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 Post subject: The Best Version
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm
Posts: 967
Elegantly Ageing Hipsters & Debauched Dilettantes,

Our hero's clear belief that excellence is a voyage and not a destination coupled with his ever evolving musical moods have resulted in unique and multiple interpretations of both his ready mades and own compositions.

The purpose of this thread is to critique this phenomena and to start the turn table spinning, W2 has picked that Garbo inspired classic
'The Only Face'.

Windswept is the proud curator of five versions of this particularly tasty morsel:

Mamouna (1994) - The first time W2 heard this album he felt that he had been whisked off to Marrakesh's Villa Des Orangers, swathed in white linen and was smoking something we used to fancy and which Bill Clinton claimed he never inhaled.
For an LP that took six years to write and record, the finished result came across as the complete opposite. It was and is the ultimate concept album that perfectly expressed one musical mood. If it has a fault it is that it is difficult for one track to stand out in this sea of excellence but, if one does, it's definitely TOF. Although composed and promoted with Bryan's stripped keys and voice version. The album version is very different. It's hypnotic, bongo and guitar heavy with multi-layered instrumentation. A haunting debut for one of Ferry's most beautiful songs.

Le Grand Rex (2000) - For this version, Ferry returns to the original idea. He takes to the keyboard and gives us a really stripped, emotional version that is enhanced by delicate strings and Enrico Tomasso's haunting trumpet solo. It fitted the ATGB set perfectly and for a while became W2's go to version. Best listened to in the lounge at Paris's Bristol Hotel, swathed in an A&S bespoke suit, nursing a Vesper Martini whilst waiting for Garbo to arrive.

More Friends (2002) - This version was done for Jools Holland's TV show and is quite similar to the Le Grand Rex take excepting it benefits from having Jools on piano and an absolutely searing harmonica solo in place of Tomasso's trumpet. Ferry's vocals are also really to the fore on this one.
Best listened to poolside but after midnight at The Beverley Hills Hotel. In melancholic mood,you are swathed in cashmere and nursing a Hendricks & Tonic. You've been stood up by Garbo!

The Jazz Age (2012) - Again IWNSHO (in Windswept's not so humble opinion) 'The Only Face' is the stand out track on the album.
Directed by Colin Good, TBFO gives the ultimate noir jazz interpretation of this classic.
Good's piano is nothing short of phenomenal and his band of Jazz players take you right back to the Gatsby era. It is best listened to at the end of one of Jay's parties. You are alone again, swathed in white tux with a Talisker in hand but Garbo is no where to be seen.

Live At Tollwood (2013) - essentially this is the vocal version of The Jazz Age version with the tempo moving up a little. It suits our hero's mature voice perfectly and TBFO are as peerless as ever. You are still at Gatsby's party in your white tux but this time Garbo has arrived but she walks straight past you and dances with Jay.

So Hipsters, our hero has given us five great interpretations across twenty years. All new, different and better in their own way but the question remains which is le meilleur ?

IWNSHO it depends on your mood but his absolute favourite is 'More Friends' the combination of Jools's piano, Ferry's vocal performance and the absolutely blistering harmonica solo just takes it.

Mais, Zoot Alors, they are all brilliant but Windswept awaits your comments on TOF and your best version of your best song.

A bientôt,

Windswept


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 275
A lyrically luscious analysis of the moods different stylings Bryan has created, well done W2. I have always loved the fact he reworked his songs from the very beginning, reshaping brushtrokes. This song is haunting and full of melancholy, it means a lot to me.

I may have said this before on the forum...when he played this in December 1999 on the wonderful ATGB tour at Newcastle's City Hall, he said "I wrote this song one night in Havana........ it was certainly a long way from Washington."

Which made the crowd chuckle, but I felt for the Washington lad wondering what "making the big time" means and clearly remembering humble beginnings.

Enrico's solo was so achingly beautiful....


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:44 am
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I have made a list from Youtube should any members wish to listen to all versions. There was nothing from the Tollwood Festival available so I have included the RAH performance from the same tour.

1994 - Mamouna
https://youtu.be/IlHyaq4yUaI

2000 - Grand Rex
https://youtu.be/ykjhr6YjXIY

2002 - More Friends
https://youtu.be/LYKdj_XGx_M

2012 - The Jazz Age
https://youtu.be/ZBz50jGKdN4

2013 - Royal Albert Hall (Same tour as Tollwood)
https://youtu.be/DRoPsKhb-Uo?t=5m46s

My own favourite is the duet version with Jools Holland from "More Friends". For me it conjures up the atmosphere of a smoky basement piano bar around 2am......love it!

