Bête Noire (album)

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Bête Noire
Studio album by Bryan Ferry
Released 2 November 1987 (1987-11-02)
Recorded 1986–1987 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas; Marcadet, Paris; Mireval, Var; Guillaume Tell, Paris
Length 43:18
Label Virgin (U.K.)
E.G. (U.S.)
Producer Bryan Ferry, Chester Kamen and Patrick Leonard
Bryan Ferry chronology
Boys and Girls
(1985)
Bête Noire
(1987)
Taxi
(1993)

Bête Noire (French for "black beast" meaning pet peeve) is the seventh solo studio album by Bryan Ferry, the former lead vocalist for Roxy Music. The album was released in November 1987 on Virgin Records in the United Kingdom and E.G. in the United States, two years after Ferry's successful album, Boys and Girls. This was Ferry's second solo album since the second demise of Roxy Music in 1983, four years earlier. The album was a commercial and critical success, peaking at No. 9 in the UK. it was certified Gold by the BPI.

The first single, "The Right Stuff" (Is a collaboration with Johnny Marr and is adapted from The Smiths' instrumental B-side "Money Changes Everything") was the album's only top 40 hit in the UK, peaking at No. 37.[1] The second single, "Kiss and Tell", narrowly missed the UK top 40, but made the U.S. top 40 (becoming Ferry's only solo single to chart in the U.S. Top 40). The song also appeared in the film Bright Lights, Big City, adapted from the Jay McInerney novel of the same name. The third and final single, "Limbo", peaked at No. 86 in the UK.[2][3][4][5] The promotional video for the single "Kiss and Tell" features the models Mandy Smith (who is also featured on the single's cover photograph), Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies.[6]

Background[edit]

After the success of "Boys and Girls", Ferry decided that it was time for a change of pace in his solo career. In an attempt to give his music a more dance floor sound, he joined forces with Patrick Leonard who was famed for having recorded Madonna.[7] Leonard went on to co-write five of the album's songs. Guesting on the album would be Pink Floyd's former guitarist, David Gilmour, session musicians Guy Pratt, David Williams, Abraham Laboriel, Roxy Music's former guitarist Neil Hubbard and drummer Andy Newmark.

Lawsuits with E.G. Records[edit]

Prior to the release of the album, Ferry claimed that his recording agreement with the label, E.G. ended in March 1987, and that he was in a position to sell his new album to any company. E.G. said that he was in breach of a 15-year contract which gave them exclusive rights to market the album in Canada and the United States. The action was heard at the High Court of Justice in London, and in a preliminary hearing, the parties agreed that if the album was to be released before the main hearing, Ferry was to pay a third of the royalties into a joint account with E.G. – which they would receive if they were to win the case. E.G. later won the case and they marketed the album in Canada and the United States.[8]

1988–89 tour[edit]

Ferry toured Australia, Japan, United States, and Europe to support the album. The Edge from U2 joined Ferry on stage at the Dublin show to perform the Irish folk song, Carrickfergus and Johnny Marr joined the backing band for "The Right Stuff" at Manchester. Andy MacKay also joined the backing band for a few numbers at the London Palladium and Wembley Arena dates.[9]

Several of the songs from the Glasgow show were included on several Bryan Ferry CD singles in 1993–95.

Line-up[edit]

Dates[edit]

