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Ian Hunter [Japan Bonus Tracks] ()

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After leaving Mott the Hoople in early 1975, Ian Hunter quickly threw himself into recording this eponymous solo debut. Not surprisingly, it contains a lot of the glam rock charm of Hunter's old group: "The Truth, the Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth" and "I Get So Excited" are fist-pumping tunes that combine punchy hard rock riffs with intelligent lyrics in a manner similar to Mott the Hoople's finest moments. However, Ian Hunter pulls off this grandiose sound without the overtly ornate production that defined the final Mott the Hoople albums because Mick Ronson's cleverly crafted arrangements manage to create a big wall of sound without utilizing a huge amount of instruments or overdubs. As a result, Ian Hunter's lyrics shine through in each song and show off his totally personalized mixture of attitude and intelligence: the legendary and oft-covered "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" is a cheeky, clever exploration of rock & roll's ability to corrupt the innocent, and "Boy" is a critique of a rocker who has allowed his pretensions to overpower his heart (many say this tune was aimed at fellow star and onetime Mott the Hoople producer David Bowie). Another highlight is "It Ain't Easy When You Fall," a moving tribute to a fallen friend that gracefully builds from delicate verses into a soaring chorus. The end result is a memorable debut album that gives listeners their hard rock fix and manages to engage their brains at the same time. Anyone interested in the finest moments of 1970s glam rock should give this classic a spin. [A Japanese version included bonus tracks.] ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi Hide synopsis

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