By the time Ian Hunter left Mott the Hoople, the musical landscape was changing. After peaking in 1973, the glam rock scene had started to fade; things were changing rapidly. Hunter too.
He managed to complete the years 1974 The hoop before faltering under the pressure. Suffering from exhaustion, Hunter collapsed at a friend’s house and was taken to hospital just as Mott the Hoople was about to begin a support tour. “They did a battery of tests. Everything was fine,” Hunter told The Independent in 2015. “The doctor said,“ If you don’t want to do this, then you really shouldn’t be doing it. “I said, ‘I don’t want to, but I have to. Otherwise, I’ll be sued.'”
So Mott the Hoople hit the road anyway, but their days were numbered. During sessions of the band’s latest single, “Saturday Gigs,” guitarist Ariel Bender was replaced by Mick Ronson, who had recently split from David Bowie. This formation recorded a single before the departure of Ian Hunter.
He took Ronson with him, while the rest of Mott the Hoople continued under the simplified moniker of Mott for two more albums. With Ronson as his right-hand man, Hunter was again inspired.
Ian Hunter, the result of their whirlwind collaboration, was released in April 1975. From the conscious strut and the single “Hello” that Hunter delivers on the opening “Once Bitten Twice Shy”, we knew Ian had rekindled his soul. rock and roll. Released as a single in the spring of 1974, it reached 14th place in the UK, and was later picked up with huge success by Great White. Mick Ronson provides a simply amazing guitar solo that would take away any doubt as to whether this pairing would work. Hunter and Ronson were made for each other.
A lingering glam stampede can be found on the second killer track, “Who Do You Love?” who has more swagger and wit than anyone else who trades riffs at the time. Once again, Ronson’s chunky and shimmering guitar is nothing short of brilliant.
The more funky groove of “Lounge Lizard” weaves its way, bathing in pure grain and attitude. Mott the Hoople had recorded a version in their final hours and had plans to release the song as a single. It remained in the vaults, however, and Ian claimed it as his own. Her voice here is just brilliant. Full of attitude, Hunter spits out the lyrics with as much venom as any budding punk rocker who might try to take his place.
Things are slowing down, elegantly, with “Boy”. Co-written by Ian and Mick, it’s a beautiful ballad, full of drama, both musical and lyrical. An almost orchestral atmosphere is created without breaking the bank with the instrumentation. Then comes the touching acoustic ballad “3000 Miles From Here”.
Ian Hunter then becomes heavy as can be on “The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth”. The band surges on this slow-burning rocker while Hunter, once again, delivers a powerful voice. Ronson does an extended workout here, and he blows the roof off the place. The album is rounded out by two other killers: “It Ain’t Easy When You Fall”, a cool change of pace with a section of Hunter lyrics; and “I Get So Excited”, a rock raver to end the album.
Produced by Ronson and Hunter, Ian’s debut solo sits easily alongside all of Mott the Hoople’s classics. Hunter and Ronson’s team, however, would be put on hold until 1979, when they reunited to You are never alone with a schizophrenic. Sadly, Mick Ronson passed away on April 29, 1993, after a long battle with cancer.
Hunter’s death hit him hard, although he delivered the eulogy. “I gave the memorial speech. I expected his casket to be in another room while I was doing it. It wasn’t. He was right there, right next to me,” he said. he declared to the Independent. “I managed to get out of it, but about a week later it hit me.” Hunter reportedly pays homage to Ronson with song “Michael Picasso” from his 1996 album The clever dodge.
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