Best Bryan Ferry solo album?

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Might as well. The responses should be fascinating.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
These Foolish Things 7
Let's Stick Together 5
Boys and Girls 5
The Bride Stripped Bare 4
Bête Noire 2
As Time Goes By 1
Frantic 1
In Your Mind 0
Another Time, Another Place 0
Taxi 0
Mamouna 0
Dylanesque0


Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 01:09 (twelve years ago) link

It may not be his best, but Let's Stick Together has always been my fave...

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 01:11 (twelve years ago) link

It's my favorite.

Spencer Chow, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 01:21 (twelve years ago) link

I voted for The Bride Stripped Bare (Greil Marcus' #1 album of 1978!).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 01:27 (twelve years ago) link

let's stick together, with boys and girls and frantic close behind

akm, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 03:33 (twelve years ago) link

I love These Foolish Things, but there's just something about the sound/feel/mood of The Bride Stripped Bare that get's to me every damn time. So that's the one.

JN$OT, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 07:15 (twelve years ago) link

boys and girls.

, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 07:43 (twelve years ago) link

I'm probably the only one who votes for "Bête Noire", but for me that's sort of the top of perfection for him as a soloist. Slick and wonderful yuppie production, which he was always great at.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 09:26 (twelve years ago) link

These Foolish Things for about a thousand different reasons. The tough part for me is picking what's second best.

sw00ds, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 10:56 (twelve years ago) link

Let's Stick Together. Wonderful Roxy covers.

zeus, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 11:19 (twelve years ago) link

I dig all the other covers on Let's Stick Together, too (there's one or two on These Foolish Things that don't quite work for me) so I think I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon for LST.

But I have to put in a good word (maybe the only one?) for In Your Mind. The title cut, "Love Me Madly Again," "Party Doll" -- it's one of my favorites.

Dan Peterson, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 14:47 (twelve years ago) link

Let's Stick Together has a few rubber donuts: "It's Only Love," "You Go To My Head," the "Sea Breezes" re-make/re-model. On the other hand, Ferry's updated "Casanova" smokes (there's a reason why he performs this version to this day).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 14:53 (twelve years ago) link

Let's Stick Together has a few rubber donuts: "It's Only Love," "You Go To My Head," the "Sea Breezes" re-make/re-model

Unless "rubber donut" means something positive, I have to disagree with you. Those are freshly baked trans-fat free donuts with imported Uzbek cinnamon in them.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 14:56 (twelve years ago) link

"Freshly baked trans fat-free," yes, flavorful no.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 14:59 (twelve years ago) link

Haha. If you prefer that rancid after-taste, I guess there's no arguing you out of it. (Okay now I have to put LST on as soon as the Miranda Lambert CD finishes up.)

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:04 (twelve years ago) link

LST is overall probably my least favourite of the '70s ones. I don't care too much for any of the Roxy remakes ("Remake/Remodel" is ok), and the choice of covers is in some cases just not interesting (could he have picked a crappier mid-60s Lennon-McCartney song?). That said, I think the two side openers are among his greatest performances, and the title track should've been a #1 single in America.

sw00ds, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:19 (twelve years ago) link

As for In Your Mind, I'll take "Love Me Madly Again," maybe "Tokyo Joe" (he's performing both on his current tour) and "This is Tomorrow" and throw the rest to the wolves.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:24 (twelve years ago) link

"Sea Breezes" is great. Ferry's voice is all over the place on that song, and meaningfully (evoking some weird sense of struggle).

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:42 (twelve years ago) link

"Shame Shame Shame" kind of sucks, but I generally don't love his semi-straight attempt at bluesy R&B kind of stuff.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:46 (twelve years ago) link

(This album will forever remind me of boiling spaghetti in my first apartment.)

