Boys and Girls

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Released in 1985, Bryan Ferry’s sixth solo album is a timeless masterpiece, the product of an unparalleled master craftsman working at the height of his considerable powers. After a run of fourteen albums (with Roxy Music and solo) in the decade-long span between 1972 and 1982, the wait for new material must have been intolerable for many Ferrymaniacs; rarely in pop music has patient dedication been so handsomely rewarded. An absolute feast for the ears, Boys and Girls is one of the most seductive pop records of its decade, and every decade since, the sumptuous production inviting you on a sleek sonic trip through the beating heart of the city. It’s the kind of album that adjectives, and HiFis were made for.

Involving seven studios and a cornucopia of session heavyweights (including Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour and Nile Rodgers on guitars alone), Boys and Girls is the culmination of all of Ferry’s best aesthetic instincts about the new possibilities heralded by the dawn of digital recording. From the string section tuning up at the start of the propulsive and sure-footedly loose ‘Sensation’ to the last drum machine hit in ‘Boys and Girls’, the use of texture and mood is captivating, showcasing every conceivable facet of instrumental character against perfectly spaced arrangements. In the hands of Ferry and his co-producer Rhett Davies the machines can sound as warm as a human heartbeat and the drums as cold as the arctic tundra, all bathed in a wash of bright and eddying synths.

The album’s centerpiece is undoubtedly its biggest hit, the near-ubiquitous ‘Slave To Love’, and it perfectly encapsulates the spirit of this essential record. Underpinned by a gently swaying and synthetically sweet samba rhythm, the chiming piano and liquid bass line impart a sense of wounded romance, enveloping melancholy around the radiant melody’s fibres, until Ferry’s yearning, heart-rending vocal seals the deal.

An album of precisely crafted sonic delights and resonant emotional depth, at its heart, Boys and Girls is a record for lovers – aesthetes and audiophiles included.

–Hal Norman, 2010

1. Sensation

(Ferry)

Never seem to touch
(always) Temptation
I didn’t feel enough
Motivation
Then I heard you call
(always) Sensation
Then I need it all
(always)
Oh my love
Oh my love

Never been in love
(always) Sensation
Never needed much
Complication
Then I hear you call
(always) It’s late now
And I need it all
(always)
Oh my love
Oh my love

Where the beat goes on
(always) Sensation
There you’ve been and gone
(always)
When I hear your name
(always) It’s late now
Will I feel the same
(always) Sensation
(always) Sensation
(always) Sensation
(always) Sensation
(always) Sensation
(always)
(always)

2. Slave To Love

(Ferry)

Tell her I’ll be waiting
The usual place
With the tired and weary
And there’s no escape
To need a woman
You’ve got to know
How the strong get weak
And the rich get poor

Slave to love, oh oh, slave to love

You’re running with me
Don’t touch the ground
We’re restless hearted
Not the chained and bound

The sky is burning
A sea of flame
Though your world is changing
I will be the same

Slave to love, oh oh, slave to love
Slave to love, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, slave to love
(No I can’t escape) I’m a slave to love
Can you help me?, oh
Can you help me, me, me?

The storm is breaking
Or so it seems
We’re too young to reason
Too grown up to dream

Now spring is turning
Your face to mine
I can hear your laughter
I can see your smile

Slave to love, nah nah nah nah oh oh nah nah nah nah, slave to love
Slave to love, nah nah nah nah, slave to love
(No I can’t escape) I’m a slave to love
Slave to love, nah nah nah nah oh oh nah nah nah nah, slave to love
(No I can’t escape) I’m a slave to love
Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, slave to love
(No I can’t escape) I’m a slave to love
Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, slave to love
(No I can’t escape) I’m a slave to love
Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, slave to love
(No I can’t escape) I’m a slave to love

3. Don’t Stop The Dance

(Ferry/Davies)

Mama says truth is all that matters
Lying ‘n’ deceiving is a sin
Drifting through a world that’s torn and tattered
Every thought I have don’t mean a thing

Don’t stop, don’t stop the dance
No, more music, don’t stop the dance

Mama says love is all that matters
Beauty should be deeper than your skin
Living for the moment, lips and lashes
will I ever find my way again

Don’t stop, don’t stop the dance
No, more music, don’t stop the dance

Don’t stop, don’t stop the dance

Mama says only stormy weather
Don’t know why there’s no sun in the sky
Footsteps in the dark come together
Got to keep on moving or I’ll die

