Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Bryan Ferry
Label: Virgin Records
Length: 11 tracks
I came to Bob Dylan through Bryan Ferry. As a twelve year old pop boy, Ferryís version of "A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall" was my first brush with the poetry, the sense of music being bigger and far more vital than I could probably even imagine at the time. It is probably the best Dylan cover ever and considering he has done a few more Dylan songs since including two on his last album Frantic the concept here is no surprise. I also believe that Ferry is better with other peopleís songs than with his own. My favorite album is These Foolish Things and on my iPod, there will be more covers than originals in my Ferry section.
So Ferry doing a whole album of Dylan is no surprise but is it overkill. That quirky Ferry voice does gives other shades and textures to Dylan songs. "Positively 4th Street" works best here and "Times They Are a Changing" is good. But overall it is all a bit pedestrian. The backing comes across as a sophisticated bar band and though everything is well done there are too few surprises. "Make You Feel My Love" is hardly the most vital of Dylanís later songs and did we really need another "Knocking On Heavenís Door." What an album of Dylan covers really needs to do is to uncover a song that lies underneath the weight of Mr. Zimmermanís catalogue. It would have been great to have heard a version of the spiritual phase or one from "Infidels" or "Changing of the Guard_ which Patti Smith has done.
So there is not a thing wrong with Dylanesque but it could have been so much more interesting.
Steve Stockman is the Presbyterian
Chaplain at Queens University, Belfast, Ireland, where he lives in community
with 88 students. He has written two books Walk On; The Spiritual Journey
of U2 which he is currently updating and The Rock Cries Out; Discovering
Eternal Truth in Unlikely Music. He dabbles in poetry and songwriting and
he has a weekly radio show on BBC Radio Ulster (listen anytime of day or
night @ www.bbc.co.uk/ni/religion/rhythmandsoul). He has his own web page--Rhythms
of Redemption at http://stocki.ni.org . He also tries to spend some time
with his wife Janice and daughters Caitlin and Jasmine.