Mick Ronson CD: "Indian Summer"

Sleeve and track listing

NMC/Burning Airlines PILOT57. (4 stars!)

  1. Indian Summer (Opening Title) (4:02)
  2. Tinker Street (3:50)
  3. Satellite 1 (1:01)
  4. (Interlude) Get On With It (2:40)
  5. Ballad Of Jack Daniels (2:28)
  6. Blue Velvet Skirt (4:29)
  7. Midnight Love (4:12)
  8. Satellite 1 (2:58)
  9. Blue Velvet Skirt (reprise) (1:18)
  10. Plane To England (3:54)
  11. China (5:18)
  12. I'd Give Anything To See You (Closing Title) (2:20)

Running time: 38m 42s

Review

It is a sad fact that musicians tend to be appreciated more after they're gone than when they were alive, and this applies just as much to Mick Ronson as anyone else. Posthumous releases like Just Like This are better than anything released while he was alive - and during the research for that album the first clues emerged for yet more unreleased Mick Ronson material.

The result is Indian Summer, which is, in effect, a soundtrack album for a film that was never made. Indeed, the whole project seems to have been abandoned half way through and the tapes forgotten about, which is amazing as the music on here is quite astonishing.

Like I said, the project was abandoned half way through, so some of the tracks are unfinished, like I'd Give Anything To See You, which is a different arrangement to the version on Just Like This and is just Mick on guitar and vocals. Similarly Get On With It, which is frantic, sounding similar in arrangement to the Stones' Route 66.

China is beautiful, better than the version on Long Odds and Outtakes, and features some great, tasteful but totally restrained guitar playing alongside the main piano line.

At least half the tracks on here are instrumentals, such as the title track which has a powerful hookline and features one of Mick's trademark strangled solos. Tinker Street is slower, with beautiful and sensitive playing. Two different versions of Satellite 1 are included, the second markedly longer than the first and a noticeably different arrangement. Midnight Love is another standout track, an instrumental with yet more great guitar work.

It is incredible that this project was totally forgotten about by all concerned. The sleeve notes inform us that during his research for the MTH Biography, not one person mentioned this project to Campbell Devine. This is a good album that rewards repeated playing. Essential.

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