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:48 (twelve years ago) link

Really? Maybe Ferry's reluctance to use vulgar electric guitar on his eighties solo work makes "Shame Shame Shame" a welcome novelty, but I love it.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 15:48 (twelve years ago) link

This cover of "It's Only Love" is great, and actually adds its own twist to the song. But I like the original to begin with, which apparently some of you do not. I like the horns in the beginning, kind of sound like something the Beatles might throw in (an album or two after Rubber Soul). I like the stateful little guitar line.

"You Go to My Head" is great! It's so Ferryesque! I actually prefer this to the 40s Billie Holiday version. There's so much going on vocally in individual words (e.g., "spinning").

(Sounds great on my new stereo too, so thanks for the inspiration to listen to it.)

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 16:18 (twelve years ago) link

If only, say, Jarvis Cocker would release an album called Ferryesque...

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 16:23 (twelve years ago) link

I had forgotten all about the title of Ferry's new album.

Rockist Scientist, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 16:27 (twelve years ago) link

I'm going with Bete Noire.

Joe, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 16:42 (twelve years ago) link

Bump.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 10 May 2007 01:12 (twelve years ago) link

Why Bete Noire. I'd genuinely like to know (despite the fact that a thread already exists).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 10 May 2007 01:59 (twelve years ago) link

I'm not so much a fan of the "slick yuppie production", as Geir puts it above, but I just love some of the songs that came out on that album: "Right Stuff", "New Town", "Day for Night", "Limbo"...

I was listening to Boys and Girls in the car today, and that's pretty great as well.

Joe, Thursday, 10 May 2007 03:55 (twelve years ago) link

"Boys And Girls" is the one I would have voted for hadn't it been for "Bete Noire". Although "Mamouna" is also great and "Taxi" is the best of his covers albums. The rest of his solo albums I don't like much at all.

Geir Hongro, Thursday, 10 May 2007 12:15 (twelve years ago) link

I love "Day for Night" and "Kiss and Tell," but there's waaaaaayy too much echo and thumping percussion. Ferry doesn't even bother enunciating syllables (a friend calls BN's predecessor Bryan Ferry's Cocteau Twins record).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 10 May 2007 12:53 (twelve years ago) link

Let's Stick Together. "Heart on My Sleeve" was on the jukebox at my college pinball place. Good jukebox.

ellaguru, Thursday, 10 May 2007 15:01 (twelve years ago) link

results!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 17 May 2007 01:38 (twelve years ago) link

Given the responses I'm not too surprised Let's Stick Together did so well, and though I don't get Boys and Girls ranking so high it's not completely unexpected either. The pleasant surprise, I guess, is Bride Stripped Bare. I'll assume the As Time Goes By vote is a joke, even though I happen to like that album.

sw00ds, Thursday, 17 May 2007 03:19 (twelve years ago) link

eight months pass...

This video for "This Is Tomorrow" is sick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmqrTUNrWSM&feature=related

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 18 January 2008 04:58 (eleven years ago) link

If this thread started today I'd probably vote for Dylanesque.

da croupier, Friday, 18 January 2008 05:42 (eleven years ago) link

The "Positively 4th Street" on that record is outstanding.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 18 January 2008 16:16 (eleven years ago) link

I really like the whole thing! I haven't heard every Ferry solo album but those I have feel a lot more grab-bag and/or just buried in "atmosphere."

<i>Dylanesque</i> >>>>>>>> <i>I'm Not There</i> soundtrack, too.

da croupier, Friday, 18 January 2008 16:21 (eleven years ago) link

The "let's get my live band and run through a bunch of Dylan songs" concept works in large part because Ferry's such an idiosyncratic artist himself, and one who normally stultifies everything with studio perfectionism. The relative (and I mean relative) tossed-off quality is really charming.

da croupier, Friday, 18 January 2008 16:23 (eleven years ago) link

two years pass...

