Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ferry fever

On November 23, "The Best Of Bryan Ferry", will be unleashed on the universe. I know some people will roll their eyes. Like we need another hits collection. But I wouldn't draw your attention to this new release unless there was a very good reason.

Firstly, look at that cover! Swoon! I always wanted to wear my hair like that. Secondly, it features nearly all of his essential singles plus a few hard-to-find bits. Upon second glance, however, this really should have been a double CD. A few choice cuts are missing. Thirdly, it's packaged with a DVD which includes all of his stylish videos. I nearly plotzed! Some of them have never before been available.

I first became aware of Bryan Ferry when Roxy Music's "Love Is The Drug" became a minor hit in the US. I was enamored with Bryan's smooth, Casanova stance. There was something warm, yet inexplicably icy, about his delivery. And the songs were slightly glam but had a Bowie-esque shape without aping any of DB's style. Then "Dance Away" caught my attention and I was reminded that it was the same, sophisticated sound I had moved to only four years previously. I was barely in my teens!

Of course, by the time "Avalon" came out and MTV played "More Than This" and "Avalon" with their sumptuous and highly gauzed videos, I was hooked. With Roxy's swan song longplayer in my possession, I investigated their back catalog with aplomb. I dove in at the deep end and discovered Bryan Ferry had issued several solo albums. Bonus!

By the time his landmark album, "Boys And Girls", was issued, I was a full on Bryan Ferry fan.

I'm pleased to reveal the tracklisting for "The Very Best Of Bryan Ferry" in all its glory. There are a few surprises including some single versions that are tough to obtain on CD.

1. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (US 7" Version)
2. The 'In' Crowd
3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
4. You Go To My Head
5. Let's Stick Together
6. The Price Of Love
7. This Is Tomorrow
8. Tokyo Joe
9. Can't Let Go
10. Slave To Love (7" Version)
11. Don't Stop The Dance (7" Version)
12. Windswept
13. Limbo
14. Kiss And Tell (Edit)
15. I Put A Spell On You (Single Mix)
16. Don't Want To Know
17. The Way You Look Tonight
18. Goddess Of Love
19. The Times They Are A-Changin' (Radio Edit)
20. I Don't Want To Go On Without You
21. A Fool For Love (Alternative Version)

The bonus DVD features the following video clips:

1. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
2. These Foolish Things
3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (from "The Twiggy Show")
4. You Go To My Head
5. Let's Stick Together
6. The Price Of Love
7. This Is Tomorrow
8. Tokyo Joe
9. What Goes On
10. Slave To Love
11. Don't Stop The Dance
12. Windswept
13. Is Your Love Strong Enough?
14. The Right Stuff
15. Kiss And Tell
16. Limbo
17. I Put A Spell On You
18. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
19. Girl Of My Best Friend
20. Your Painted Smile
21. Mamouna (UK Version)
22. Don't Want To Know
23. The Way You Look Tonight (Live in Paris at Le Grand Rex)
24. Goddess Of Love (Live on "Parkinson")
25. Positively 4th Street (Live on "The Culture Show")

Just to prove he's not afraid to dip his stylish toes into an interesting collaboration, Bryan recently invited German producer, DJ Hell, to re-work "You Can Dance", a previously, unreleased song from the Ferry archives. It made its appearance on DJ Hell's album, "Teufelswerk", which was released last April.

Being such a huge Bryan Ferry fan, I'm not sure why this didn't show up on my radar earlier. Apparently, it's going to be released as a single in January!

Deep, dark, sinister, epic, sexy and slightly drugged out. Love it! Apparently, the original version was penned by Bryan Ferry with Eurythmics' Dave Stewart during album sessions in the mid 90s.

And if you're looking for some reswizzled Roxy Music moments, check out the three EPs of remixes that were commissioned in 2006. They were only issued on vinyl but they've finally appeared on iTunes and other digital storefronts.

My two, favorite mixes from this highly sought after series are DJ Kaos' extended mix of "Angel Eyes" and Glimmers' remix of "Same Old Scene". Both stay quite faithful to the original versions.

Check out that dirty, rubbery bass line. Filthy gorgeous!

My relationship with Bryan Ferry goes a little deeper than being a fan of his work and his masterful way with a song. In 1996, I had the magnificently mindblowing opportunity to produce a remix for "Dance With Life (The Brilliant Light)", a song that was featured on the soundtrack to the John Travolta film, "Phenomenon".

The single, which was produced by the legendary Trevor Horn, was only released in Europe and Australia. A limited promo of the mixes made the rounds in the US.

Now, for the first time ever, my club mix is available digitally. It was sourced from my original, studio master. See if you can spot the Brothers In Rhythm influence. Clocking in at over ten minutes, it is suitably epic.

Incidentally, I'm going to make most of my mixes available on the mighty Soundcloud platform as the weeks progress and time in my frantic schedule allows.


  1. You know I love this mix (though it IS LONG!). Anyway, I can't take the hits CD seriously when it leaves off The Right Stuff. Can that be right? And I would have liked the song Mamouna there too.

  2. I concur with xolondoon. They could have dug a little deeper on some of the cuts; but it does have all the RM/BF standards. Thank you, thank you, thank you for turning me on to the Remix collection. I was completely unaware of those. I must say at first glance, I thought your remix was TRUE TO LIFE. That's one of my top RM tracks of all time. Avalon is on my top 5 desert island picks. I love your mix Vinny. Well done!!

