These Foolish Things (album)

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These Foolish Things
Bryan Ferry-These Foolish Things (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Bryan Ferry
Released 5 October 1973 (1973-10-05)
Recorded June 1973 (1973-06)
Length 43:46
Label Island
Bryan Ferry chronology
These Foolish Things
Another Time, Another Place
(1974)Another Time, Another Place1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars link
Robert Christgau A- link

These Foolish Things is the debut solo studio album by Bryan Ferry, who at the time was still Roxy Music's lead vocalist. The album was released in October 1973 on Island Records in the UK, and Atlantic Records in the United States. It was a commercial and critical success, peaking at number 5 on the albums chart in the United Kingdom. The album is considered to be a departure from Roxy Music's sound, because it consists entirely of cover versions, mainly of standard songs. The album achieved Gold status by the BPI in the United Kingdom in May 1974[1]

Most of the tracks on the album were personal favorites of Ferry's, and spanned several decades from 1930s standards such as the title track through 1950s Elvis Presley to Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.[2]

Rhapsody praised the album, calling it one of their favorite cover albums.[3]


When Ferry was asked about the album, he said "It's a very catholic selection, I've given up trying to please all of the people all of the time. Some will like it for one reason, some for another. And some will presumably dislike it for the wrong reasons though I hope the general point of it will be understood. It's amusement value. I think."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing for AllMusic, critic Ned Raggett wrote of the album "Throughout Ferry's instantly recognizable croon carries everything to a tee, and the overall mood is playful and celebratory. Wrapping up with a grand take on "These Foolish Things" itself, this album is one of the best of its kind by any artist."[5] And the critic, Robert Christgau wrote of the album "Ferry both undercuts the inflated idealism of the original and reaffirms its essential power. Along the way, he also establishes "It's My Party" as a protest song. And just in case we're getting any highfalutin ideas, the title track reminds us that pop is only, well, foolish things, many of which predate not only Andy Warhol but rock and roll itself."[6] The New Rolling Stone Album Guide review states "These Foolish Things pits Lesley Gore against Bob Dylan, and not just for effect. Ferry views pop as a kind of continuum, extending through all sorts of Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building craftsmanship and incorporating visions as radical as Dylan's and as banal as Gore's. Within such a sensibility discerning what deserves to be dismissed as "trash" and what deserves elevation as "art" is not a simple problem. And such designations are so often determined by context that their order can be reversed almost at will. By altering tempos and singing every song with the deadpan emotional blankness he largely avoids with Roxy, Ferry exposes these issues as effectively as any pop singer in history."[7]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" (Bob Dylan cover from the album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1962)) Bob Dylan 5:19
2. "River of Salt" (Ketty Lester cover from the album Love Letters (1962)) Irving Brown, Bernard Zackery, Jan Zackery 1:48
3. "Don't Ever Change" (cover) Gerry Goffin, Carole King 2:15
4. "Piece of My Heart" (Erma Franklin cover from the 1967 single) Jerry Ragovoy, Bert Berns 3:06
5. "Baby I Don't Care" (cover) Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller 1:50
6. "It's My Party" (Lesley Gore cover from the album I'll Cry If I Want to (1963)) Walter Gold, John Gluck Jr., Herb Weiner 2:00
7. "Don't Worry Baby" (The Beach Boys cover from the album Shut Down Volume 2 (1964)) Brian Wilson, Roger Christian 4:13
8. "Sympathy for the Devil" (The Rolling Stones cover from the album Beggars Banquet (1968)) Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 5:50
9. "The Tracks of My Tears" (The Miracles cover from the album Going to a Go-Go (1965)) William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr., Warren Moore, Marvin Tarplin 3:04
10. "You Won't See Me" (The Beatles cover from the album Rubber Soul (1965)) John Lennon, Paul McCartney 2:32
11. "I Love How You Love Me" (The Paris Sisters cover from the 1961 single) Barry Mann, Larry Kolber 3:02
12. "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" (Four Tops cover from the album On Top (1966)) Ivy Jo Hunter, Stevie Wonder 3:06
13. "These Foolish Things" (cover) Jack Strachey (music), Eric Maschwitz (lyrics) 5:41


  • Steve Nye – engineer
  • Andy Arthurs – assistant engineer
  • Nicholas De Ville - cover design
  • Karl Stoecker - photography


External links[edit]