28, 2011 - Former Roxy Music frontman Brian Ferry spoke to
Miami Herald's John Hood as he begins the US portion
of tour this week in Miami, noting that his inclusion of Song
to the Siren on his Olympia album came after hearing
Elizabeth Frazier's version.
Coincident with Roxy Musics sophomore effort was
the release of Ferrys first solo album, 'These Foolish
Things', a collection of classic covers ranging from Dylans
'A Hard Rains a-Gonna Fall' to Leiber and Stollers
'Baby I Dont Care'. Subsequent solo LPs would follow
a similar pattern and help to forever associate Ferry with
some of the most beautifully inspired interpretations rendered.
Of course Ferry is a songwriter as well as a troubadour, and
even with Roxy Music still creating records, he had songs
to spare. Three and a half decades later, his Olympia would
consist of all originals but one, the ethereal 'Song to the
Reached by telephone in Warsaw, where Ferry was wrapping up
the European leg of an extensive world tour, he remembered
the first time he heard This Mortal Coils cover of Tim
Buckleys classic track.
I was home, he said. The guy who did the
clip had it on his reel. I thought it was beautiful. I dont
think I heard Tim Buckleys version till after mine was
Like Ferrys earlier renditions, 'Siren' is an unmistakable
homage to a great song, possessing its essence. As ever Ferry
seems less concerned with reinvention (the wheel turns fine
as it is), as he is with ownership; not in any mundane way
of course, but in the way of a songs soul.
Ferrys ability to claim the essence of another writers
song is the reason his own songwriting so singularly stands
out. That and perhaps the notion that the tribute gets something
out of his system