Ian Hunter releases a star studded album at age 83 that would put any rocker half his age to shame.
Hunter, was, of course, the creative force behind Mott The Hoople who then went on to a stellar solo career aided and abetted by his good friend Mick Ronson.
Ronson passed away in 1993 but Ian, who will celebrate his 84th birthday in June, has only just slowed down.
He had to take himself off the road a couple of years ago because of tinnitus, with Alejandro Escovedo currently touring with his Rant Band.
Meanwhile Ian has put together this little beauty.
Defiance Pt 1 contains 10 new songs and about a dozen “special guests” including Slash, Ringo Starr, Mike Campbell, Johnny Depp, Jeff Beck, Todd Rundgren, Joe Elliott, the Deleo Brother from STP and two beloved musicians who are no longer with us…Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins and the immortal Jeff Beck.
If nothing else, that list proves just what a musical giant and inspiration Ian Hunter is. True, he’s never had huge mainstream success, but at the same time, he’s never let his fans down, never sold out and always displayed a keen love for rock & roll in its purest form.
You may note that this record is released on the Sun label, home to one of Ian’s biggest inspirations, Jerry Lee Lewis. And though Hunter can rock out on the 88s with the best of them (check out new single I Hate Hate) he also manages to mix his love of The Stones and Dylan to create a music that is uniquely Ian Hunter.
And these multitudes of guests never get in the way of Ian’s greatness.
Check out Slash’s guitar riff that kicks the album off on the title track. Sure it’s Slash (and that’s Robert Trujillo of Metallica on bass), but is still Ian’s show as he sneers, “I’m still flyin’ by the seat of my pants”. Sure, the voice is a little more grizzled than it was, but for Gods’ sake he’s 83!
Bed Of Roses comes next and is a classic Hunter pop-rock song and the obvious choice for first single. Mike Campbell plays the melodic guitar lines and Ringo lays down the beat. Hunter goes for his best Dylan growl singing about Camelot and Forever Young.
Jeff Beck fans will need to wait through the first five minutes of No Hard Feeling before the late Yardbird finally cuts loose, but the wait is worth it and the song is good, touching on issues of child abuse.
The album is solid from beginning to end wrapping with This Is What I’m Here For.
“All I wanted was a song I could sing, and a band that could swing.”
You got it Ian…long may you rock!
Defiance Part 1 is released Friday, April 21st
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