Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

02 December 2010

Play, Don't Worry

UPDATE: This post was re-uploaded 10/05/2013. Enjoy, NØ.


I’ve been listening to a lot of my old (late 60s - early/mid 70s) vinyl. I’ve been driving everyone here at Casa Nada totally bonkers. Decided to pass it on to you. I’ve been going through Traffic (from Mr. Fantasy through Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory), Deep Purple (mainly In Rock), Procol Harum (Shine on Brightly & Home), Free (Heartbreaker), Thin Lizzy (everything from their self-titled first through Bad Reputation), Nazareth (especially Hair of the Dog), Vanilla Fudge (the first four), Ten Years After (from Ssssh through A Space in Time)...well, you get the idea...clean rock, great guitars, lotsa hair.

I never know where to start, exactly, when I get on one of these weird tangents.

I have decided to start with the second album from the much overlooked solo career of one great guitar-slinger, Mick Ronson, ex-Spider from Mars. Mick at first wanted to be a music teacher, but the likes of Jeff Beck, whom he idolized & strove to emulate in his own guitar stylings, filled Ronno's young mind with secret dreams of rock stardom.

Mick played in the obligatory rock (Voices) & soul (Wanted) groups before joining the Rats, a Yardbirds-like r&b unit. They had a few singles on UK Decca & Oriole, but broke up after an ill-fated European tour.

1970.

Enter one David Jones, now not wanting to be confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees & calling himself David Bowie. Ronson signed on as guitarist for Bowie’s new project, brought along friend & ex-Rats drummer Woody Woodmansey & proceeded to create the classic The Man Who Sold the World. After the session, Ronno was again out of work.

Mick was close to calling it quits as a professional musician when Bowie called once more. Mick returned to London with Woodmansey & yet another ex-Rat, bassist Trevor Bolder. They began the sessions for Bowie's brilliant follow-up album Hunky Dory(1971). With the ouster of long-time Bowie co-hort Tony Visconti, Mick took over on the production as well, doing the arrangements for many of the songs, which favored strings, piano & horns.

With this kind of momentum, the ex-Rats were no longer just session musicians, but were finally a band again, becoming the Spiders from Mars. They followed Hunky Dory with The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s exceptional songwriting & charismatic stage presence were undeniable, but equally crucial was the album’s truly unique sound, which again, as on Hunky Dory, combined strings, keyboards, & acoustic guitars with a crunching rock power trio. Mick Ronson was responsible for that sound. He co-arranged the entire album & performed all the keyboard parts as well as filling his usual role as the guitar-slinger.

Ziggy Stardust’s glitter rock & polysexual decadence made superstars of Bowie & "the Spiders". Ronson, as leader of the Spiders became a star in his own right through several sold-out tours & follow-up work on Bowie's next two albums, Aladdin Sane & Pin Ups (both 1973). Then Bowie announced his "retirement" from the stage. Actually he only retired the band.

Mick didn’t stay retired long, quickly releasing two albums, the Ziggy-influenced Slaughter on 10th Avenue in 1974, followed the next year by the more straight-ahead Play Don't Worry.

He then donned numerous hats: joined Mott the Hoople as guitarist; then when Hoople broke up, he partnered with Ian Hunter for Hunter’s next five solo albums; toured with Hunter in the Hunter-Ronson band; did session work with Kinky Friedman, Pure Prairie League, Genya Ravan, Ellen Foley, Slaughter & the Dogs, & John Cougar (Mellencamp); played guitar in Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; where he hooked up with Roger McGuinn for the Cardiff Rose album; Ronno also worked as producer for the likes of David Johansen, Morrissey, Iron City Houserockers, the Payolas, & Glen Matlock’s post-Sex Pistols The Rich Kids.

Mick was working on his third solo album when he died of cancer on April 29, 1993 . The result was the posthumous Heaven & Hull.

Although Slaughter on 10th Avenue is probably his most well-known non-Bowie work, my personal favorite is this album, his second solo release from 1975. The album starts off with "Billy Porter" on which Ronson plays all of the instruments himself, showcasing his multi-faceted talent, then goes into one of my favorite tracks, "Angel No. 9". On this song, Ronson’s fierce guitar playing is very up in the mix, highlighting his greatest talent, his sweet guitar chops.

Hope this was a good place to begin this retro-madness.


Mick Ronson - Play Don't Worry, RCA APL1-0681, 1975.
decryption code in comments

Side A -

Billy Porter
Angel No.9
This is for You
White Light / White Heat

Side B -

Play Don't Worry
Hazy Days
Girl Can't Help It
Empty Bed (Io Me Ne Andrei)
Woman

Enjoy,

5 comments:

  1. Ronson was a bona fide star. No question. Coincidentally, I've been listening to some Deep Purple myself of late. Never believed for one moment I actually enjoyed them, but never say never.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ronson was a fantastic sideman, both for David Bowie and Ian Hunter, but his solo efforts don't come close to the stuff he made with other people.
    The same "fate" as Nils Lofgren, Steve Van Zandt or Lenny Kaye (one of my all-time heroes).

    ReplyDelete
  3. MEGA decryption code
    FlTR8GjPQffPIG4b5jxaWXZU_cZ71Cs-8I7UgfK2QWc

    ReplyDelete
  4. can't apply decryption code

    ReplyDelete
  5. Click on the album title under the artwork, then just cut & paste the above code FlTR8GjPQffPIG4b5jxaWXZU_cZ71Cs-8I7UgfK2QWc when prompted by MEGA. If you are still having problems, read the April 1, 2015 MEGA MESS post & comments for multiple solutions.

    ReplyDelete