What is it that allows me to like Bryan Ferry‘s unleashed solo side almost as much as I do Roxy Music? And that would be a lot. Compared with my general anti-camp stance on rock, my longtime enjoyment of Roxy Music and solo Bryan Ferry (up to a point – his solo albums past the band’s breakup circa 1982 are of no interest to me – and maybe this is significant) surprises me and makes me question myself.
Here’s a song and performance that encapsulates much of what I love about Roxy Music: The Power and Glory of Rock, the introspection, the self-effacing humor, the strong rhythm section…
The clip also features Ferry wearing clothes and a mustache that I have found off putting on artists like Bowie and that Sparks guy. Why don’t I simply want to give this guy a wedgie and possibly turn my ears off to his supposedly great music, as I’ve done with some of his contemporaries?
- Did the work of early Roxy Music buy him (and what the band would become) a free pass?
- Is it the fact that he seems to have a sense of humor about his persona?
- Is it the fact that the rhythm section is both tough and fluid?
In short, why do I dig Ferry but recoil at similar impulses in the music and performance of David Bowie and other ’70s camp-rockers?