squealing guitar solo, leading back to another chorus, where Ferry speaks French, because of course he does.
Then, in the final verse, they start overdubbing Ferry singing “all I want” as a counterpoint to his regular verse, which ends with:
Just make an offer
Of more romance
Of course I can’t refuse
All I want is you
Oh oh I’m all cracked up on you
That said, this utterly excellent song was the first Roxy Music single that didn’t crack the U.K. top 10, stalling out at #12, and they never put out another single that was even as remotely as raucous as “All I Want is You,” as from this point on, their singles got smoother and smoother.
“All I Want Is You” on Dutch TV, 1974
“All I Want Is You” live in West Germany, 1974
Did you miss a Certain Song? Follow me on Twitter: @barefootjim
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page