In House #1825: Bryan Ferry's Dylanesque; New Patti Smith
Aside from his beginnings fronting art-pop pioneers Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry has, over the years, also made a name for himself with his solo work. His cool, sophisticated delivery has almost always resulted in interesting and engaging work, a major part of which has been his ability as a song interpreter. From the beginning of his solo career, 1973's These Foolish Things, Ferry has shown a consistent flare for repackaging, rearranging, and reimagining compositions by everyone from The Beatles to Smokey Robinson & the Miracles to Great American Songbook standards by Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, among others. Indeed, a glance through his back catalog shows a body of work made up almost exclusively of covers, with the odd original thrown in here and there.
Dylanesque, Ferry's latest effort and first since 2002's excellent Frantic, should come as no surprise then, particularly since there has been no single artist he's sung more than Bob Dylan. Given the track record, it's also no surprise that the eleven versions here are anything but karaoke takes-- Ferry speeds up "Simple Twist of Fate," and slows down "Positively 4th Street," to gist-altering results. The selections span roughly thirty years of Dylan's output, 1964's The Times They Are A-Changin' to 1997's Time Out of Mind, with a surprising emphasis on well-known tunes like "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," and "All Along the Watchtower," the latter of which is as much a nod to Jimi Hendrix as it is Dylan with the impeccably cool Ferry rocking out like he rarely has. Underrated yet iconic at 61, Ferry turns in another collection that fulfills the intrigue it suggests on paper.
In House #1825.
Focus: New release from Bryan Ferry, Dylanesque, plus Richard Swift covers Prince, and Patti Smith and R.E.M. get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight.
BONUS MP3s from today's show-
Bryan Ferry, from Dylanesque:
Patti Smith, from Twelve (due 4/24):
Richard Swift, from the "Kisses For the Misses" 7" single:
In House PODCAST #273