Alfred, I've been (slowly) listening to Scott & your discussion re. the Roxy/Ferry albums, and today listened to the Stranded piece. I thought what you said about "Psalm" being 70s-Elvis-style gospel missed the mark, because "Psalm" is more unrestrained than any 70s Elvis I know. But then I listened to Another Time, Another Place for the first time, and thought that the Elvis connections here were more clear, in particular with the 1971 album Elvis Country. That album is mostly a covers album, full of introspective country-folk songs that frequently venture into ennui. While ATAP isn't a country-folk album, it's not so far from one (and of course Roxy at the time played with country, cf. the opening of "If There Is Someone" and "Prairie Rose"). I'd say that ATAP is akin to that Elvis album, in the sensibility it explores. Heck, it even shares a song ("Funny How Time Slips Away"). I was surprised at how much I loved ATAP today---def. will be returning to it again soon.

Euler, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 14:28 (nine years ago) link

I thought what you said about "Psalm" being 70s-Elvis-style gospel missed the mark, because "Psalm" is more unrestrained than any 70s Elvis I know

You could be right. I've listened to maybe two albums' worth of Elvis in this period, and what made the comparison plausible was the way Ferry flitted between camp and sincerity using the restrained voice he essayed on For Your Pleasure's "Beauty Queen." A couple of my judgments were improvised. I'm pretty sure if I heard "Psalm" now I'd change my mind.

cool and remote like dancing girls (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 May 2010 14:45 (nine years ago) link

thanks for listening, by the way!

cool and remote like dancing girls (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 May 2010 14:45 (nine years ago) link

i grew up with Bete Noir and Boys and Girls being staples in my house as a little kid, and then got really into Roxy later in life. now I'm really pissed that I never heard Foolish Things until just now. was missing out.

surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:14 (nine years ago) link

xp yeah, it's been interesting---I was looking for a way to structure/motivate my listening through Ferry's oeuvre in particular, and this is doing the trick.

Euler, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:15 (nine years ago) link

Trying to form thoughts on the B+G-Bete Noir period was my favorite part, actually.

cool and remote like dancing girls (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:20 (nine years ago) link

two years pass...

"Don't Stop the Dance" from Boys and Girls sounds like the most amazing thing to me right now. I want to start a band and make music based on the way this song feels.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 17 July 2012 05:04 (seven years ago) link

Incredible song.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 17 July 2012 05:07 (seven years ago) link

have you heard the 12" single?

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 July 2012 10:59 (seven years ago) link

Truly. Good fucking music.

Et tant pis pour Byzance puisque que j´ai vu Pigalle (Michael White), Tuesday, 17 July 2012 13:51 (seven years ago) link

that Nile Rodgers slink-guitar stretched out gorgeously

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 17 July 2012 13:56 (seven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Putting in a plug for my friend/sometime ILM poster sw00ds (couple of posts on this thread), who'll be writing about Ferry's cover albums this week at One Week//One Band.

http://oneweekoneband.tumblr.com/

clemenza, Monday, 13 August 2012 17:47 (seven years ago) link

Aweesome. The Go-Betweens week made for good reading.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 August 2012 19:30 (seven years ago) link

six months pass...

Ned, sw00ds, and I on The Jazz Age and Olympia:

http://rockcritics.com/2013/02/21/roxymania-re-turnedre-tuned/

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:58 (six years ago) link

Only three people listened to the last two Bryan Ferry albums, but they all recorded a conversation about it.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 21 February 2013 16:37 (six years ago) link

three years pass...

saw Bryan Ferry last night. holy shit, what a show. i sort of expected some kind of low-key midtempo lush affair but this was a pure rock show, like something from the late '80s. complete with some sick guitar solos and great backup singers wailing away and this incredible sax player who looked like she stepped out of a robert palmer video. we talked to her after the show, she had been in some other band playing saxophone, and she said Ferry had heard her music and sent her a message on myspace(!) and that's how she ended up in his band.

