Monday, 15 October 2018
Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together (1976)
Released September 1976
Recorded in London
Bryan Ferry trod water to a certain extent on this 1976 album, carrying on the cover versions tradition of his first two solo albums, but also, rather surprisingly, re-recording five of Roxy Music’s earlier songs. Four came from Roxy’s ground-breaking debut album and one from 1974’s “Country Life”. Quite why Ferry chose to re-do these songs is not known, maybe he was exorcising demons, maybe he wanted to record them as he felt they should have sounded, free of Bryan Eno’s influence. Maybe he just felt like it. He never really said.
Let’s deal with those first. “Casanova” loses its rock bombast and becomes almost funky, with a rhythmic drum backing and a moody Ferry vocal. “2HB” is more jaunty than previously, with a prominent melodic piano coda. The lengthy “Sea Breezes” is pretty similar until the staccato pace change in the middle, then it becomes, once again, funky, with a great bass sound and some impressive acoustic guitar. Some blistering guitar riffs come too. This is a really good re-make. "Chance Meeting" is similar to the original, although Ferry's vocal is more pronounced and the backing a bit more industrial, particularly near the end. It actually still sounds very Roxy-ish. "Re- Make, Re-Model" is a funked up, sleazy delight. The original is wonderful, but this take is too.
Now for the covers. “Let’s Stick Together” is now iconic, with its blistering dual saxophone opening riff, and rousing female whooping backing vocals (the vocalist was never named, strangely). Ferry’s vocal is top notch too. Great stuff. “Shame Shame Shame” is a superb bluesy rocker and The Everly Brothers’ “The Price of Love” is given a similar pounding blues rock makeover. These are both excellent tracks.
The Beatles’ “It’s Only Love” is a lot better a cover than many say it is, with a fetching brassy backing and Gallagher & Lyle’s evocative, catchy “Heart On Your Sleeve” is suitably laid-back in that typical Ferry style. Then there is “You Go To My Head” a lounge bar number from the late 1930s, which is the first sign of Ferry covering a sort of song the like of which he would do many more times in subsequent times. He does it very sensually and atmospherically. Lovely.
This album rarely gets mentioned in Ferry’s canon, which is a shame as it is a good one.
- October 15, 2018