Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Bryan Ferry 2: Another Time, Another Place

Just bursting with the need to express himself, Bryan Ferry found time in between Roxy Music albums to record another collection of covers, this time leaning on country music, R&B, and even standards. The tuxedo shot on the cover is at odds with the musical content, just like last time.
And just like last time, the results as heard on Another Time, Another Place are mixed. The beginning of “The ‘In’ Crowd” predicts another hit song down the road, but in this context it sounds like a typical Roxy tune, which is fine. From there, the arrangements vary from song to song. After a winking first verse, he tramples through “Funny How Time Slips Away” and turns “You Are My Sunshine” into a New Orleans funeral. “(What A) Wonderful World” is the Sam Cooke tune, not the one made famous by Louis Armstrong, turned into a calypso cha-cha. His take on “It Ain’t Me Babe” isn’t as horrifying as what he did to “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”, but it’s not much better. “Fingerpoppin’” is possibly the least-known track here—at least it is to us—and interchangeable with “Barefootin’” and tunes of that ilk. “Help Me Make It Through The Night” survives a very misplaced key change, but the best is truly saved for last. The title track is a Ferry original, and easily as good as any Roxy tune.
Musically, Another Time, Another Place is fine, provided you have little familiarity with the originals and don’t listen too closely to the words. If anything, it’s a snapshot of a time when labels were willing to put out anything their artists recorded.

Bryan Ferry Another Time, Another Place (1974)—

1 comment:

  1. Listened to this for the first time since early 70's. I like it much more than I did then, I was a bit disappointed he didn't go full Roxy on his covers. But I liked it for what it was; fun versions of songs that influenced him growing up. Now though, the arrangements come through and it sounds so much fresher than back then. I like your comment on Fingerpoppin' being interchangeable ... try singing Let's Stick Together over it.