Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter

Aside from Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter was one of the most evocative rock ’n’ roll wordsmiths of the '70s. And in many ways, Hunter’s 1975 debut solo album (recorded with guitarist Mick Ronson after the two left Mott the Hoople) sounds like self-invention, like the singer/songwriter is truly finding his legs as a storyteller. In fact, rock star loss-of-innocence had never been better expressed than on Hunter’s well-covered rock standard “Once Bitten Twice Shy,” nor had sexual ambiguity been as hilariously rendered as on the driving “Lounge Lizard” (which features some of Ronson’s best, most unhinged playing). Hunter’s repentant on the beautiful “3,000 Miles from Here,” and he further confesses sins on the ascending “It Ain’t Easy When You Fall” and its spoken outro, “Shades Off.” Hunter and Ronson jack fists on “I Get So Excited,” stomp glam on “Who Do You Love” (dig the handclap breakdown), and soften up on the eight-plus-minute piano opus “Boy.” That's a brutal-but-tender missive directed at David Bowie and pop stardom, with telling James Cagney and Beau Geste references and lines like “Boy shoot a rocket clean out of your mind.”

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