Bryan Ferry is to release ‘Dylanesque’, an album of Bob Dylan cover songs, this Spring.
The Roxy Music front man is a longtime fan of the great man Dylan having first recorded a swaggering version of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” in 1973.
Ferry says recording the new album has always been an ambition, saying, “I just thought it would be great to make a whole album of Dylan songs. And at the end of last year, finally, it happened.”
‘Dylanesque’ features eleven Dylan songs, recorded in just one week in the studio with his full touring band backing him. Ferry says, “I wanted to get away from that locked-in-the-studio feeling. We were doing live vocals, harmonica, live everything.”
Ferry has changed the moods and temper of the songs, protest song ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ is no longer just that. Ferry tells us “The way I do it doesn’t mean it isn’t a protest song… this song can be whatever you want it to be. I grew up with the jazz idea that you could do a song in many different ways.”
Other tracks Ferry has tackled include, ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,’ ‘Simple Twist of Fate,’ ‘All I Really Want To Do’ and ‘Positively 4th Street.’
Guest musicians also appear on the covers album – Brian Eno provides “sonic enhancements” on ‘If Not For You’ and The Dirty Three’s Warren Ellis brings a string arrangement to ‘Positively 4th Street.’
Ferry also tackles ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ admitting that “[it] was a risky one, because it’s been covered so many times by different people. With All Along The Watchtower there was a nod to Hendrix as well as Dylan. The backing track was done about eight years ago, just an acoustic guitar played by Robin Trower, bass, drums and me. I kept looking at it and thinking, one day I’ve got to finish that…”
‘Dylanesque’ is released on Virgin Records on March 5.