Taxi

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Six years elapsed between the release of Taxi, Bryan Ferry’s eighth solo album, and his previous release, Bête Noire. It was the most protracted artistic silence of his career, and in the intervening time he had become a father again, twice over, experienced the sad passing of his mother Mary Ann (to whom the record is dedicated), released two ‘Greatest Hits’ collections and witnessed the dissolution of the world’s largest nation state, the former Soviet Union.

In spite of all this, Taxi was in fact the most swiftly realised Ferry collection since 1978′s The Bride Stripped Bare, and proved vital to reigniting his creative energies – a further two albums would see the light of day during the following six year stretch. To understand this paradox, one must investigate the circumstances that surround the record’s creation.

After finishing the mammoth Bête Noire tour, Ferry began work on his next project, titled Horoscope. Sadly, after a significant financial and emotional toll had been taken, the nearly-completed album was rejected by Virgin records on the grounds of its ‘uncommercial’ material, leaving the artist back at the drawing board. As a welcome respite, he quickly worked-up a cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ for the soundtrack to Andrew Bergman’s film, ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’. Prompted by the relative ease of this recording, and (reportedly) by the suggestion of his then-wife Lucy that he return to the ‘readymades’ concept of his earliest solo albums, Ferry set the Horoscope project aside in order to reconnect with his music collection.

Revitalised by the new focus, the resulting record was made in only five months, mainly at London’s storied Matrix studios, using a typically stellar cast of contributors: alongside Robin Trower, who co-produced the album with Ferry (after initially being brought in to keep an eye on the Horoscope sessions), there are also notable turns from David Williams, Neil Hubbard, Carleen Anderson, Steve Ferrone, Greg Phillinganes and Maceo Parker, to mention just a few.

Taxi represents the perfect confluence of Ferry’s high-gloss and painstaking production and the unerringly precise and muscular playing of his session cohorts. As with those early solo albums, songs aren’t so much ‘covered’ as converted. ‘Just One Look’, a Motown ballad best known for the Hollies’ uptempo interpretation, here becomes sombre and reflective giving the lyric a pathos entirely absent from its forebears, with a masterful vocal performance cast against a radically reworked arrangement that makes it, to all intents and purposes, an entirely new composition.

The same can also be said of the album’s opener, a moody and magisterial take on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put A Spell On You’, that finds the groove and elegance one expects from Ferry enhanced by subtle, synthetic atmospheres, giving it a sang froid that suits the vocal perfectly. These two examples foreground the album’s greatest assets – Ferry’s voice, and the panoramic arrangements – that elevate the songs from tribute to triumph. The vocals exude the kind of mannered cool that will be instantly familiar to fans, but in the interval between Taxi and Bête Noire Ferry found an undercurrent of warm sincerity that is deployed here to devastating effect: the ‘remodel’ of The Shirelles’ classic ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, taken at near-funereal pace, attains its emotional power from the dignified vulnerability that the singer imbues it with, and ‘Girl Of My Best Friend’ shows how Ferry’s experience as a singer allows him the assurance to play with the spaces around the music in a manner reminiscent of the great jazz stylists like Jimmy Scott.

–Hal Norman, 2010

1. I Put A Spell On You

(Hawkins)

I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine

You gotta stop the things you do
I ain’t lying
You better stop the things you do
I ain’t lying
I just can’t stand it babe
I just can’t stand it babe
I just can’t stand it babe
I just can’t stand it

I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine

(I put a spell on you, because you’re mine)

I put a spell on you
I put a spell on you
You’ve gotta stop the things you do
You’ve gotta stop the things you do
You’ve gotta stop the things
Stop the things
Stop the things

I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine

2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow

(Goffin/King)

Tonight you’re mine completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
Will you love me tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of your sighs?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the mornin’ sun?

I’d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?

