NMC Pilot 94.
Exactly one year after his death following a long battle with cancer, an all-star concert was staged at London's prestigious Hammersmith Apollo theatre in tribute to Mick Ronson. Among those performing were long-time musical partner Ian Hunter, The Spiders From Mars (alongside Mick Ronson, they were David Bowie's backing band in the early 70's), Joe Elliott and Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Roger Taylor (Queen), Roger Daltrey (The Who), Bill Nelson (Be Bop DeLuxe), Willy And The Poor Boys (Gary Brooker, Andy Fairweather-Low, Bill Wyman), and many others.
The show was recorded by BBC Radio 1 and broadcast in its entirety the following night. This, for the first time, is an official release of that fantastic concert, issued to coincide with the opening of the Mick Ronson Memorial Stage in Kingston-Upon-Hull (his home town).
For the BBC broadcast they recorded the show straight onto CD-R, with no possibility of remixing the show prior to broadcast. Like most "pop" FM stations, the BBC compress the dynamic range of Radio 1's transmitted signal (translation: the quiet bits sound louder and more "exciting"), which always affects the sound quality.
For this issue, Joe Elliott has gone back to the original multi-track tapes and remixed the lot. The result is a cleaner, more balanced sound than on the tapes circulating of the BBC broadcast. Sound quality is excellent, as is the packaging.
This set was originally issued on Citadel (CITCD2); initial copies had a few errors on the discs, meaning that the track marking was all awry. I've been told this was corrected on "production" copies, can anyone confirm this? Track marking on the reissue is spot on, by the way. The original (Citadel) release also saw Roger Taylor's It's a Kind of Magic at the end of disc 1 - here it is at the start of disc 2, placing the stronger material all on one disc but making the discs more unbalanced time-wise.
A worthy CD, a good souvenier for those lucky enough to be there.Adrian Perkins