Ideal Companion Piece
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bryan Ferry launched his solo career during the first flush of Roxy Music's fame. As some members played on his solo recordings, one must assume his dual role did not cause undue friction within the band. After the space-age art rock avant-gardity of Roxy Music, the musical direction of Bryan Ferry's first solo albums was something of a surprise, ranging from Billie Holiday's My Foolish Things (the title track of her first album) to Bob Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, Dobie Gray's The In Crowd and the Platters' Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, all of which were extracted as singles. It was a long way from Virginia Plain and Pyjamarama.
The album Let's Stick Together came out in 1976 in time to capitalize on the success of the single it was named after. It was an extremely useful mopping-up of all the non-album tracks released to date, including Extended Play (a freshly released EP of cover versions comprising The Price Of Love, Shame Shame Shame, the extraordinarily lightweight Heart On My Sleeve and Beatles cover It's Only Love) and You Go To My Head, another Billie Holiday standard from the thirties given the Ferry makeover treatment. It also had one previously unreleased track, Casanova, an original Ferry composition that had previously appeared on Roxy Music's Country Life album in 1974.
The other four tracks are all alternative recordings of songs that appeared on the first Roxy Music albums, and were re-made as B-sides of his solo singles between 1973 and 1976. I recall Bryan Ferry remarking at the time that he didn't like a song to be represented by just one recorded version of it, that would always play identically to the time before and be set it in aspic, and therefore liked to tackle songs he had previously recorded. Chris Spedding is the guitarist, and Roxy Music alumni Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Paul Thompson provide colour and backbone. Bryan Ferry had not quite found his own voice on the first album and these versions are more confident, if less idiosyncratic than the group versions, and of course lack Eno's unique input. 2HB, Chance Meeting and Sea Breezes are otherwise relatively faithful re-makes of the originals, Sea Breezes being particularly effective, but Re-Make Re-Model from 1975 has been re-made and re-modeled into a blue-eyed soul funk groove for the B-side of You Go To My Head, and has perhaps dated less well. Incidentally, Roxy Music's own non-album B-sides have yet to be compiled onto CD.
All in all, this makes an ideal companion piece to the albums These Foolish Things and Another Time, Another Place."
Jay Murphy | Landover Hills, Maryland United States | 05/02/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bryan Ferry's third solo album seemingly finds him trying to gain commercial acceptance. How else to explain not one but five re-modeled Roxy songs? These remakes are okay but I prefer the cover versions of other artists' songs. His upbeat delivery on "Let's Stick Together" and "Price of Love", the lovely versions of "You Go To My Head" and "Heart on My Sleeve" and the blue-eyed funk of "Shame,Shame,Shame" alone make this CD worth owning. The rest of the album is certainly not bad, just a bit superfluous if you have the Roxy Music versions."
Monumental, a precious Jewel.
Phillip Thomas Powell | Eastern USA | 08/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On his third solo outing, Bryan ups the ante by mixing originals in with covers. Or more precisely, covers of his own (previously released Roxy Music) songs mixed with covers of other peoples' songs. One of his very best albums, and the first of three-in-a-row solo records that towered above the competition. Simply put, if you don't have "Let's Stick Together" "In Your Mind" & "Bride Stripped Bare" then you don't have a complete collection. If you cannot appreciate Ferry at his best, well, then, I guess your mind has been stripped bare and stuck together."