Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music - The Platinum Collection - Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music
Box sets of artists who have adoring fans who'll buy every release they can find, often get negative feedback. Who needs a compilation of hits? critics ask. Well, perhaps anyone who has a CD or DVD player, and finds LPs a hassle when driving. Or the many who're still discovering the impressive back catalogue of 70s pop rock.
On the box set cover, Bryan sports his trademark, mocking cabaret sneer against a camp pink background, screaming bad taste so purposeful, that it's become art.
The 45 track compilation spans his career and his many stylistic phases, from the jerky rock attack vocals of "Love is a Drug", to the melancholic crooning of "Avalon". Hits mingle with slow burners and cover versions (which Ferry called "readymades" and would always stamp with his own prominent musical design.)
The precursor to great 80s bands like Talking Heads, and a contemporary of those saviours of pop, Steely Dan, Ferry wrote pop rock with a twist. He wrote songs that played on the radio, but weren't as forgettable as most radio fare. He was never a sellout because he'd always bought in, and the more you listen to this stuff, the more complexities you'll discover hidden under the accessible surface.
Ferry produced many flawed albums in a time when people released stuff willy nilly. It's hard work listening to some of them. So the best thing about this collection is the edited overview it gives you. The booklet has useful notes for every song on the album, telling you where it came from and why it was recorded.
The oddness of this man and his music will grow on you by the end of CD 3, if you're not already a devotee.
*The clips featured are just two from each CD, each of which has 15 songs on it.
- Jean Barker
...it's not only the older crowd who will be seduced by Ferry. Younger listeners looking to uncover classic 70s art-rock will find it in the superbly inspired early Roxy Music output.
If you enjoy the best of British rock from the seventies, you will be pleased that you can finally get all Bryan's hits in one handy package.
- Peter D Harris on Amazon.com