Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Bryan Ferry - Tokyo Joe (1977/ No. 15/ 7 weeks/ Polydor)
"When all the world's a stage, oh where are you?
Femme fatale or ingenue?"
I realise that it could be said that this single is the precise midway point between 'Street Life' and 'Trash', but having invented a whole new way of viewing the world through pop music, Ferry could be excused for offering up delightful variations on an amazing theme.
The Japanesery here is just a styling; some amusing plinky 'oriental' stings and keyboards and a chewy rhythm section that reminds me of nothing so much as the theme to 'Hong Kong Phooey'.
What is important is the crammed-in style, an infinitude of references, an entire world of possibilities created through recasting life through imagination, filled with dynamic situation and the potential for beauty, love and danger.
The girl is unknowable, despite the mad specifics of what she likes (lotus blossom, bebop) and does ("hokey cokey 'til the cows come home"!).
Not real, like reality?