nomar, Friday, 12 August 2016 17:57 (three years ago) link

How's his voice? Last thing I've seen from him live were some videos from a couple years ago, I think some TV performance of Loop De Li, and seemed somewhat deteriorated. I'd love to catch one of those shows if he's singing at 50/60% of his top form.

cpl593H, Friday, 12 August 2016 18:59 (three years ago) link

A friend of mine said that he saw him in NYC and that his voice was much stronger than its been. I don't know how that could be – these things tend not to reverse themselves after 15+ years. But he said he sounded great.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 12 August 2016 19:25 (three years ago) link

his voice was showing its age a bit but i thought he acquitted himself well throughout. he seemed a little buried in the mix for much of the show (which i didn't mind; you could hear him well and the band was so on point), but during the quieter songs he sounded good. his aging quaver works nicely for his style.

nomar, Friday, 12 August 2016 19:26 (three years ago) link

Good to hear. I will say: as much as I appreciate some of the nuance of his voice in old age, I would much prefer to hear "Avonmore" sung by the Bryan Ferry featured on the cover of that album rather than the nearly-70 one who actually sang it.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 12 August 2016 23:16 (three years ago) link

I dunno, Roger Daltrey was sounding pretty ragged with the Who, then he had surgery on his nodes (or whatever) and after I saw him solo and with the Who and he sounded pretty good. And god knows Ferry isn't singing as hard as Roger.

Anyway, I saw Ferry last year or so and he sounded great.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 13 August 2016 03:41 (three years ago) link

He sounded ragged but OK when I saw him in 2011.

Can he sing this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrrG2WTzFXw

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 13 August 2016 03:52 (three years ago) link

Stupid black monolith for me.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 13 August 2016 03:54 (three years ago) link

Depends on your browser. I had problems at work yesterday morning b/c I was on Chrome.

It's "The Name of the Game."

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 13 August 2016 12:08 (three years ago) link

I have no problem on Chrome on my phone, will check computer and safari in a bit. That's where I've had problems.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 13 August 2016 13:06 (three years ago) link

I know this isn't "solo Ferry", but "Same Old Scene" is so unique, amazing, revolutionary--with the chilling synths, everything is perfectly layered and the groove is unbeatable. "Same Old Scene" sounds like it laid the basis for all of the new wave music of the first half of the 80s, I believe Duran Duran said it was a very influential song for them (Ministry even recorded a demo of it as well that's on Spotify), so I am surprised it is not more widely known. Despite Flesh And Blood having these soaring, catchy singles, the album has an oneiric quality that I really enjoy for all of this period's transitional awkwardness.

pplasma, Saturday, 13 August 2016 14:21 (three years ago) link

an amazing song

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 13 August 2016 15:14 (three years ago) link

All those burbling synths in the verse are the best

Master of Treacle, Saturday, 13 August 2016 16:15 (three years ago) link

I love Flesh & Blood.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 13 August 2016 17:45 (three years ago) link

Flesh & Blood is the only Roxy album I don't really rate but Same Old Scene is an incredible song.

Kitchen Person, Saturday, 13 August 2016 19:28 (three years ago) link

I should clarify that I don't really think of F&B as Roxy in the way I do pretty much every other album of theirs (including Avalon). It's far too broad stroke pop, too new wave textured and too session-y in a way that none of their other records are. But on its own, I really enjoy it.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 14 August 2016 14:09 (three years ago) link

I thought his voice sounded pretty good in DC a few weeks back

curmudgeon, Monday, 15 August 2016 20:50 (three years ago) link

Didn't Eno chose "Same Old Scene" and "Mother of Pearl" as his favorite post-himself Roxy songs?

I checked again those tv performances, which were on Jools Holland... He sounds pretty good on Loop De Li, but on Virginia Plain all you can hear are the backing vocals. Anyway, glad to know he's OK. I'm all for it if his singing is on Frantic level.

cpl593H, Tuesday, 16 August 2016 14:09 (three years ago) link

I post this occasionally, because it's fun, but this Icehouse song (replete with Eno backing vocals) is such a wonderful "SOS"-era Roxy rip-off:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekufPK0pGvE

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 16 August 2016 14:21 (three years ago) link

If that's "Hey little girl", yeah we noticed back then.

