THINK of it. Bryan Ferry could have been James Bond. And then we might not be hearing his mesmeric ''I Put A Spell on You'' on the airwaves these days. When producers were casting for a new 007 back in 1988, Ferry was on the shortlist, but the role eventually went to Timothy Dalton. However, it was not a career move that he missed. ''You've got to be careful what you do in that area, or what you attempt to do,'' said the ex-Roxy Music member. ''I really like making records. I like the fact that you have control and freedom to do what you want.'' Perhaps that is why it has taken him almost five years to release his new album, Taxi , a collection of cover versions, although Ferry would hesitate to describe them as such. ''This is an album of re-makes or re-interpretations. I don't really like using the word 'covers'. I think these songs are fascinating points of departure,'' said Ferry, who was in Hongkong recently for an MTV shoot for Star-TV. Among ''these songs'' are the Shirelle's ''Will You Love Me Tomorrow'', the first male version ever to be recorded of this classic, and Nat King Cole's ''Answer Me''. Cover versions - or ''re-interpretations'' - are not something new to Ferry. In 1981, Ferry and Roxy Music tasted success when they re-worked John Lennon's ''Jealous Guy'' which rocketed to number one in the UK charts. In fact, some would say that Ferry has since made a career out of singing other people's songs, seeing that Taxi is his third album of cover versions out of a total of five solo efforts. But even critics would grudgingly admit that Ferry has what most pop singers lack: subtlety and taste. Besides that, his arrangements consistently till new ground in songs you may have thought had been done to death. Married to upper-class Lucy Helmore, Ferry has four sons, the eldest of whom is 10. Since his marriage to Ms Helmore, Ferry has been tagged by the British press as the rock star who had joined the huntin'-fishin'-shootin' landed gentry. He is quick to put these allegations at rest. ''Since 1976, I've had a house in the country,'' he said. ''But now I only spend weekends there. People see one picture of you in a tweed jacket and start thinking that's how you live.'' In fact, Ferry neither hunts nor shoots, although he does indulge in a little fishing now and then - but only with his son, Otis. Those who prefer original hits might not have a long time to wait. Besides spending whatever time he can with his family, Ferry has been working gruelling 12-hour days in the studio, completing an album of original songs called Horoscope to be released early next year.