Bryan Ferry: “Kiss And Tell” (1988)

Kind of like Love Me Madly Again, again, only more stylish and polished.

Kronomyth 7.2: The beast with two backs.

“I enjoyed sex and I indulged in it when I fancied the men, but I was no hypocrite. It was others who were disguising their peccadilloes in dinner jackets, diamonds and evening dresses, indulging in weird fantasies.” – Christine Keeler, as quoted in the NY Times.

Bryan Ferry never really left the spectral shores of Avalon, and the singles that followed (“Slave to Love,” “Don’t Stop the Dance”) were more or less beachwalking/seagazing along the same strand. Kiss And Tell continued that trend, appearing as the second single from Bryan’s second post-Roxy album, Bête Noire. The song had the minor distinction of also appearing in the film Bright Lights, Big City starring Michael J. Fox. It’s a stylish song with a dark narrative, a worldwise update on “The Price of Love” for a media-frienzied age. The song was treated to slightly different dance/extended mixes that make it easier to dance to (provided you ignore the lyrics) and includes a rare typewriter solo.

The flip side is the elpee version of the atmospheric, unearthly Zamba. This is a departure for Ferry, sounding like Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street” transported to some spirit world. “Kiss and Tell” was also accompanied by a stylish music video that showed our Dorian Gray remained untouched by the years, a reassurance to aging rockers everywhere.

Read more Bryan Ferry reviews

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Kiss And Tell (edit) (Bryan Ferry) (4:02)
B1. Zamba (Bryan Ferry/Patrick Leonard) (3:00)

12-inch single version (Europe)
A1. Kiss And Tell (dance mix) (Bryan Ferry)
B1. Kiss And Tell (dub mix) (Bryan Ferry)
B2. Zamba (Bryan Ferry/Patrick Leonard)

12-inch single version (N.America)
1. Kiss And Tell (extended remix)
2. Kiss And Tell (dub mix)
3. Kiss And Tell (edit)
4. Zamba

CD single version
1. Kiss And Tell
2. Kiss And Tell (dub mix)
3. Zamba
4. Kiss And Tell (dance mix)

The Players

“Kiss and Tell” edited by Alan Meyerson.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch, 12-inch and CD single in February 1988* in the UK (Virgin, VS/VST 1034/CDEP 19), the US (Reprise, 7-28117/20841), Canada (92 81177/08410), France (Virgin, 90387), Germany (Virgin, 109 701 100/609 701 213) and Japan (Virgin, VJS-7016) with picture sleeve; reached #41 on the UK charts and #31 on the US charts (charted on February 27, 1988 for 13 weeks). Also released as 7-inch single boxed set in 1988 in the UK (Virgin, VSX 1034) with lyrics insert and poster. Also released as promotional two-track 12-inch and CD single in 1988 in the US (Reprise, PRO-A/CD-2909) featuring A edit & lp versions. (*First appeared in 2/20/88 issue of Billboard.)

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