Don’t stop, don’t stop the dance
No, more music, don’t stop the dance
Don’t stop, don’t stop the dance
No, more music, don’t stop the dance
Don’t stop, don’t stop the dance

4. A Waste Land

(Ferry)

When love’s gone
There’s no one
A waste land
A ghetto
When love’s gone
A tear on
A waste land
Your pillow

5. Windswept

(Ferry)

Oh baby do it again and again
I can hear nothing
Windswept is the sand

Oh baby oh show me more
I can see nothing
Windswept is the shore

Heatwave to nightshade
Oh I’m feeling swept away
Oh I
Oh I (swept away)
Oh I

Oh baby don’t leave me there
With a low whisper
Windswept in the air

You say it’s nothing
But a game to play
Oh I’m feeling swept away

Slow baby you can take your time
I can hear nothing
Windswept is the tide

A feeling only or a state of mind
Mama take me high mama
Mama take me high
Oh I (swept away)
Oh baby
Oh I (swept away)
Oh baby
Oh I (swept away)
Oh baby
Oh I (feeling swept away)
Oh baby
Oh I (feeling swept away)

6. The Chosen One

(Ferry)

Gold and silver walk the main street
(the chosen one)
Sons and lovers learn to suffer
Born in shadow where we first meet
(the chosen one)
Dreams that money cannot offer

Swollen river I’ve been thinking
(the chosen one)
Words of passion and of sorrow
Make believing is the real thing
(the chosen one)
Here today or gone tomorrow
Here today, gone tomorrow

April fever is no stranger
(the chosen one)
Night and morning in my shadow
World of pleasure and danger
(the chosen one)
Take my spirit, I must follow
Take my spirit
Take my spirit
(the chosen one)
(the chosen)
(the chosen)
(the chosen)
(the chosen)
(the chosen)
(the chosen)

7. Valentine

(Ferry)

Tell me something I must know
The burning question why
Half a man is twice as much
When he’s on the line

Happiness, hard to get
Valentine in hand
None of them will ever guess
But you understand

How many men in a world of their own
There is no end to the great unknown

Tell me something I must know
I’m outside looking in
Train of mirrors none so fair
Let the show begin

How many men in a world of their own
There is no end to the great unknown
(lala)
(lala)
(lala)
(lala)
(lala)

How many men in a world of their own
There is no end to the great unknown
(lala)
(lala)
(lala)
(lala)
(lala)

8. Stone Woman

(Ferry)

What do you find on the street tonight? – nothing
It’s a river of no return
Diamonds they’re your only friend tonight
Break the mirror and bang the drum

Let’s be cool about it
Oh we’re cool about it now
Stone woman, the pain is gone (the pain is gone)
And the pleasure is yet to come

What do you see on the street tonight? – nothing
But another heartbreak hotel
Stranger, you’re the only friend tonight
Pick a number and ring the bell

Let’s be cool about it
Oh we’re cool about it now
Stone woman, the pain is gone (the pain is gone)
And the pleasure has just begun

Honesty (stone woman)
Honesty

Let’s be cool about it
Oh we’re cool about it now
Stone woman, the pain is gone (the pain is gone)
And the pleasure has just begun

Honesty, honesty (stone woman)
Honesty (stone woman)
Honesty
(stone woman)
(let’s be cool about it)
(let’s be cool)
(stone woman)
(let’s be cool about it)
(let’s be cool)

9. Boys And Girls

(Ferry)

I’m a stranger in your town
That’s the place I belong
Laid behind the frame
And the curtain’s torn again
A wailing saxophone
You know it’s all in my song
All the sin that I can take
But you don’t even know my name

(boys and girls)
(boys and girls)
(boys and girls)

You’ve got no sense of fun
But you know I’ve one
All the good has turned to bad
And you know what I think of that
No time to dream
No time to sigh
No time to kill
When love walks by

And who’s that crying in the street?
Death is a friend I’ve yet to meet

(boys and girls)
(boys and girls)
(boys and girls)
(boys and girls)

Bryan Ferry - Boys And Girls

1. Sensation

2. Slave To Love

3. Don’t Stop The Dance

4. A Waste Land

5. Windswept

6. The Chosen One

7. Valentine

8. Stone Woman

9. Boys And Girls

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