Virginia Plain

"Virginia Plain" is a song by British glam rock group Roxy Music, released as their debut single in August 1972. Written by Roxy frontman Bryan Ferry, "Virginia Plain" was recorded by his band in July 1972 at London's Command Studios. Backed with "The Numberer" (an instrumental composed by Andy Mackay), as a single the song became a Top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number four.

The song was not present on the original UK LP version of the band's debut, Roxy Music, and had not even been recorded when the album was released. After the success of the album in the UK, it was included on later reissues. In 1977, it was re-released as a single, together with "Pyjamarama", originally the second Roxy Music single, to promote their Greatest Hits album, and reached number 11. Both "Virginia Plain" and "The Numberer" can be found on "The Thrill of It All" boxset.

"Virginia Plain" features bass guitarist Rik Kenton, who joined after Graham Simpson left the band. It begins with a deceptively quiet introduction, followed by an instant increase of volume as soon as the vocals come in on the first verse, this apparently being a deliberate ploy by Bryan Ferry to trap unwary radio and club DJs. The song was also notable at the time for its lack of chorus and for its synthesizer work by Brian Eno.

Former art student Ferry took the title "Virginia Plain" from one of his own paintings, featuring images of the cigarette brand of the same name. Warhol superstar Baby Jane Holzer is also referenced in the lyrics "Baby Jane's in Acapulco / We are flying down to Rio" and "can't you see that Holzer mane?".

Phil Manzanera's guitar solo was totally improvised. He later claimed he played the first thing that came into his head.

Read more about Virginia Plain:  Musicians, Appearances in Popular Culture

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Roxy Music (album) - Release
... in stage attire designed by Antony Price, and did not include the track "Virginia Plain" ... Records' Reprise subsidiary, included "Virginia Plain", which had since been issued as a single in the UK ... but replaced Simpson's photo with that of Rik Kenton, who played bass on "Virginia Plain" following Simpson's departure from the group ...
Virginia Plain - Appearances in Popular Culture
... Virgin Atlantic Airways operates a Boeing 747 aircraft named Virginia Plain In the Sex Pistols documentary The Filth and the Fury, Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones mentions Roxy Music as a ...
Roxy Music - History - First Two Albums (1972–1973)
... Their debut single was "Virginia Plain", which scored No ... the BBC's Top of the Pops, became a cornerstone for the glam trend in the UK the TOTP video of "Virginia Plain" was later parodied by the British comedy series Big Train ... Soon after "Virginia Plain", Rik Kenton departed the band, which would never again have a permanent bass player ...

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