[Review] Bryan Ferry: Let’s Stick Together (1976)

Re-makes of Roxy songs make this his most appealing solo record to date, but the remodeled covers are equally rousing.

Kronomyth 3.0: Re-makes and re-models.

Bryan Ferry stuck some of his earlier, alternate takes of Roxy’s classics (which had previously appeared as B sides) alongside terrific new covers and packaged the whole thing as Let’s Stick Together. Not only does this blend together seamlessly (even though “2 HB” was recorded three years earlier), but it represents the single finest argument for Ferry’s fascination with cover material. Tracks by the Everly Brothers, The Beatles and Wilbert Harrison are never far from a sweet saxophone or guitar solo, the icing on these cool confections. But the album would have been little more than a box of creme-filled candies without the chewy interpretations of Roxy nuggets like “Casanova” (delivered here with devilish detachment), “Re-make/Re-model” and a corporeal “2 HB.”

By reconciling Ferry’s work with Roxy Music alongside his solo persona as the re-visionary romantic, Let’s Stick Together offers that rare two-dimensional picture of the enigmatic artist. For my money, hearing Bryan bulldoze through “Shame, Shame, Shame” (and whip out a harmonica solo!) and melt over “Heart On My Sleeve” are indelible moments in music. Past interpretations of Bob Dylan have been challenging, the leisure suit donned for “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” et cetera impeccably tailored, but rarely has the end result been enjoyable in its own right. Let’s Stick Together is different; here, the listener can enjoy Ferry’s voice for what it is rather than what it’s not. For Roxy Music fans crossing over, this is Ferry’s smoothest ride.

Original LP Version

A1. Let’s Stick Together (Wilbert Harrison) (3:00)
A2. Casanova (Bryan Ferry) (2:45)
A3. Sea Breezes (Bryan Ferry) (6:10)
A4. Shame, Shame, Shame (Jimmy Reed) (3:15)
A5. 2 HB (Bryan Ferry) (3:50)
B1. The Price of Love (Don & Phil Everly) (3:25)
B2. Chance Meeting (Bryan Ferry) (3:35)
B3. It’s Only Love (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) (3:45)
B4. You Go To My Head (Haven Gillespie/J. Fred Coots) (2:50)
B5. Re-Make/Re-Model (Bryan Ferry) (2:40)
B6. Heart On My Sleeve (Benny Gallagher/Graham Lyle) (3:30)

The Players

Bryan Ferry (vocals, keyboards, harmonica), Chris Mercer (tenor sax), Chris Spedding (guitar), Paul Thompson (drums), John Wetton (bass) with Vicky Brown (chorus), Doreen Chanter (chorus), Helen Chappell (chorus), Mel Collins (soprano sax), Martin Drover (trumpet), John Gustafson (bass on B5), Neil Hubbard (guitar on A2), Eddie Jobson (violin, synthesizer), Phil Manzanera (guitar on B5), Paddie McHugh (chorus), Ann Odell (string arrangement  on A4), David O’List (guitar on B2), Morris Pert (percussion), John Porter (bass  on A5), Jacqui Sullivan (chorus), Martha Walker (chorus), Rick Wills (bass  on A3). Produced by Chris Thomas and Bryan Ferry; engineered by Steve Nye and John Punter.

The Pictures

Photography by Richard Wallis.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette in September 1976* in the UK (Island, ILPS 9367), US and Canada (Atlantic, SD/CS 18187), Australia (Island, L36046), Japan (Island, ILS-80725) and the Netherlands (Island, 27953XOT); reached #19 on the UK charts and #160 on the US charts. (*First appeared in 9/19/76 issue of Billboard.)

  1. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1977 in the UK (Polydor, 2302 045), Australia (Polydor, 3100 345) and Japan (Polydor, MPF-1102).
  2. Re-issued on elpee and compact disc in August 1984 in the UK (EG, EGLP/EGCD 24).
  3. Re-issued on elpee in 1986 in Japan (Polydor, 20MM-9103).
  4. Re-issued on compact disc on March 20, 1988 in Japan (EG/Virgin, 32VD-1078).
  5. Re-issued on elpee in 1988 in Germany (EG, 611 657 213).
  6. Re-issued on elpee, compact disc and cassette on February 9, 1990 in the US (Reprise, 26084-1/2/4).
  7. Re-issued on compact disc in Australia (EMI, 7864782).
  8. Re-issued on compact disc in 1997 in Japan (Virgin, VJCP-3335).
  9. Re-issued on compact disc on October 11, 1999 in the UK (EMI, 847 602).
  10. Re-released on remastered compact disc on March 28, 2000 in the US (Virgin, 47602).
  11. Re-issued on remastered compact disc in 2002 in Japan (EMI/Toshiba, TOCP-53302).
  12. Re-released on super high material compact disc in 2015 in Japan (Universal, UIGY-9686).
  13. Re-issued on limited edition SHMCD on April 29, 2015 in Japan (Universal, UICY-77103).

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