Ian Hunter, still 'killer'...
After leaving Mott the Hoople in November 1974 Ian Hunter teamed up with the legendary Mick Ronson, a partnership that fused Hunter's distinctive songs and vocals with Ronson's playing and production skills, to form what was to become known as 'one of the most exciting combinations Rock has produced'. Moving away from the ornate production and grandiose sound of Mott the Hoople, Hunter and Ronson created a Rock 'n' Roll album with an attitude an energy that can still be felt today.
'Once Bitten Twice Shy' (which you might recognise from Great White's 1989 cover) and the sixties boogie influence of 'Who Do You Love' open the album with a bang. These tracks undoubtedly set the standard for the rest of the album, with a mixture of cheeky rock 'n' roll swagger and infectious hooks that has earned them their status as classic Rock singles. 'Lounge Lizard', a former Mott the Hoople cut, is another of the album's standout tracks. This Stones-inspired song is full-throttle rock, bursting with energy and attitude and packing a melody that's hard to shake off. It also provides a startling contrast to the brooding 'Boy' and the acoustic Dylan-esque '3000 Miles From Here'. Similarly, 'It Ain't Easy When You Fall' is another powerful song that combines delicacy of feeling with a big chorus, and is set of beautifully by Hunter's very personal poem, 'Shades Off'. The unmistakeable influence of Mick Ronson is never more pervasive than in 'The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nuthin' But The Truth', a dark, bluesy number that merges Ronson's blistering guitar playing with a particularly impressive vocal performance from Hunter. Finally, the album officially ends with the power-pop stylings of 'I Get So Excited', showing that Hunter and Ronson really do have it all; from classic Rock 'n' Roll to infectious pop melodies and powerful, introspective ballads.
After the eight tracks that formed the original album, the 30th Anniversary edition contains a further six bonus tracks; while the single versions and session outtakes of 'Once Bitten Twice Shy', 'Who Do You Love' and 'Boy' might be appealing to die-hard fans only, the inclusion of 'Colwater High', 'One Fine Day' (omitted from the original album) and the full version of 'Shades Off' provide a nice touch to album already dubbed a 'masterpiece' by most critics.
Whether you're were there for its original release or are discovering the magic of seventies Rock for the first time, this 30th Anniversary digipak shows off the album's fantastic Escher-inspired artwork, while the stunning photographs and sleeve notes by Campbell Devine offer a critical insight into the making of the record. Obviously a must for Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople fans, as well as anyone with a love of honest Rock 'n' Roll from the likes of The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. When Ian Hunter's self-titled debut solo album was released in May 1975, journalist Bill Henderson coined the headline, 'Hunter turns Killer' and thirty years later in 2005 there's still no arguing with that.