It wasn't actually for the TV show Windswept but specially re-recorded for the duets album "Small World Big Band Volume 2, More Friends".

8-)

Edit: After posting I read Rendezvous post and was reminded that some reviews have mistakenly called the song "Havana Moon". :D :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:32 pm
Posts: 170
Cher W2, merci pour un théme trés intéressent! Comme tu sais, je suis un grand admirateur de Mamouna.
And thank you, Roxy, for making the list of My only face versions. They are all excellent, but surely my favourite is the one with Enrico Tomasso. A Deluxe&Delightful release from the ATGB era including a vinyl would be something to cheer for. I really hope BF will play Where or When in Krakow. I know it is too much to ask for, but why not replace crowd pleasers like Let's stick together, Editions of you and the tedious VP with something unusual - like The name of the game, Fool for love & Chain reaction? Well, don't worry, it will not happen!
Bonne journée à tous!


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm
Posts: 967
rendezvous wrote:

I may have said this before on the forum...when he played this in December 1999 on the wonderful ATGB tour at Newcastle's City Hall, he said "I wrote this song one night in Havana........ it was certainly a long way from Washington."

Which made the crowd chuckle, but I felt for the Washington lad wondering what "making the big time" means and clearly remembering humble beginnings.

Enrico's solo was so achingly beautiful....


Cher Rendezvous,

Très intéressant - there is no doubt that his journey through life has informed his music in a big way. And certainly, coming from the NE gives him roots that will never leave him. You can take the boy out of the NE but you certainly can't take the NE out of the boy.

W2 sometimes thinks the NE was like the Mississippi Delta.
When you think about all the musicians that hailed from there: Knopfler, Sting, Rea, Rogers, Burden and Palmer (OK he was from Scarborough) it was a veritable breading ground for talent that had some depth.

Back to TOF, W2 couldn't agree more about Enrico's solo but the Harmonica on the 'More Friends' version is just so good.....
a bientôt,

W2


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Roxy wrote:

My own favourite is the duet version with Jools Holland from "More Friends". For me it conjures up the atmosphere of a smoky basement piano bar around 2am......love it!



Mes Amis,
Clearly a lady with consummate good taste!
Windswept vacillates between ATGB & Jools.
Both have fabulous piano. Ferry's vocals are equally good on both takes.
Tomasso's trumpet is peerless on ATGB but W2 really likes the bass and drums on Jools and Ferry's harmonica solo is just so so good.
Salutations,
W2


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Posts: 275
I should have mentioned that I hadn't heard all the versions W2 referred to, only having the original and Jools versions, thanks to the lovely Roxy I will have the opportunity to hear them all and will pass judgement as per the idea behind this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:25 pm
Posts: 315
Location: Kempten
A brilliant analysis of 'The Only Face' - thank you, WS2. That is what we have missed for quite a long time ...

I still prefer those Ferry songs that have a verse-chorus-bridge structure but, of course, I like 'Mamouna' as a concept album that does not need catchy refrains (apart from the title track which I would love to be played at a live show).

Unfortunately I've never been to the British NE but this region seems to be very productive. Ferry, Sting, Knopfler and Palmer ... and don't forget Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout fame and Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant ;) .


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 7:23 pm
Posts: 967
Oberon wrote:
.... surely my favourite is the one with Enrico Tomasso. A Deluxe&Delightful release from the ATGB era including a vinyl would be something to cheer for.


Cher Oberon,

Tu est vraiment une personne avec un gout genial!

You are so right about ATGB but W2's real dream is AEWBF CD/Vinyl/DVD set. Never mind Bob Dylan's dream, this is Windswept's!

Ironically, the reason W2 started the thread with TOF is because it is just so close between the ATGB version and the Jools version and in a certain way it does become a battle between Tomato's trumpet and Ferry's harmonica - just too difficult. Excellence is excellence.

Salutations,

W2


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 Post subject: Re: The Best Version
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:24 pm
Posts: 59
W2,
Good to have you back and don't do that to us again. Now to the subject at hand. My favorite best version was Bryan opening the Frantic tour. Alone at the piano and then joined with violin I believe.
John has posted a version on SoundCloud that I really really enjoy.
https://soundcloud.com/vivaroxymusicdot ... -face-live
Next to that it's the Jools version.


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