Mark G, Tuesday, 16 August 2016 14:27 (three years ago) link

No, it's a song called Spanish Gold.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 16 August 2016 16:01 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

Have spent the last week or so with Mamouna. A record I never rated much sounds like Kane stalking Xanadu nearly a quarter century on. The tunes are runway model skeletal, the performances so comped I’m not sure most of the performers could spot their parts if asked (indeed, Manzanera couldn’t on “Don’t Want to Know”), the lyrics often a collection of empty cliches. And for all of his celebrated return, Eno is all but inaudible in the dense,murky fog that is Bob Clearmountain’s mix.

And yet...yet...I find this record almost hypnotically beautiful. There is a handful of great songs. “Which Way to Turn” is gorgeous and dripping with dewy sadness, and “Chain Reaction” is one of his best post Avalon pieces. There are some fabulous individual moments as well, including the bridge to “Gemini Moon,” and Ferry’s melancholy piano coda to the title track.

But the record works best as a piece – impressionistic pieces of taut, aimless funk and drifting sambas to nowhere adorned by Ferry’s admirable croon. In retrospect, this is the last time his voice would sound this way – by Frantic, the legendarily fulsome baritone would charitably be characterized by Chris Roberts as “lived in, not merely dined in,” but in truth had clearly entered its decline phase.

Here, though, it’s merely a lead instrument, adorned by his thickest, most mucous-y production yet, chock full of guitar atmospherics and Prophet pads that threaten to drown out the Eno treatments – which in any case do not remake or remodel the production here so much as sink into it like a luxury sofa.

His greatest collection of songs? No. His most memorable album? Nope. But his best, most consistent record? Quite possibly.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 5 July 2019 02:21 (four months ago) link

Well said. Mamouna's got some gorgeous bits to offer. I think I especially love the run from track 4 to 6: title track - The Only Face - The 39 Steps.

I would have voted for Bête Noire in this poll, which is a longtime favourite of mine. Boys & Girls is a close second.
I'm a massive Ferry fan but the winner of this poll - These Foolish Things - would never have crossed my mind to vote for. I don't dislike it, it's fun... but it may be my least favourite Ferry solo album!

Valentijn, Friday, 5 July 2019 06:23 (four months ago) link

I was always proud of my Mamouna salvage job.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 5 July 2019 12:09 (four months ago) link

Indeed, was recalling it when I composed the above.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:03 (four months ago) link

lol, a few days ago, apropos of nothing, I was playing "These Foolish Things." My wife walked in and asked if I was listening to the "Rocky Horror Picture Show," which ... otm?

"Mamouna" has always been my sentimental favorite, most likely because it was the first solo Ferry album I ever owned, and got right when it came out. I know I was already a Roxy fan - I bought all their albums as cutout cassettes - and I somehow knew of songs like "Kiss and Tell." I remember when "TaxI' was released, but didn't pick it up (was it the mere three-star RS review?). But "Mamouna" I got as a promo, and for some reason I was super-stoked. Probably because it came out at peak '90s Eno. Anyway, I listened to it a lot and saw him on that tour. I recall him starting with his "I Put a Spell on You" cover. He sprinkled glitter on the stage, iirc. And Steve Ferrone was playing drums .

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:41 (four months ago) link

and he played keytar!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:48 (four months ago) link

Your experiences are startlingly close to mine except I bought Taxi at the time of release, thanks to hearing "I Put a Spell on You" on my college station.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 5 July 2019 14:49 (four months ago) link

(I think we are very close to the same age.)

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 5 July 2019 14:52 (four months ago) link

Woah, mine as well. Down to the glitter.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 5 July 2019 15:05 (four months ago) link


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