So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

3. Answer Me

(Winkler/Rauch/Sigman)

Answer me, oh my love
Just what sin have I been guilty of?
Tell me how I came to lose your love
Answer me, my love

You were mine yesterday
I believed that love was here to stay
Won’t you tell me where I’ve gone astray?
Answer me, my love

If you’re happier without me
I’ll try not to care
But if you still think about me
Listen my prayer

You must know I’ve been true
Won’t you say that we can start anew?
In my sorrow now I turn to you
Answer me, my love

If you’re happier without me
I’ll try not to care
But if you still think about me
Listen my prayer

You must know I’ve been true
Won’t you say that we can start anew?
In my sorrow now I turn to you
Answer me, my love
Answer me, my love
Answer me, my love

4. Just One Look

(Doris/Gregory)

Just one look and I felt so hard
In love with you
I found out how good it feels
To have your love
Say you will, will be mine
Forever and always

Just one look and I knew
That you were my only one
I though I was dreaming
But I was wrong
But I’m gonna keep on scheming
Till I make you my own

So you see I really care
Without you I’m nothing
Just one look and I know
I’ll get you someday

Just one look
Just one look
Just one look
Just one look
Just one look

5. Rescue Me

(Miner/Smith)

Oh take me in your arms
I want your tender charms
I’m lonely, I’m blue
I need you, your love true
Rescue me
Rescue me

Oh take my heart
Take your love and every part
I’m lonely and I’m blue
I need you and your love true
Rescue me
Rescue me

Rescue me
Rescue me

Oh take me in your arms
I want your tender charms
I’m lonely, blue
Rescue me
Rescue me
Rescue me
Rescue me
Rescue me
Rescue me
Rescue me
Baby
Rescue me

6. All Tomorrow’s Parties

(Reed)

And what costume shall the poor girl wear?
All tomorrow’s parties
A hand-me-down dress from who knows where
All tomorrow’s parties
And where will she go and what she gonna do?
When midnight comes around
She turned once more to Sunday’s clown
And cry behind the door

And what costume shall the poor girl wear?
All tomorrow’s parties
Linens and silks of last night’s gown
All tomorrow’s parties
And what will she do with Thursday’s rags?
When Monday comes around
She’ll turn once more to Sunday’s clown
And cry behind the door

And what costume shall the poor girl wear?
All tomorrow’s parties
For Thursday’s child is Sunday’s clown
For whom none will go mourning
A blackened shroud a hand-me-down gown
Of rags and silk a costume
Fit for one who sits and cries
All tomorrow’s parties

7. The Girl Of My Best Friend

(Ross/Bobrick)

The way she walks
The way she talks
How long I can I pretend?
Oh I can’t help it I’m in love
With the girl of my best friend

Her lovely hair
Her skin so fair
I could go on ‘n never end
No I can’t help it I’m love
With the girl of my best friend

I want to tell her how I love her so
And hold her in my arms, but then
What if she got real mad and told him so?
I could never face either once again

The way they kiss
Their happiness
Will my aching heart ever mend
Or will I always be in love
With the girl of my best friend?

Never end
Never end

8. Amazing Grace

(Newton)

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

‘T was grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fear relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright, shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

9. Taxi

(Banks/Brooks)

Taxi take me to the other side of town
Just as fast as you can
Taxi before my baby puts me down

Please won’t you hurry
You see she’s got me worried
I don’t wanna lose her love
Cross town is too slow
Hitch-hiking’s a no no
She’s all I’m thinkin’ of

Taxi I’ve got some catching up to do
Taxi like a fool
I broke her heart in two

Start your meter running
get your engine humming
I just want to see her
Just want to see her
Pedal on the metal
Tonight I’m gonna settle
I deceived her, and I know it grieves her
Taxi
Taxi

Taxi take me to my baby’s place
Just as fast as you can
Taxi you’ve gotta get me there on time

The freeway will be quicker
And no man’s gonna get her
I’m going out of my mind
She’s why I’m living
And this is why I’m willing
To run red lights stop signs
Just get me there on time

Taxi take me to the other side of town
As fast as you can
Taxi before my baby puts me down
I don’t wanna lose her

Taxi, Taxi, Taxi, Taxi, Taxi, Taxi, Taxi,Taxi.

10. Because You’re Mine

(Ferry)

Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine

Bryan Ferry - Taxi

1. I Put A Spell On You

2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow

3. Answer Me

4. Just One Look

5. Rescue Me

6. All Tomorrow’s Parties

7. The Girl Of My Best Friend

8. Amazing Grace

9. Taxi

10. Because You’re Mine

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