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Friday, March 17, 2017

Bryan Ferry - "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"/"Another Time, Another Place" (Island) 45 rpm 7" single, 1974


I bought this single in 1974, sold or lost it through the ages, and recently purchased again, in Tokyo.  1974, and especially anything dealing with Island Records, was an exciting time for a record fan or listener.   I discovered Sparks that year, and that is a gift that keeps on giving.  Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music is another cultural importance for me.  Ferry went on to have this duo-career of being the head thinker for Roxy Music while doing solo recordings.  I don't fully understand his need to do solo work, where he clearly wrote or co-wrote all the Roxy Music songs.  If he strictly just did covers, I can understand that for being a solo artist, but the fact he started to add original songs under "Bryan Ferry" is a mystery to me.   

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is a classic American pop tune from the early 1930s.  Depression era, and to Ferry a romantic time.   At this time, Ferry was mining the past, but he was making it into a Roxy re-make, where it seems at times he wrote the song himself.  It's love, but a love that is damaged and leaves the after-effects of smoke after the burning heart.  It's a beautiful bitter-sweet melody with lyrics that sting.  A perfect cocktail for someone like Bryan Ferry.

The b-side is a great Ferry composition "Another Time, Another Place."  Why this wasn't recorded for Roxy Music is a mystery.  It's a hypnotic piece of aural delight.  The importance of sound to take one to another place - that is basically the motif of the Bryan Ferry method of making art.