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2023/4 Albums Thing 296 - Mick Ronson “Beside Bowie”

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If there is anyone out there that really doesn’t know, Mick Ronson made his name as David Bowie’s blonde bombshell, stack heeled, guitar slinging glam sidekick in Ziggy’s band, The Spiders From Mars. Bowie had plucked him from a job in the gardening department with Hull council on the recommendation of his then drummer John Cambridge, and Ronno became guitar player, arranger and orchestrator for Bowie from “The Man Who Sold The World” up until their parting of the ways after “Pin Ups”.

This compilation is the soundtrack to the documentary “Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story” and includes Ronno’s work with not just Bowie but also Michael Chapman, Elton John, Ian Hunter and his solo career plus some live appearances with Queen and some with Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott…but we’ll gloss over that last bit for the sake of everyone’s ears!

The real pleasant surprise is Michael Chapman’s “Soulful Lady” from his 1970 album “Fully Qualified Survivor”, not something I would usually have gone anywhere near. When Ronno makes his entrance you absolutely know it’s him, that guitar sound (achieved by always having a Wah pedal on but stuck open in one position) is unmistakable and by the time he hits his solo you can hear hints of what was to come on “Width Of A Circle” and “Moonage Daydream”.

Mick Ronson was as important to Bowie and Ziggy Stardust as make-up and space aliens. This album and particularly the documentary it soundtracks are a fine tribute to one of the architects of Glam Rock.

Soulful Lady - https://youtu.be/PyoEBselobg?si=j0vKJ48CAABR-r1D

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