Bryan Ferry: Olympia
65 year old, Bryan Ferry is one of the few OGs of the 70s glam rock scene that is still active. Although he is best known for his work with Roxy Music, Ferry has been a solo artist since 1973. Through his four decades of solo work, Ferry has produced critically acclaimed glam rock (ie These Foolish Things), commercially successful pop rock (ie. Boys and Girls), and most recently Bob Dylan cover albums (ie Dylanesque). On his latest album, Olympia, he works with a myriad of collaborators to create intricate art rock.
Roxy Music alum, Brian Eno is probably better known for his art rock but Ferry has done a fair amount of dabbling in the genre as well. On Olympia, Ferry really goes all in. Enlisting collaborators like his former partner in crime, Bryan Eno, as well as Roxy Music members Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay to aide in the song writing process, Ferry creates essentially the new Roxy Music album. Olympia, at its inception, was supposed to be the new Roxy Music album, their first since 1983. At some point, it became another Ferry solo album. Ferry took the Roxy Music songs and surrounded them with collaborations with the likes of Scissor Sisters, Groove Armada, and Eurythmics‘ Dave Stewart.
The album’s most promising tune is actually a collaboration between Ferry and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera. The track is called “BF Bass (Ode To Olympia)” and feels like a throwback 70s glam tune along the lines of “Love is a Drug”. The track features a Seinfeld-esque bass line and soulful female backing vocals.
Most of the tracks on Olympia are closer to the content of Roxy Music’s last album, 1982’s Avalon without anything quite as memorable as “More Than This”. Your perception of Olympia will depend on how you look at it. If the album was released in 1985 it would have been considered the next logical step for Roxy Music and probably would have been critically praised. Unfortunately the album is coming out a quarter of a century later and feels a bit dated and passe.
MP3: Bryan Ferry “BF Bass (Ode To Olympia)”
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Bryan Ferry: Olympia