  • 2 August 1988 – Poughkeepsie US
  • 3 August 1988 – New Haven US
  • 5 August 1988 – Philladelphia US
  • 6 August 1988 – Boston US
  • 7 August 1988 – Woodbridge US
  • 9 August 1988 – Radio City Music Hall New York US
  • 10 August 1988 – Radio City Music Hall New York US
  • 11 August 1988 – Radio City Music Hall New York US
  • 13 August 1988 – Chrysler Hall Norfolk US
  • 14 August 1988 – Atlanta Georgia US
  • 15 August 1988 – Washington DC US
  • 17 August 1988 – Toronto Ontario Canada
  • 18 August 1988 – Montreal Canada
  • 20 August 1988 – Quebec City Canada
  • 21 August 1988 – Ottowa Canada
  • 23 August 1988 – Cleveland US
  • 24 August 1988 – Detroit US
  • 26 August 1988 – Millwaukee US
  • 27 August 1988 – Chicago US
  • 28 August 1988 – Chicago US
  • 30 August 1988 – Minneapolis US
  • 31 August 1988 – Winnipeg Canada
  • 2 September 1988 – Calgary Canada
  • 3 September 1988 – Edmonton Canada
  • 5 September 1988 – Vancouver Canada
  • 6 September 1988 – Seattle US
  • 8 September 1988 – Sacramento US
  • 9 September 1988 – Berkeley US
  • 10 September 1988 – Santa Barbara US
  • 12 September 1988 – Denver US
  • 13 September 1988 – Phoenix US
  • 16 September 1988 – San Diego US
  • 18 September 1988 – Los Angeles US
  • 19 September 1988 – Los Angeles US
  • 11 October 1988 – Nihon Budokan Tokyo Japan
  • 12 October 1988 – NHK Hall Tokyo Japan
  • 13 October 1988 – Nagoya City Hall Nagoya Japan
  • 15 October 1988 – Cultural Hall Shikoku Japan
  • 17 October 1988 – Nihon Budokan Tokyo Japan
  • 18 October 1988 – Department Of Education Hall Osaka Japan
  • 20 October 1988 – Department Of Education Hall Osaka Japan
  • 21 October 1988 – Kawasaki Cultural Hall Yokohama Japan
  • 25 October 1988 – USA Super Top Tent Aukland New Zealand
  • 29 October 1988 – World Expo 1988 Brisbane Australia
  • 31 October 1988 – Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  • 1 November 1988 – Entertainment Centre Sydney Australia
  • 4 November 1988 – National Tennis Centre Melbourne Australia
  • 7 November 1988 – Festival Theatre Adelaide Australia
  • 8 November 1988 – Festival Theatre Adelaide Australia
  • 11 November 1988 – Entertainment Centre Perth Australia
  • 17 November 1988 – Sporthalle Hamburg Germany
  • 19 November 1988 – Isstadion Stockholm Sweden
  • 22 November 1988 – Paris France
  • 23 November 1988 – Ahoy Rotterdam Holland
  • 27 November 1988 – ICC Berlin Germany
  • 28 November 1988 – Phillipshalle Düsseldorf Germany
  • 2 December 1988 – Palasport Firenze Italy
  • 4 December 1988 – Palaeur Rome Italy
  • 6 December 1988 – Olimpiahalle Munich Germany
  • 7 December 1988 – Alte Oper Frankfurt Germany
  • 8 December 1988 – Vorst Nationaal Brussels Belgium
  • 10 December 1988 – SECC Glasgow Scotland
  • 11 December 1988 – Manchester GMEX Centre
  • 13 December 1988 – Royal Dublin Showground Ireland
  • 15 December 1988 – Palladium London England
  • 16 December 1988 – Palladium London England
  • 13 January 1989 – National Exhibition Centre Birmingham England
  • 14 January 1989 – National Exhibition Centre Birmingham England
  • 16 January 1989 – Wembley Arena London England
  • 17 January 1989 – Wembley Arena London England
  • 19 January 1989 – Wembley Arena London England
  • 20 January 1989 – Wembley Arena London England

Video release[edit]

Cover art for the Video release

The Bête Noire Tour movie was released 10 November 2008 by the EMI Productions studio. The DVD features a pair of solo performances by Bryan Ferry, the first performance previously released as New Town, was filmed during his 1988–89 Bête Noire European Tour. The bonus show is the previously unavailable Virgin Germany 25th Birthday concert in Munich in 2002.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (C+) Jan. 26, 1988
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars link

Reviewing for AllMusic, critic Ned Raggett wrote of the album, "Bete Noire sparkles as the highlight of Ferry's post-Roxy solo career, adding enough energy to make it more than Boys and Girls part two. Here, his trademark well-polished heartache strikes a fine balance between mysterious moodiness and dancefloor energy, and Leonard adds more than a few tricks that keep the pep up."[11] The critic Robert Christgau wrote of the album, "As with Mick Jagger, of all people, the signal that self-imitation has sunk into self-parody is enunciatory ennui—vocal mannerisms that were once ur-posh are now just complacent."[12] Billboard wrote of the album, "Former Roxy Music maestro's much-awaited follow-up to "Boys And Girls" harbingers well for his new association with Reprise. Like past Ferry solo efforts, this displays the singer/writer's usual suaveness; tunes hinge on his familiar theme of l'amour moderne on the rocks. Tracks are uniformly solid, although "Kiss & Tell" and "Seven Deadly Sins" stand out."[8]

