Crossed Fingers – Ian Hunter

 
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Posted 21st March 2017 by

 
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At the age of seventy seven, a lot of Rock Stars are putting there feet up having their slippers brought to them and settling into their favorite Rockin’ chair. Not Mr. Ian Hunter. The Rockin’ chair has been chopped up for more fuel and the slippers have been thrown at the items of his scorn.

During the Eighties and early Nineties Ian Hunter’s career, whilst not stopping, slightly hit the doldrums. But the tragic death of his long time Friend/Sideman/Partner in Crime Mick Ronson in 1993 inspired Ian Hunter to not waste his talent but share it willingly with the world. In his own words from his exalted age he decided to charge ahead.

Things really kicked into gear with the arrival of John Mellencamp’s Guitarist, Andy York, acting as a sort of Musical Director. The Musical juices started to flow again and the albums, probably the highest quality of his career, started pouring out. It started with the splendid Rant in 2001 and continued with Shrunken Heads in 2007, Man Overboard in 2009, and When I’m President in  2012. Between all this Ian Hunter toured constantly with his Band, The Rant Band and twice reformed Mott the Hoople – once in 2009 for Five Sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon (or whatever moniker they have given that building these days, always be the Hammy Odeon to us of a certain age) and then again took Mott the Hoople on a Tour of Britain in 2013. Now we get the Cherry on top of the Rock, the album Fingers Crossed 2016.

No need for Crossed Fingers, this is a sure fire Hit album. It’s difficult to choose which song will get the most Radio play.

Crossed Fingers Ian HunterThe album kicks off in fine style with ‘That’s when the Trouble Starts’– A cautionary tale to the callow youths of today starting out in the world of Rock and Roll with all its Pit Falls and unscrupulous Management. The Music rattles along at a fair pace with Long Time Drummer Steve Holley keeping the beat while the twin Guitars of James Mastro and Mark Bosch put up that wall of sound favored by Ian Hunter and his Rant Band. Paul Page has down the Bass notes most precisely. Dennis DiBrizzi is a class act on keyboards switching between piano and heavier organ depending upon the song’s need. It’s Dennis Dibrizzi’s first album with Ian Hunter and the Rant Band. A source close to the Ian Hunter camp told us that he was glad to finally make an album with the Band, making him feel part of the Family.

Second up is the most talked about track on the album ‘Dandy’ Ian Hunters tribute to David Bowie who sadly passed away in January of this year. Of course Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople owed David Bowie a huge debt of thanks as he gave them their Breakthrough hit in 1972 ‘All The Young Dudes’. Sadly Ian Hunter and David Bowie have not been in touch for Forty years. So to keep things in perspective, Ian Hunter has written the song from a young fan’s point of view, David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars era.  The song with its lead guitar riff, sweeping chorus’, references back to the day and spoken outro could easily be a follow up to All The Young Dudes. A Song that is going to become a must play in every show out of Ian Hunters huge repertoire of songs in the live set.

‘Ghosts’ was inspired by Ian and the Band going down and jamming in the old Sun Recording studios in Memphis.

The title track is written from the position of a British Seaman press ganged into the British Navy in the 1750s, the lyrics reflecting his desperate desire to survive and is certainly the albums emotional high point.

Other subjects covered over the period of the album are very eclectic. ‘Bow Street Runners’ is inspired by London’s first police force. ‘White House’ is an amusing poke at the Pornography scene, rather than the American Pantomime that is going on this year. My personnel favorite is ‘Stranded in Reality’ a mid tempo rocker with the tongue firmly in the  cheek with the opening line of “I bought my Space Ship Second Hand, Should of known better,  now the steering is jammed and I’m looking for somewhere to land”.  Also grabbing inspiration from the dream invading Greek God ‘Morpheus’ on the smoldering ‘You Can’t Live In the Past’. He even brings into focus his own age striking out with the lines “You can never go back , those days are gone you gotta move on”. The album romps to its end proper with a blast through ‘Long Time’, Ian Hunter looking back on his heroes of Rock and Roll from his teenage years.

Crossed Fingers Ian HunterThere is one more track ‘Seein’ Red’ (Which is called the Incentive Track.) A Track you get if you buy the package of the Full album with all the Bells and Whistles. To be honest a bit of a throw away Acoustic track.

It’s a busy year for Ian Hunter and the Rant Band with a World Tour underway. In October there is a Thirty Disc Collection (yes that’s right 30) coming out – Stranded in Reality. Including all his solo work since leaving Mott the Hoople in 1974, plus a swathe of Out Takes, Alternative Takes, Rare Songs, Promotional DVDs and Recording of Concerts from over the years. You also get with this a signed portrait, books, posters etc. At just under Two Hundred and Fifty pounds it’s really something you want in your Christmas stocking. Apparently this collection has been limited strictly to 2,500 Boxes. (Are there 2,500 Ian Hunter Fans with nothing better to do with their money?) This has been proceeded by an EP of 7 Songs on a CD called Sampling in Reality.

This Record Fingers Crossed will not be the last you hear of the unstoppable force that is Ian Hunter .

Track Listing:
That’s When The Trouble starts
Dandy
Ghosts
Fingers Crossed
White House
Bow Street Runners
Morpheus
Stranded in Reality
Living in the Past
Long Time
Seein’ Red (Incentive Track)

Musicians:
Ian Hunter – Vocals and Guitars
James Mastro – Guitars
Mark Bosch – Guitars
Steve Holley – Drums
Paul Page – Bass Guitar
Dennis Dibrizzi – Keyboards
Produced by: Andy York and Ian Hunter

Review written by Hells Bells and Mott The Dog


Mott the Dog

 


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