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2023 Albums Thing 167 - Ian Hunter “Ian Hunter”

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From back when I first seriously got into music in the early 70’s, upon finding Slade, I always had a liking for Mott The Hoople. This is Mott singer Ian Hunters first solo album. It’s another of those records that came to me via my shop and I didn’t want to sell it for the pittance I might get for it (the sleeve is tatty, the record has marks but it plays) so I bought it home with me.

Hunter bought in his mate Mick Ronson as multi instrumentalist, arranger and co-producer. It’s a departure in sound from Mott’s poppy Glam, big chorused anthems. It starts well with the bar-room boogie of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, complete with typically wah-wah’d Ronson solo, and “Who Do You Love” continues in much the same vein. The intro to “Lounge Lizard” always sounds to me like it would have sat well on Bowie’s “Lodger”, much like Side 2’s “The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth” which has more than a hint of Iggy’s “Sister Midnight”/Bowie’s “Red Money” about it.

“Boy” runs to almost 9 minutes at the end of Side 1 and sounds like an elder Hunter’s advice to his younger self 

Boy you're getting out of hand, You've got to make a stand

So put the coke away, Boy you got to do the show

“It Ain’t Easy When You Fall” is a power ballad, of the type Hunter is quite adept at (imagine Mott’s “Hymn For The Dudes” or “I Wish I Was Your Mother”), that could easily have sat on a Mott The Hoople album. “Shades Off” is a poem that bleeds out of the end of the previous song, read in Hunter’s laconic voice by someone who rarely does what the title suggests. It all ends on the (glam) rocker “I Get So Excited”.

It’s an album that ain’t breaking down any barriers or setting new trends but if you’re a fan of Mott you’ll find plenty to like in here. Sometimes you just need some uncomplicated rock ‘n’ roll (even if it is made by a fella older than your Dad !).

It Ain’t Easy When You Fall/Shades Off - https://youtu.be/xVHhfy6xEio?si=9pvnZwBWHv_h8H19

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