Roxy Music - Where did THAT come from?
When the first Roxy Music LP landed in 1972 we just couldn't believe it. Where had this strange music come from? It sounded like nothing we had heard before. It wasn't blues and it wasn't jazz. It wasn't really guitar music either (despite Phil Manzanera's drool-worthy red Gibson Firebird pictured on the inside gatefold of the second Roxy LP), the strange electronic passages were equally prominent and took the music somewhere entirely new. Then there was the singer. With his affected delivery and strange pronunciation it seemed like he was taking the piss at times, but the vocals were just as compelling as the music.
Roxy Music appeared smack in the middle of prog rock and the first stirrings of the reggae boom, but it sounded like neither. The pictures inside the LP sleeve showed what looked like a bunch of space-age teddy boys, but it wasn't rock & roll, either, at least not as we knew it. And how about those early Roxy sleeves! They were both sleazy and classy at the same time and a million miles away from the default Roger Dean prog album cover art of the time.
The debut Roxy Music LP was the first (and almost the only) time I can recall a band arriving without precedent. The music didn't betray its roots or its influences in any way I could decipher. Of course this startling originality couldn't last. The first two Roxy albums were simply great, but after Eno's departure it wasn't the same and the band began a fairly rapid slide into self-parody (OOAA).
So what I'm asking in this rather convoluted way is: when was the last time you heard something totally new and fresh with no hint of where it came from?
Unless you just want to talk about Roxy Music, that is.