Bryan Ferry - lead vocals, keyboards; Chris Spedding - guitar; Phil Manzanera - guitar; Mel Collins - saxophone; Chris Mercer - trumpet; Martin Drover - saxophone; Ann Odell - keyboards; John Wetton - bass; Paul Thompson - drums; Jacqui Sullivan - vocals; Doreen Chanter - vocals; Helen Chappelle - vocals
Bryan Ferry, the charismatic lead vocalist of the U.K. glam-rock group Roxy Music, first recorded a solo album of mostly cover material as a fluke in 1973, while waiting for the next Roxy album and tour to get going. The album, These Foolish Things, which included his quirky remakes of Wilbert Harrison's R&B classic "Let's Stick Together" and Bob Dylan's anti-war opus, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," got critical raves, thus giving Ferry the impetus to launch a full blown solo career the following year.
By the time Ferry reached the U.S. shores on his first North American solo tour it was 1977, and he had already seen considerable success with Roxy Music in England. Playing it safe, Ferry decided to include three members of Roxy in his massive, 11-piece solo ensemble, which included Phil Manzanera on guitar, temporary Roxy fill-in John Wetton on bass and drummer Paul Thompson. In addition, he opted to include some choice Roxy material in his solo show, even though he employed different arrangements.
The result was an enjoyable mix of the familiar and the unexpected. He sticks mostly with his odd cover arrangements of well known hit songs (his version of "Roadrunner" is particularly impressive) as well as a healthy dose of new Ferry originals that were part of his fourth solo album, In Your Mind. While the material doesn't always do it, the live performances by this stellar lineup of musicians certainly does. Second guitarist Chris Spedding (from the influential U.K. band, the Sharks) works well with Manzanera, who was an obvious influence on U2's the Edge.
Credit must also go to the amazing horn section, spearheaded by former King Crimson saxophonist, Mel Collins. Although not quite as compelling as the horn sections of Chicago or Tower of Power, Collins does manage to lead the other players into some impressive chops throughout this entire show.