As both a member of Roxy Music and as a solo artist, Bryan Ferry has carved out a four decade (and counting) musical career that blends elements of everything from the pre rock 'n roll era to blues to soul to rock and the avant-garde. With not only his original material, but also with well-chosen covers (ready mades as he calls them), he has managed to create a sound that is uniquely his. It's a testament to his talents that his covers often sound as if he had written them himself. While on tour in 2011 for his album, Olympia, Ferry and his crack band were filmed in Lyon, France. That show makes up the deluxe edition of the Blu-ray Bryan Ferry -- Live in Lyon.
Ferry opens the show with his take on Screamin' Jay Hawkins' classic, "I Put A Spell On You." Where the original was bombastic, showcasing Hawkins' powerful voice, Ferry opts for a laid back groove with a pulsating bass. Oliver Thompson turns in some blistering lead work on the track and stands out throughout the show. "Don't Stop The Dance" is an up-tempo number propelled by the dual drumming of former Roxy Music member, Andy Newmark, and Ferry's own son, Tara.
Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is reimagined here as a driving, danceable track. It features more excellent guitar work and some fine harmonica from Ferry. Less successful is his cover of "Hold On I'm Coming." While the band offers a funky rendition, Ferry sings it in unison with the backup singers and the lack of horns from the original strips it of much of its urgency. Much better is Olympia's "You Can Dance," a hard-edged track with some tasty slide guitar work.
Several Roxy Music numbers feature throughout the show as well. Ferry takes to the keyboards for a relaxed, near tropical "Avalon," while the band runs through a sizzling "Love Is The Drug" that eclipses the tempo of its studio counterpart. While Ferry plays a nice cross-selection of his own material, he bookends the show with another cover, a heartfelt rendition of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy."
The video is presented in 1080i High Definition Widescreen and looks fantastic. Equally impressive are the LPCM Stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio tracks. The Blu-ray includes a bonus documentary about the making of Ferry's Olympia album. This is not a five-minute featurette but, rather, a 45-minute film with interviews and great studio footage. Also included in the deluxe edition is a bonus CD featuring several songs from the concert and a 72-page booklet, documenting the show, as well as Ferry's career.
Ferry continues to push artistic boundaries and is showing few signs of slowing down. Playing with young musicians such as his son and Thompson seems to have energized him. Live in Lyon shows a performer still vital after four decades.