THE FT TOP 100 SONGS
87. Roxy Music – “Virginia Plain”
Here’s a parlour game: take a famous debut single and imagine what you’d think of it if that act had released nothing else, ever. Roxy Music’s arch travelogue is no longer the fizzy overture to their career of strangeness, charm and smarm. Instead it fits neatly into the weird British novelty-pop boom of the early 70s. At its No.4 pop hit zenith it shares a chart with Lyndsey De Paul’s sultry “Sugar Me” and Lieutenant Pigeon’s demented “Mouldy Old Dough”, both of which match it for oddness, and perhaps for other things. As a standalone “Virginia Plain” mixes hammering gummy goodness with an absurdist jet-set fantasy, a commentary before the fact on a decade of wide-eyed ‘summer hits’.