This week, former Roxy Music founding member and frontperson Bryan Ferry released a live solo album, Royal Albert Hall 2020. The collection was recorded in London, England during the a world tour that was to be cut short soon after the UK shows due to the global pandemic.
Today, an email blast advertised that the proceeds of Royal Albert Hall 2020 sales are being shared equally among Ferry’s backing band and crew to support them. The 18-track album, which is currently charting highly in the UK, is only CAD 6.99, so I encourage folks to buy it to keep its popularity and sales up.
Last year, Ferry released a live album recorded at the same venue in 1974.
I haven’t listened to very much of this week’s release yet, but a few songs played in the car while I was out on an errand to pick up my freshly tuned-up road bike. So far, I like the album… though it was also a reminder of missing a rare stop by Ferry in Winnipeg, Canada, a few years ago. Ouch… that still hurts!
Ferry is one of my favourite male singers, both in his Roxy Music and solo phases. I’ve posted music of his before (please see my February 2020 post on “Oh Yeah.”). (And you don’t have to look too far to see music by his former bandmate Brian Eno, whether solo or in collaboration with several other artists like his brother Roger Eno, Daniel Lanois, with both Roger and Lanois, Talking Heads, U2 and others.)
During their 1982 tour, Roxy Music recorded the four-track live EP, The High Road, which they released in 1983:
“Can’t Let Go” (written by Ferry)
“My Only Love” (Ferry)
“Like a Hurricane” (by Neil Young, who’s getting a lot of indirect attention the blog, recently!)
“Jealous Guy” (John Lennon)
In my post on “Oh Yeah,” I talk more about the live album and receiving a vinyl copy from one of my sons for my birthday a few years ago.
The YouTube video I’m using for today’s post is an unofficial but YouTube-credited-to-the-artist upload of the entire EP. So with a visit to one post today, you get three bonus songs! I highly recommend listening to it, up to 27:50 when the EP ends (the last half of the video seems to be a partial duplication while ripping the recording). Ferry’s voice is top-notch, as are the backup singers, the band sounds fantastic, saxophonist Andy Mackay plays excellent solos, and lead guitarist Phil Manzanera absolutely shreds some very serious solos on each song. Fully air-guitar worthy. (Unfortunately, as it’s a longer video, you’ll have to put up with some ads unless you’re on YouTube Premium.)
I really wish the label would release that album for online purchase/download as it would be a very popular stream. I’d love to have a digital copy… as I said in the above-referenced post on Roxy Music (“Oh Yeah”), I think it’s one of the best concert performance recordings I’ve heard.
(As an aside, in that same “Oh Yeah” post from 2020, I referenced a local avant-garde band that a friend was a member of in the early 1980s, called A New Man Celebration. Last month, I received an email through the Contact tab on my website from the daughter of that former band’s singer, telling me she thought her dad was going to be very excited to know that his band had been talked about in the year 2020. How cool was that for her to reach out! We had a good discussion by email.)
Hearing Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music live performances makes me miss the big touring concerts, and who knows when those will start up again. Locally, some partial-capacity gigs are starting to happen, so I guess it will only be a matter of time. We all just need to be careful and stay safe until more of us can get vaccinated and eventually can resume large gatherings.
Now you know a little about why this is My Song (plus bonus songs) of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the audio for the four songs (“Can’t Let Go” ends at 5:32, and the EP ends at about 27:50; ignore the remainder!):
Full, unofficial lyrics for “Can’t Let Go” are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.