INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Rolling Stone JULY 31, 1975 - by Al Niester
PHIL MANZANERA: DIAMOND HEAD
Phil Manzanera's first solo album features all the current members of Roxy Music, as well as ex-member Eno, with the very notable exception of vocalist Bryan Ferry. And yet, anyone expecting a new Roxy Music album will initially be disappointed. The album is an appealing mixture of fine, if occasionally bizarre, music from a cross section of some of the best current English musicians, but Manzanera does little of the riffing or modernistic playing that characterised his work with Roxy.
Even the more spirited stuff clearly eschews the Roxy sound. While East Of Echo admittedly harkens to The Bogus Man from Roxy's For Your Pleasure album, it pales next to Miss Shapiro, a fine workout headed by a very-much-in-control-of-his-senses Eno.
It is Manzanera's show. His guitar playing remains subtle yet craftsman-like throughout, never blatantly dominant but always apparent. His string-synthesizer embellishments on Alma indicate definite talent as an arranger, as well. Even beyond Roxy Music, Manzanera is a talent in his own right.