  3. @David - I agree with you, as well. I would have liked to have seen a few other, Ferry cuts. A double CD would've been a better choice.

    A lot of people weren't aware of the RM remixes. A friend that used to work at Virgin Records in the UK was the only reason I found out about them three years ago. The trust BF website notified fans of them appearance on iTunes this year.

    Glad you like the BF remix. It's one of my personal favorites.

  4. @xolondon - Yes, that mix IS long. I was totally into Brothers In Rhythm at the time. All their mixes were over eight minutes. I created a radio edit, as well. Maybe I'll put that up when I've posted all the extended mixes.

    As for the BF hits CD, I agree. "The Right Stuff" is up there with his finest singles. It really should have been a double CD with a bonus DVD. In fact, I think I'm going to edit my entry now that we've had this exchange. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  5. The mix is long but it's obviously a 12" mix and is functional for practical purposes (i.e. the "DJ Friendly-ness"). Anybody, besides Vinny, remember the Sound Factory vocal edit of Billy Ray Martin- Your Loving Arms produced by Junior Vasquez? I believe it clocks in at around 10:30 as well. Remixes must play a function other than being shortened down to radio edits. It may be nice to throw a 3:30 remix on a CD Maxi for a few bucks but a DJ (any active listener) will buy that 11 minute version on vinyl or another medium for an exponential figure of the radio friendly CD Maxi.

    That DJ Hell LP, Teufelswerk, as been regarded by some circles as one of the best electronic dance records of all time. Not me- not even best of the year. I've never been a fan of DJ Hell. I know catalog albums, especially in this micro niche of a market, are few and far between, but take a listen to Dusty Kid - A Raver's Diary |Boxer Recordings| and Telefon Tel Aviv- Immolate Yourself |Bpitch Recordings|.


  6. I saw on the official site that those rather good noveau Roxy remixes of 2006 were now available digitally. I was just looking around to get the vinyl recently and it would set me back a packet but the downloads are very nicely priced. The trouble is, I live in the States, and record company rights being what they are, I have not found a digital store Stateside that offers the cuts. I usually prefer physical carrier mediums for my music but being that these are digitally available elsewhere for under a ten-spot at a decent bitrate, I'm looking to save about $30 over the vinyl copies. Not to mention the hours of painstaking remastering from vinyl I'm saved. Yeah, I prefer vinyl and CDs but manually denoising vinyl remasters without leaving a sonic footprint on the music takes a LOT of time. I'm getting geared up for a Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music Boxed Set Of God ®, so I need these sooner or later and am hoping that they get released digitally in the US. More than any other reason, this is why I hate downloads. They enable the record company wet dream of complete control over the dreaded parallel import scenario. If they could have done this in the 70s, I wouldn't have most of my collection!

    Thanks for posting your mix of "Dance With Light;" not my fave rave Ferry cut by a long shot. I am usually non-plussed by excessive DJ remixing, but in the case of a few wimped out efforts like "Every Day The Same" by China Crisis or indeed, your fine dance mix of "Dance With Light," what I'll call substandard material gets a new lease on life with those potentially boring (in the wrong hands) dance beats.

    Like you, I am a Ferry fan from "Love Is the Drug." It opened my ears in a big way on the US top 40 during it's few plays on conservative Orlando, Florida AM top 40 (WLOF-95). I credit that song, along with "Walk On The Wild Side" by Lou Reed and Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" for pointing the way for me musically forward out of the top 40 wilderness I grew up in. I had no older brothers or sisters to guide me. Songs like that which offered a glimpse into a larger world that than that provided by artists like The Eagles, helped make me what I am today.

  7. @Jim - WOW! This is the kind of comment I always love to get. Thanks for taking time to put your thoughts across. I hadn't checked if the Roxy remixes were on iTunes in the US. I wrongly assumed that they had been made available internationally since it was mentioned on BF's website. Lesson learned.

    I remember a time in the mid to late 80s when record labels were trying to bar parallel imports. Of course, they didn't succeed. But I clearly remember purchasing some CDs - "Substance" by New Order and "It's Better To Travel" by Swing Out Sister stand out in my mind - in brown paper bags!

  8. Phew! Good news! The US 7digital site has the 2006 Roxy Mixes now available for download in the US. This was not the case earlier in September, when I first investigated. The boxed set of god ® will roll on!

  9. @Jim - That's great news about 7Digital. I loved the UK store until they had to block users outside their territory. I'd love to know what you're planning for that box set!

  10. Looks like the stately rollout of the Roxy Remixes now encompasses iTunes USA. That's nice since I already have an account there. I guess these things take time even though no physical object is involved whatsoever. I'll advise as to when the BSOG® gets underway so you can see what it entails. I just ran across some radio show material I'd forgotten I had so the spreadsheet got some new entries.

  11. I absolutely love this.. as i love every mix you've done.. are you going to put out the other mixes any time soon? :)

  12. @Apollo Zero - Thank you! Glad you like it. I will be posting more mixes shortly. You can check out my recent remix of "Beautiful People" by Pet Shop Boys on my blog.