Bryan Ferry Sends Us “Love Letters” On His New EP

“Love Letters” comes from a handmade world where color is unattainable luxury

Last month we got the news from the Bryan Ferry mailing list that a new EP was coming soon from The Maestro, but in the current fashion, it’s on a slow drip that began on March 23rd, and is lasting though to May when the whole EP will be revealed. This will be the third stand-alone EP of his career, and it’s all Ferry cover versions this time. Named after the title track; his version of Ketty Lester’s romantic 1962 hit. I’d first heard it in the most nightmarish context possible, on the soundtrack to David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.” Now it’s been reclaimed to once more be a beacon of tender affection.

The vibe on “Love Letters” painted it as an arrangement that harked back to the “Taxi” era of the early 90s for these ears. The languid tempo and twin guitar attack of Ferry vets Waddy Wachtel and Chris Spedding re-cast the former piano song into six-string territory.

BMG | DL | 2022

Bryan Ferry: Love Letters – DL – EP [2022]

  1. Love Letters
  2. I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
  3. Fooled Around And Fell in Love
  4. The Very Thought Of You

The other songs on the EP will run the gamut of the thirties to the seventies with an eclectic blend of songs that only Bryan Ferry would think of throwing together in an EP over forty years after that span of time. The second track has been streaming since April 15th, and was the Bacharach/David classic “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.” Certainly some Peak Bacharach/David writing! Ferry has been contemplating one of their songs for some years now and he certainly picked a great one. I’ve never heard a poor version of this song. This time it was a surprisingly ambient and downbeat take on the song that showed Lucy Wilkins getting the nod for her sensitive violin solo. The subtle fingersnaps throughout it formed almost the whole of the rhythm for this daring take that avoided all of the melodrama that I previously thought was basked into the song!

The third song was the biggest shocker here. It will be Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around And Fell in Love!” A mid 70s number three US pop hit that was Bishop’s signature song. Bishop was a southern rocker signed to Capricorn Records and far from the typical Ferry targets. I see that Rod “The Mod” Stewart beat Ferry to this one in 2006 [on a cover album that saw him covering Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s A Heartache!”], but I expect that Ferry will manage to pull his usual miracle out of his chapeau and best Rod at the cover game. We await the results.

Finally, the last song was the Ray Noble chestnut, “The Very Thought Of You,” which I’ll wager Ferry has been considering recording since at least the 1973. If this had been a contender for inclusion on 1999’s “As Time Goes By” I would not have even flinched. Making me wonder if this has been cooking in the oven for that long. Knowing Ferry, it would not surprise me. You can hear the first two songs in the streaming environment of your choice. Or if you’re like me, you may pre-order the EP as a DL. There’s no physical copy of this in the offering…yet. But come RSD 2023, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash at a 12″ of this one.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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