Another Time, Another Place

Bryan Ferry

Virgin, 1974

REVIEW BY: Mark Millan


Roxy Music were a truly talented bunch of blokes.  They had a unique look and sound about them that set them apart from the rest of the glitter rockers of the mid-seventies.  Apart from the eclectic music and their penchant for putting beautiful women on the album covers, a great part of what made the band tick was the undeniable chemistry that the individuals shared whenever they were together. 

For front man Bryan Ferry to step out (so quickly) and begin a solo career whilst the band were fast becoming a global force in showbiz was a brave move indeed.  Ferry though found success with his solo LP’s which gave him a chance to cover a wide array of styles without the pressure of writing anything himself.  His first record (These Foolish Things from 1973) was a gloriously edgy and raw album that included startling re-workings of “Sympathy For The Devil” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” to name but two.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

So for his second LP Ferry delivered more of the same but in a more polished and precise manner.  Another Time, Another Place still delivers the goods 35 years after it’s initial release.  Ferry has always dug deep for his cover material and this album is no exception as he glides easily through some country, rock and even the blues.

The record kicks off with the blistering rocker “The In Crowd” which is a close to Roxy Music as Ferry gets here.  Changing track completely, he follows it with a beautiful modern take on the standard “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” which proves that Ferry can croon with the best of them.  A seriously groovy and up-tempo version of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” is complemented by Ferry’s slightly creepy intro.  When  I say “creepy” I don’t mean “In Every Dream Home A Heartache” creepy but it’s pretty close to it. 

The only song on this record I don’t like is Ferry’s awful waltz through “You Are My Sunshine.”  Simply put, he took a great song and ruined it in every way possible.  It may have been the decade of decadence but there’s no excuse for this rot.  It’s followed however by a clear stand-out in a funked up version of Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World” that shouldn’t really work but work it does.  A Bob Dylan fanatic, Ferry again covered his idol here with a great reading of “It Ain’t Me Babe.”  Dylan’s spite is replaced with Ferry’s laconic chastising for a more measured interpretation.

The funkiest moment comes courtesy of some Ike Turner blues with “Finger Poppin’.”  Ferry delivers it with a reckless abandon that closely mirrors Turner’s own soul soaked original.  A rather flat reading of Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night” kills the momentum that should have carried through to the album’s end.  The title track (a Ferry original) closes the album in style as it rivals his Roxy songs in the weirdness stakes.  It brings to an end what has always been and still is a fun romp through some glamorous pop covers from the ever dapper and charming lounge-lizard.

Rating: B+

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© 2009 Mark Millan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Virgin, and is used for informational purposes only.