Both conventionally debonair and utterly set apart from the ordinary, Bryan Ferry remains one of the UK’s most singular pop stars. As a book of his lyrics is published on 5 May, new solo music is released and a 50th anniversary Roxy Music tour is prepared, the 76-year-old will join us to answer your questions about anything in his long career, which you can post in the comments section below.
The riot of glamour in Roxy Music’s 1972 debut single Virginia Plain, its lyrics written and delivered by Ferry with a circus-master’s sense of theatre, announced a brand new force in British rock. Peacocking but cool rather than silly, Ferry’s invitations to “dance on moonbeams / slide on rainbows / in furs or blue jeans” on Do the Strand, and “just boogaloo a rhapsody divine” on Pyjamarama, were enthusiastically taken up by a fanbase who flocked to their art-school glam. They released eight UK Top 10 albums, eventually modulating into an arena-friendly soft rock band, and reading Ferry’s lyrics on the page from that whole era is a thrill: psychedelic fantasias that are leavened with humour, heartbreak, savage ennui and satirical pokes at the establishment.
The band split in 1983 after the No 1 album Avalon, but reformed for their 30th, 40th and now 50th anniversaries – Ferry, along with core members Andy MacKay, Phil Manzanera and Paul Thompson, will play 10 dates in the US in September, and three in the UK in October.
Ferry has also long been a celebrated interpreter of others’ songs. His 1973 solo debut These Foolish Things – the first of 16 solo albums – was a covers records that kicked off with Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall and took in classics like Sympathy for the Devil and The Tracks of My Tears. He later topped the UK charts with Roxy Music’s cover of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy, released the year after Lennon’s murder, and went on to perform Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, Screamin Jay Hawkins’s I Put a Spell on You, an entire Dylan covers album, and more. A new set of covers are being gradually released this spring: the title track is Love Letters by Ketty Lester, whose River of Salt he previously covered on These Foolish Things; I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself, made famous by Dusty Springfield; Elvin Bishop’s waltzing 70s hit Fooled Around and Fell in Love; and The Very Thought of You, a standard beloved of Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole.
It’s a rich and ongoing half-century of creativity and indeed impeccable tailoring – post your questions about it below and Ferry will answer as many as he can. His answers will be published in the 29 April edition of the Guardian’s Film & Music section, and online.
• Lyrics by Bryan Ferry is published 5 May by Chatto & Windus. Tracks from the digital EP Love Letters are out now or released during April and May. Roxy Music’s North American tour begins at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto on 7 September; the UK tour begins 10 October at OVO Hydro, Glasgow.