ARTIST: Bryan Ferry
TITLE: These Foolish Things
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #5 UK
SINGLES: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (#10 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: These are almost all well-known standards and rock songs.
LINEUP: Bryan Ferry, John Porter, Phil Manzanera, Paul Thompson, Eddie Jobson, David Skinner and other session players
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Bryan Ferry Vegas review, featuring new versions of old classics. And it’s…pretty decent ya know.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s hard now to think of the chutzpah that Bryan Ferry had that a) he could record an album of his favorite old rock and classic pop songs after just two Roxy Music albums and b) he’d do it in up-to-date glam-ish arrangements that also showed his love for the songs and stamping his own imprint on them.
Every active (at the time) member of Roxy Music is on the album except Andy Mackay. (This was recorded after Brian Eno left the band). It’s a testament to Ferry on how he visualizes the songs he loves, and how he approaches the material. The fact that these aren’t copies of the originals (like so many of these albums are) is impressive in itself, but that for the most part he pulls this off is incredible.
“Piece of My Heart”, “Don’t Worry Baby”, and even “Sympathy for the Devil” sound refreshingly different here. Yeah, it’s kind of cheesy (especially the female backing vocals, thus my Vegas reference), but heck, I’d play this regularly.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This grabbed a gold record in the UK. It shows how deep the love of Ferry and Roxy Music was back then.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B+. There’s some cheese and drivel, but I’d take that along with the interesting, unique arrangements.