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Avalon, released in June 1982, was Roxy Music's eighth studio album; it is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. It was a huge commercial success, hitting #1 in the UK (for 3 weeks) and staying on the album charts for over a year. Although it only climbed as high as #53, Avalon is notable as the band's only platinum record in the US. Continuing a Roxy Music tradition, Ferry's girlfriend Lucy Helmore appeared on the cover wearing a medieval helmet and carrying a hawk. The image evoked King Arthur's last journey to the mysterious land of Avalon. The lush arrangements and synthesizer drenched sound of Avalon later found its way onto Bryan Ferry's solo follow-up album Boys and Girls (1985).
A single, "More Than This", preceded the album and was a Top 10 hit in Britain (#6), Australia (#6) and most European countries. Although a chart failure in the US, the song was popular on the college radio circuit. It is unusual for a pop song in that Ferry's vocal ends at 2.45 minutes, leaving the last 1.45 minutes as a synth-driven instrumental. It has since become regarded as a classic Roxy Music song; in Sofia Coppola's 2003 film Lost in Translation, actor Bill Murray sings "More Than This" in a Tokyo karaoke bar.
The title track was released as the album's second single and also became a UK Top 20 hit. A third extract, "Take A Chance With Me", with a remixed version of album track "The Main Thing" on the b-side, reached UK #26 and was Roxy Music's last UK hit single. The extended remix of "The Main Thing" is only available on the 1995 box set, The Thrill Of It All. New York DJ duo Rub N Tug released an official dance remix in early 2007.