The “Mamouna” era of Bryan Ferry was pretty significant for me. I loved the album which saw the first of several times going forward that Brian Eno was up to working with Bryan Ferry again. In late 1994, my friend Sandra and I made our way to Atlanta for a date in the tour and managed to get backstage passes that saw us in the receiving line afterward. I actually got to have a word and shake The Maestro’s hand; getting my “Don’t Stop the Dance” 7″ sleeve autographed. Immediately afterward, I met my future spouse, and Ferry fandom was one of the big things we had in common and we would see the “Mamouna” tour together…twice. Once in Tampa, and later in Orlando. There were some heartbreakingly aching songs on the album, and the CD singles were popping; giving me plenty of bonus tracks to feed into the Ferry collection.
Bryan Ferry: Mamouna – US – CD-5 
- Mamouna [single edit]
- Mamouna [LP version]
- Don’t Stop the Dance [live]
- In Every Dreamhome A Heartache [live]
- Bete Noire [live]
The first version out was the US CD-5, with a pair of live tracks not on any of the earlier UK CD-5 singles. This made nine tracks from the previous tour [a full album, really] available as live bonus tracks on singles from the new album.
Bryan Ferry: Mamouna – UK – CD-5 
- Mamouna [single edit]
- Jealous Guy [live]
- Slave To Love [live]
- The 39 Steps [Brian Eno Mix]
I next bought the UK CD-5 at the time. It didn’t come out until the next year. The first three singles from the album were the typical 2xCD-5 sets common in the UK back then. We were treated to archival cuts and rarities as well as live tracks from his previous tour. By the time that “Mamouna” was the fourth single from the album, things were scaled back to a single disc. We had the single edit, two more live cuts from the “Bete Noir” tour in 1988, plus a single remix of an LP track as remixed by Brian Eno. Lots of cachet on that one!
Bryan Ferry: Mamouna – JPN – CD-5 
- Mamouna [Single Edit]
- The 39 Steps [Brian Eno Mix]
- As The World Turns
- She’s Leaving Home
- Four Letter Love
- Broken Wings
- Is Your Love Strong Enough [7″ ver.]
- Jealous Guy [live]
Yow! The Japanese CD was something that I got a few years later on eBay, when it was still affordable, once I discovered it. It was a bounty of rarities, many of which only appeared here on this single on CD format. While I had “As The World Turns” on a Dutch 7″ of “This Is Tomorrow” I’d bought in the 80s, this is the one I listen to! The “All This And World War II” album was the OST to a strange mid-70s film with Beatles covers on its soundtrack by a host of 1976 superstars. You probably heard the hit that Elton John had with “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” from it at some point in your life.
“Four Letter Love” was the B-side to 1978’s “Sign Of The Times” single, which I didn’t even have on wax, and I still don’t even to this day! Finally, the third and final song from the “Bride Stripped Bare” sessions that was on the 1985 “Windswept” EP, was “Broken Wings.” “Crazy Love” and “Feel the Need” were already out there on some of the earlier UK singles from this album as bonus tracks. So the middle four songs on this “EP” [more like an album] were the act of someone at Virgin Japan with a laser like…some would say Monastic, focus on what parts of Ferry’s oeuvre that weren’t on CD format yet. But really, the full “Mamouna” singles campaign was striving an all of the different territories, to round up plentiful Ferry rarities onto the silver disc for the first, and sometimes, only time ever.
Monk, I know you have pointed me in the direction of the Jpn cd Mamouna before, but it’s way too expensive now. I bought most of Ferry’s 12″ singles at the time but only up to Bette noir. I find trying to collect all those cd1 and cd2 editions of basically the same tracks bar one really frustrating. I’ve basically got all the studio stuff but it’s those odd live tracks that are the draw.
Thanks for reminding of these gaping holes in my Ferry collection…sigh. Someone really needs to gather all these rarities on one album!
Jeremy Shatan – Well, a companion Ferry box like the Roxy one would be a no-brainer, I think!
Mamouna, the album is a Ferry album of two halves for me. There are the tracks that survived the aborted Horoscope sessions and those added once he turned his attentions back to the project and Eno came onboard. This isn’t me taking a shot at the album – it’s a fascinating document of and artist coming to terms with his work, his art. For me the song Mamouna is the sound of Roxy Music if it had existed/recorded in the 90s. It is heavy on the Ferry, but carries much of the DNA from the last two Roxy albums into it as well. I have a really soft spot for the songs which retain the creative base from the Horoscope sessions, especially NYC and The 39 Steps. Neil Hubbards guitar licks and Richard Norris’ synth bending on NYC are simply things of beauty. The noir of The 39 Steps is vintage Ferry, dark, brooding, sexually charged. It is some of his most unrestrained singing ever. 5 guitarists, two bassist, and Eno and Ferry both on synths…TOUR DE FORCE.
Echorich – I don’t think I ever realized that The Grid’s Richard Norris was playing on this one! I just re-acquainted myself with the Eno mix of “The 39 Steps.” What a radical, dubbed out re-think that was! It maanged to be hazy and garishly bold at the same time! Dub energy through a maximalist lens. That got me in a “Mamouna” mood and I also played the A-side edit and the coda shot chills through my spine. It may be time for a full revisit. Or maybe…just maybe, the Full Metal Ferry Rock G.P.A.! But no, I reallize that I still need “The Jazz Age,” “The Great Gatsby Recordings,” “Live @ Albert Hall. ’74,” and “Live In Lyon!” I didn’t even know about that last one [bundled with video]. Sigh.
There’s another Eno/Grid crossover if your interested Heartbeat(The Eno Mixes)cd5 1992 it was the 2nd cd single for Heartbeat,I picked it up a few years ago,vintage Eno!
Simon – Not really into The Grid, though I have several of their remixes around the Record Cell. But one day assembling a box of Eno’s remixes might be a fascinating topic to pursue.
What joy to find a blog post about Mamouna. For me, Mamouna is Ferry’s masterwork, and probably the best produced album I’ve heard by anyone. It’s an album I’ve never tired of and still find inspiration from today. Despite it’s difficult birth, it’s a wonderfully cohesive album; full of typical Ferry tropes, but at their very best. I so wish I’d seen the tour. He’s never topped this one by my book; though the odd track on Olympia and Avonmore (particularly the likes of Loop De Li, which date back to the Horoscope sessions) hit similar spots. Now, here’s a thing… I remember hearing a Ferry track on the radio back in 1995 that sounded very similar to ‘Don’t Want To Know’ in terms of sound/arrangement, but I’ve never heard it since or managed to find reference to what it may have been. A mystery unsolved.
thelightdreams – Welcome to the comments! Personally, my favorite Ferry solo album of his mature period was “Frantic.” My feeling is that Ferry tends to overcook his albums and I liked the more relaxed feel of that one a lot. It had a wide gamut of moods and then it had the good taste to climax with “I Thought,” which was utterly sublime; my favorite thing he’d ever done in the period past 1980.
Frantic was a good record, though one I unfairly overlook far too often. I saw him live on the tour for Frantic, and it didn’t disappoint!