The Mick Ronson Retrospective

It’s high time I compiled The Mick Ronson Retrospective, so here it is. Non-chronological order, this collection captures Ronson in all facets of his distinguished career: solo artist, guitarist, collaborator and producer/arranger extraordinaire. From his early days in The Rats and Ronno, his substantial work with David Bowie (including albums Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane), Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter, through to outings with Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Elton John, Morrissey and even rustic rocker John Mellencamp, among others, this compilation pays tribute to the unquenchable cool and guitar genius of the late great Mick Ronson.

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  1. Slaughter on 10th Avenue (live) – Live 1980 performance of the instrumental title track to Ronson’s debut solo album released in 1974.
  2. Once Bitten Twice Shy – Taken from Ian Hunter’s first post-Mott s/t solo album (originally conceived as a Hunter/Ronson album) this was a major UK hit single in 1975.
  3. Don’t Look Down – Opening track off the posthumously released Heaven and Hull in 1994.
  4. The Width of a Circle – Early pivotal Bowie collaboration, this track opens The Man Who Sold the World (1971).
  5. You and Me – Instrumental from Heaven and Hull.
  6. Only After Dark – Minor hit and most famous solo track. Lifted off Slaughter on 10th Avenue.
  7. Madman Across the Water – Taken from a 1970 recording session with Elton John, not included on the original release which is strange considering this version outstrips it handily.
  8. Colour Me – Another highlight off the marvelous Heaven and Hull.
  9. Angel No.9 – Originally a Ronson-produced Pure Prairie League song, Mick liked it so much he rerecorded himself it for his second solo album Play Don’t Worry (1975).
  10. Perfect Day – Ronson’s imaginative arrangements and production were all over Lou Reed’s Transformer (1972), none more so than on this timeless, yet disturbing classic.
  11. Moonage Daydream – The pinnacle of Ronson’s powers as lead guitarist for Bowie on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972).
  12. Hard Life – A track taken from Just Like This (1999) an album of materiel recorded between 1976 and 1977 for an unreleased third Ronson solo album.
  13. Power of Darkness – Pre-Bowie band Ronno dating back to 1970, recorded for an album that was never completed due to the Spiders going stratospheric.
  14. Man O’ War – Taken from towering Ian Hunter double live album Welcome to the Club (1980) with Ronson and band firing on more cylinders most could only dream of.
  15. Jack & Diane – Mellencamp’s best and most successful hit song lifted from his American Fool (1982) album. Ronson provides guitar, percussion and is responsible for the bridge on this solid track.
  16. F.B.I (live) – Instrumental and Ronson showcase with the Ian Hunter band recorded in Cleveland, included in the bonus materiel for Hunter’s excellent You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic (1979) reissue.
  17. Shelter From the Storm – Ronson unexpectedly joined Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and shows up on his Hard Rain (1976) live album.
  18. Rock and Roll Time – A track off ex-Byrd Roger McGuinn’s 1976 solo album Cardiff Rose where Ronson contributes guitar and production duties throughout.
  19. I Feel Free – Originally a Cream song, left off Bowie’s Pin Ups (1973) revisited on loungey Black Tie White Noise (1993) –  here, Ronson plays guitar.
  20. Sea Diver – Appropriate closer to this retrospective, Ronson provides strings and brass arrangements for this Hunter-penned closer off Mott the Hoople’s All the Young Dudes (1972)….ride on my son…. indeed.

 

The Mick Ronson Retrospective

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