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the pathetic caverns - music by artist - Ian Hunter

eclectic reviews and opinions

Ian Hunter

Welcome to the Club

(Chrysalis, 1980)

This is an energetic live set which includes material from Hunter's time with Mott the Hoople as well as his solo records through '79's (watershed) You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic, a pair of instrumentals showcasing the almost-always-tasteful leads of the late and sorely missed Mick Ronson (perhaps best known for his work with David Bowie), and four original compositions.

Kudos to Chrysalis, who added another four tracks and left it as a two-cd set when the time came to issue it on a little silver platter (although the four bonus tracks aren't really up to the standard of the rest of it). Kudos also to Chrysalis for getting Hunter to write a sentence or two about each track, but boos to 'em for omitting all production and recording info and for not even saying who plays on the record! It's probably worth mentioning that one of the original tunes, the beautiful divorce ballad "Songs and Daughters" is about as strong as anything else Hunter ever did, and that there are a few moments on this record that are damn near transcendent, like the end of the audience participation bit in "Cleveland Rocks." After milking it for a bit over drum and bass backing, Hunter has just allowed the enthusiastic Roxy crowd to holler "L.A. Rocks" a couple times, and then over a rising organ part he hoarsely intones "Cleveland rocks...Cleveland's what it's made of" and you can feel his love for Alan Freed and just about smell the sweat dripping of 'im. That's pure undiluted rock and roll, babe.

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