BONUS: Wondering what Bryan Ferry’s new album, Dylanesque, is like?
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He represents the epitome of the chic lounge lizard and the suave crooner. He?s the graceful balladeer of the romantic ?Avalon,? the confident frontman cajoling you to ?Do The Strand,? the suave Satan requesting ?Sympathy For The Devil,? and the smooth seducer subverting the angry vibe of ?I Put A Spell On You.?
Active for four decades, 61-year-old Bryan Ferry, the face and voice of the influential art-rock/prog band Roxy Music, is far from your conventional pop vocalist.
While most of his peers and would-be successors sing about love in traditional terms, Ferry usually finds new ways to make his interpretation of the topic sound fresh and original.
His quest to keep exploring new terrain has kept his musical career as vibrant as ever. But, for his latest project, the recent covers album Dylanesque, Ferry does some time traveling to a period when Bob Dylan ruled folk.
Ferry has always had a knack for taking other people?s songs ? like the Rolling Stones and Screamin? Jay Hawkins, referenced above, to Dylan and the Beatles ? and giving them his own little twist.
Dylanesque takes classic Dylan tunes and transforms them into smoother, silkier works. For those who might have enjoyed Dylan?s craftsmanship but not his vocals, Ferry?s versions will be a revelation.
?A lot of people said they?ve always liked the Dylan songs but have never been a big fan of his voice,? says Dylanesque producer Rhett Davies. ?But to hear Bryan doing the songs brings them to life for them. That?s kind of nice.?
He adds that ?Bryan does do covers in a unique way, which is what makes them worthwhile, I think. He loves interpreting other people?s songs, especially if he loves the songs, and with Dylan there is just such a huge catalog of great material.?
Ferry has been actively touring to promote Dylanesque. And he and Roxy Music are slowly but surely working on a new studio album, and the group recently played the Concert For Diana in London. The soulful singer has also nabbed some acting and modeling gigs over the last two years.
His early years with Roxy Music found Ferry stirring numerous musical styles ? soul, pop, art-rock, ambient washes ? into an eclectic and vibrant musical stew.
From its self-titled debut in 1972 through to its shimmering swan song Avalon in 1982, the group redefined the boundaries of rock and pop and laid down the foundations for the New Wave and New Romantic movements of the early ’80s.
Ferry?s solo career, launched in 1973, has seen him tackle unconventional covers and generate moody originals that are all undeniably his own.
Beyond the music is Ferry?s image of a die-hard romantic, stylishly dressed and captivating to a bevy of beauties that have paraded across Roxy Music album covers, including one (Jerry Hall on Siren) that he dated for a time. He certainly embodies pop-music elegance and has done so throughout his lengthy career.
Of his 2002 release Frantic, the Washington Post wrote: ? ? Ferry?s vocals are like James Bond?s preferred martini ? shaken, not stirred. His quavery croon, like his suave suits, foppish black bangs and penetrating stare, enable him to cultivate an image, even at age 56, of a ridiculously sublime vintage film star.?
The romantic crooner has always been attracted to Dylan?s work, having covered ?A Hard Rain?s