2003 surround-sound remix[edit]

In 2003, Virgin reissued Bête Noire on Hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) with a new 5.1-channel surround sound remix.[13] The original 1987 stereo mix is left intact and is the same for the CD layer and for the HD layer, allegedly transferred from analogue master tapes to DSD and processed in DSD throughout the process.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Bryan Ferry and Patrick Leonard, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Limbo"   5:00
2. "Kiss and Tell" (Ferry) 4:57
3. "New Town" (Ferry) 4:50
4. "Day For Night"   5:35
5. "Zamba"   3:00
6. "The Right Stuff" (Ferry, Johnny Marr) 4:25
7. "Seven Deadly Sins" (Ferry, Chester Kamen, Guy Pratt) 5:10
8. "The Name of the Game"   5:28
9. "Bête Noire"   4:53
Total length:
43:18

Personnel[edit]

Note: The LP's sleeve notes includes "Vive la Résistance" to a list of musicians. Only their names are mentioned, their instruments and the exact songs on which they play are not. The following list merely tentatively mentions the instruments the same musicians have played on other Ferry records.

Additional musicians

Production[edit]

  • All songs produced by Bryan Ferry and Patrick Leonard, except "Kiss and Tell", "New Town", "The Right Stuff" and "Seven Deadly Sins" (produced by Bryan Ferry, Patrick Leonard and Chester Kamen).
  • Recording Engineers: Steve Jackson, Kevin Killen and Ian Eales
  • Mixed by Alan Meyerson and Bruce Lampcov
  • Mastered by Bob Ludwig
  • Tracks 1, 4, 5, 8 and 9 published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd. and Johnny Yuma Music.
  • Tracks 2 and 3 published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd.
  • Track 6 published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd. and Warner Brothers Music Ltd.
  • Track 7 published by Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd., Warner Brothers Music Ltd. and Copyright Control.

Sales chart performance[edit]

Album Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1987) Position
UK Album Charts 9
North American Billboard chart 63
Swiss Hitparade chart 21
German Media Control chart 21
Netherlands MegaCharts chart 15
Swedish Sverigetopplistan chart 6
Norwegian VG-lista chart 10
Australian ARIA Charts 38
RIANZ chart 11

Singles Peak positions[edit]

Year Single Chart Peak
Position
1987 "The Right Stuff" UK Singles Chart 37
1988 "Kiss and Tell" UK Singles Chart 41
1988 "Kiss and Tell" US Billboard 100 31
1988 "Limbo" UK Singles Chart 86

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bryan Ferry, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  2. ^ STUART LENIG -The Twisted Tale of Glam Rock – Page 88 2010 "The music was very programmatic, with images of southern sambas in "Limbo," seaside tales in "Windswept," and hidden ..."
  3. ^ The Trouser Press record guide -Ira A. Robbins – 1991 Page 244 "All things considered, "Limbo," "Kiss and Tell" and "Day for Night" are coolly inviting and likable enough, given the diminished expectations one now brings to Bryan Ferry albums. With no new music forthcoming. Ferry's British label began ..."
  4. ^ Digital Audio and Compact disc Review – Volume 4, Issues 7–12 – Page 87 1988 "Bryan Ferry: Bete Noire ... "Limbo" kicks off this danceable recording in a Caribbean groove, "
  5. ^ Keyboard – Volume 14 -1988 Page 106 "In Bryan Ferry's "Limbo," from Bete Noire, there are saxophone section parts that sound like they're from a 78 record, and in the beginning there are weird sounds like bird calls and swamp animals ..."
  6. ^ Kiss And Tell by Bryan Ferry, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  7. ^ History, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  8. ^ a b The Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music Album By Album Thread, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  9. ^ Tours, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  10. ^ Product Info, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  11. ^ Bete Noire, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  12. ^ Bryan Ferry, retrieved 12 July 2014 
  13. ^ Bryan Ferry Gold, retrieved 12 July 2014 

External links[edit]