Quickly, then: The remarkable Ian Hunter
Apparently nobody wants to read (or at least comment) on the killing of chickens.
Music you came for, eh?
Fine. July 21 arrives an album called Man Overboard from Ian Hunter, on the valiant New West label. Get in queue, because you’ll want this one. Honest.
Mr. Hunter, of course, was the lead singer of Mott the Hoople, a band best known in these parts for inspiring Alejandro Escovedo’s Buick McKane. I guess.
And that song, “All The Young Dudes.” That was him. And one of his mates went on to Bad Company, which may or may not be a recommendation, but it is for me.
I lived through the 1970s, and remember most of it, but Mott were never my thing. So I’m not going to pretend, nor can I even explain why I played the advance New West sent me, except that I happened to have opened that package and the CD was on the floor where I almost stepped on it, and one of our writers wrote a very lucid review of the album for the next bookazine.
I always though Buick McKane was sort of a waste of Alejandro’s talents, but that only really means that I liked the other side of him and didn’t respond so well to the rocker dude within. Or maybe that his songs didn’t seem to benefit from all that noise, except that his version of…oh, don’t make me look this up…shoot…”I Wanna Be Your Dog,” I think…well, that worked, anyhow. (Peter will be along eventually to clean up my mess of a memory.)
Thing is, Ian Hunter is 70, as of June 3, 2009. Seventy freaking years old. I have a well-documented fondness for the broken voices of the older generation, for the strength and courage Johnny Cash revealed in his last sessions, for the sheer class of Ray Price’s big band album (yeah, I could look that title up, too, couldn’t I?…Time, that one was called, though it took forever to come out). For what Marianne Faithfull is still able to do…and, incidentally, she and Hunter would make for one hell of a duet just now.
Anyhow. I have no particular review to offer, just a suggestion that Hunter suggests possibility for rock that seem almost impossible to reckon with. He’s 70. He rocks. Not only that…these are strong, powerful, knowing songs, so good I’m tempted to take a friend’s advice and seek out some of his solo work. So good I actually have Mott two-disc compilation cued up ready to play when this one’s done.