Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things
CD, Album, Remastered, 1999 (original recording 1973
For me personally, the year 1973 was a major time for new music. Glam reached its peak, and David Bowie and the Spiders were non-stoppable. But also the dark mirror image of Bowie, Roxy Music was making revolutionary music. It was virtually a shock that around the time of the second Roxy album, Bryan Ferry released a solo album. An album of song covers on top of that. At the time, I thought of These Foolish Things as a creative notebook for Ferry. Perhaps influences, both iconic and sonic wise. The majority of the songs were taken from the 60’s with a touch of the 50’s and even something from the classic American songbook.
When I first heard the album, I was shocked by Ferry singing a Bob Dylan song for some reason. Even more surprise by his glam/experimental arrangement of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” An incredible version of the song that first rendered this protest song into a camp level. Now hearing it many years later it seems to me to be more of a poetic approach to this iconic piece of work. On one level the album sounds like a collection of b-sides, but that is a part of its great charm. Ferry’s focus on turning these pieces into something more personal for him, yet the distance between his voice and the material is quite a distance. It is, and still is, a very strange album.