“These Foolish Things” by Bryan Ferry - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1973Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

In 1973, Bryan Ferry was giving James Brown a run for his money for the title of “the hardest working man in show-business”. Sandwiched in between the second and third Roxy Music LPs in March and November, the 28-year-old delivered his first solo LP, 13 carefully selected cover-versions, reflecting his pop tastes, and generally not in line with the progressive tactics currently employed by his main group. Explained Ferry: “It’s a very catholic selection, I've given up trying to please all of the people all of the time. Some will like it for one reason, some for another. And some will presumably dislike it for the wrong reasons though I hope the general point of it will be understood. Its amusement value I think.” Recorded in the summertime of ’73, Roxy bandmate Phil Manzanera assists on guitar, and Eddie Jobson puts in a power-shift on strings, keyboards and synthesizer. So impressed was Ferry with Jobson that plots were hatched which seemed to ease the departure of Brian Eno from Roxy Music; Eddie was drafted in seemingly overnight for the group’s “Stranded” sessions in September.

As with all Roxy’s albums, I find the set gets off to an absolutely stunning start. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” (Bob Dylan, 1962) does the unthinkable – surpasses the original classic. Noticeably, it’s the one track on this set which channels some of that irresistible Roxy-new-wave vibe. Alas, they aren’t all so glorious – “Baby I Don’t Care” (Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires, 1957) is little more than pub-rock fluff. This hit-or-miss feel never leaves me throughout the course of the album – “Don’t Worry Baby” (The Beach Boys, 1964) closes side 1 and lets us hear exactly how it might have been had Bryan Ferry been recorded by Phil Spector; two worlds collide wondrously. On side 2, “You Won’t See Me” (The Beatles, 1965) and “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” (Four Tops, 1966) are further examples of disposability, before “These Foolish Things” (first performed by Dorothy Dickson in the stage production “Spread It Abroad” in 1936) throws a curveball that delights; once again different eras come together with stimulating results, finishing the album on a great high that leaves you intrigued, hungry for more.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [05:19] 10.0.png Bryan Ferry - A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Robert Zimmerman) New Wave
A2 [01:48] 5.6.png Bryan Ferry - River Of Salt (Irving Brown, Bernard Zackery, Jan Zackery) Songwriter
A3 [02:15] 6.6.png Bryan Ferry - Don’t Ever Change (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) Pop
A4 [03:06] 6.2.png Bryan Ferry - Piece Of My Heart (Bert Russell, Jerry Ragovoy) Soul Ballad
A5 [01:50] 4.7.png Bryan Ferry - Baby I Don’t Care (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A6 [02:00] 5.2.png Bryan Ferry - It’s My Party (Walter Gold, John Gluck Jr., Herb Weiner) Pop
A7 [04:13] 7.2.png Bryan Ferry - Don’t Worry Baby (Brian Wilson, Roger Christian) Pop Ballad
B1 [05:50] 6.0.png Bryan Ferry - Sympathy For The Devil (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) Cerebral Pop
B2 [03:04] 5.4.png Bryan Ferry - The Track Of My Tears (William Robinson, Warren Moore, Marvin Tarplin) Soul Ballad
B3 [02:32] 4.5.png Bryan Ferry - You Won’t See Me (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) Pop
B4 [03:02] 6.0.png Bryan Ferry - I Love How You Love Me (Barry Mann, Larry Kolber) Rock n Roll Ballad
B5 [03:06] 4.4.png Bryan Ferry - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Ivy Jo Hunter, Stevland Judkins) Cerebral Pop
B6 [05:41] 7.9.png Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) (Harry Link, Holt Marvell, Jack Strachey) Songwriter

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved