One would have assumed that Mott the Hoople sans Ian Hunter would be a disaster, and one would be right, "Drive on" and "Pointin' and Shoutin'" are positively ghastly epics, reminiscent of the time the Yule brothers tried to make a Velvet Underground album without Lou Reed, just a horirble idea..... however, Hunter still had a lot of material in him, rounded up backing band led by guitarist Mick Ronson, and cranked out a few albums of at the very least 3-star quality..... I think any fan of Mott will enjoy these, it is MUCH more the logical extension of Mott the Hoople than the two instant cutouts mentioned before.
The solo debut, "Ian Hunter", is spectacular, Hunter sounds liberated and blasts out great tunes (the ferocious "Once Bitten Twice Shy" was covered by some hair-brained hair band who at the very least should have been publicly flogged), "I Get So Excited" is pure sleazy Hunter rock n roll, "Lounge Lizard" had been a fairly regular Mott concert staple for a while......"Who Do You Love", is also an excellent rocker, "Shades Off!" and "Boy" are the kind of lyrical insight Hunter always did so well (think "Hymn for the Dudes")......all this without even mentioning what may have been Hunter's best song ever, the psychotic "The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth" features some positively brain bending slide guitar and some "no one but Ian Hunter" lyrics ("God's little baby got nothin' to shoot"), GREAT song, fabulous album too, pure 4-star effort.
The follow up "All American Alien Boy" is not quite a good, but is still loaded with some fine stuff,
the ballad "Irene Wilde", the insightful "Letter to Britannia From the Union Jack",actually all of side two is really solid as well ("Rape", "You Nearly Did Me In", "Apathy 83 (sample lyric: "There ain't no rock n roll no more just music of the rich"), and the album's highlight, the Dylanesque "God Take 1", a conversation between Ian and God, which gets pretty deep ("Oh, God said to me:'Gonna kick your ass'")......not quite as rocking or quite as good as the debut, but easilly a three star effort.
He had one more great one in him.....the soundtrack of my senior year (1979) included tons of stuff from "You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic", leading off with the great "Just Another Night" and of course including "Cleveland Rocks", made more "famous" later on as the theme from "The Drew Cary Show".....there are some good, quieter tracks here,"When the Daylight Comes, "Standin' In My Light", and the unfortunate "Ships", which was actually covered by Barry Manilow (!) ad became a huge hit, from which Hunter earned more money than he did in both his solo career an his career with Mott the Hoople in total......sometimes I have VERY little faith in the rest of our species.......
"Welcome To the Club" was a 2 record set with three live sides and a studio side with four new tracks.....covers a lot of ground, as far back as "Laugh at Me" and as recent as stuff off of "Schizophrenic"......all in all, the live sides are perfectly acceptable, and the studio side offers two good ones ("We Gotta Get Out of Here", which finds Hunter trapped in a discotheque, and "Man O War" which gives us choice lyrics like "the demon in my semen").......all in all, for Mott/Hunter fans, I think vinyl rips of it are fairly hard to locate.
From 1975 we have a poorly recorded Detroit show,which at least provides a live version of "The Truth" (also strangely "White Light White Heat"(LATE EDIT: The Detroit disc is defective and does not apear here it is awful anyway) .......from 1981 comes a Hunter/Ronson set from Central Park NY, which features a few efforts from the latter solos that I don't have ("Gun Control", "Lisa Likes to Rock N Roll", really pretty good stuff, somewhat to my surprise......a 1979 show from Cleveland from the "Schizophrenic" tour REALLY brings down the house, of course, with "Cleveland Rocks".....and one more I've found, a 1989 BBC session with stuff old and new, good and bad, see what you think.......
Gonna about wrap up my week of Mott/Ian, always a favorite of mine and I hope you've enjoyed it.... going to see the Black Keys tonight, so maybe we'll do something for them tomorrow, we'll see! Till then, please enjoy these.
IAN HUNTER-01 Once Bitten Twice Shy/02 Who Do You Love/03 Lounge Lizard/04 Boy/05 3000 Miles From Here/06 The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth/07 It Ain't Easy When you Fall/08 Shades Off/09 I Get So Excited
ALL AMERICAN ALIEN BOY-01 Letter to Britannia From the Union Jack/02 All-American Alien Boy/03 Irene Wilde/04 Rape/05 You Nearly Did Me In/06 Apathy 83/07 God (Take 1)/08 Restless Youth
WELCOME TO THE CLUB-01 FBI/02 Once Bitten Twice Shy/03 Angeline/04 Laugh at Me/05 All the Way From Memphis/06 I Wish I Was Your Mother/07 Irene Wilde/08 Just Another Night/09 Cleveland Rocks/10 Standin' In My Light/11 Bastard/12 Walkin With a Mountain/Rock N Roll Queen/13 All the Young Dudes/14 Slaughter on Tenth Avenue/15 We Gotta Get Out of Here/16 Silver Needles/12 Man O War/13 Sons and Daughters
OVERNIGHT ANGELS-01 Golden Opportunity/02 Shallow Crystals/03 Overnight Angels/04 Broadway/05 Justice of the Peace/06 (Miss) Silver Dime/07 Wild N Free/08 The Ballad of Little Star/09 To Love a Woman
CENTRAL PARK 1981-01 Once Bitten Twice Shy/02 Gun Control/03 Central Park and West/04 All the Way From Memphis/05 I Need Your Love/Honky/06 Lisa Likes Rock N Roll/07 Violence/08 Noises/09 Is Your Love In Vain/10 Standin in My Light/11 Bastard/12 Just Another Night/13 Cleveland Rocks/ 14 Irene Wilde/15 All the Young Dudes/Ships
CLVELAND 1979-01 FBI/02 Once Bitten Twice Shy/03 Life After Death/04 Laugh At Me/05
BBC 2/15/89-01 Once Bitten Twice Shy/02 How Much More Can I Take/03 Big N Little Love/04 Following In Your Footsteps/05 Just Another Night/06 Sweet Dreamer/07 (Give Me Back My) Wings/08 Standin' In My Light/09 Bastard/10 The Loner/11 You're Never Too Small To Hit the Bigtime/12 All the Way From Memphis/13 Irene Wilde