Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Widowmaker CD: "Running Free (The Jet Recordings 1976-77)"

Sleeve and track listing

Castle/Sanctuary CMDDD586. (3.5 stars!)

Disc 1: Widowmaker

  1. Such A Shame
  2. Pin A Rose On Me
  3. On The Road
  4. Straight Faced Fighter
  5. Ain't Telling You Nothing
  6. When I Met You
  7. Leave The Kids Alone
  8. Shine A Light On Me
  9. Running Free
  10. Got A Dream

Disc 2: Too Late To Cry

  1. Too Late To Cry
  2. The Hustler
  3. What A Way To Fall1
  4. Here Comes The Queen
  5. Mean What You Say1
  6. Something I Can Do Without
  7. Sign The Papers
  8. Pushing And Pulling
  9. Sky Blues1
  10. Talk To Me2

1 first time on CD

2 previously unreleased


(This is the UK band 'Widowmaker' from the mid-70's. Not to be confused with Dee Snider's solo band.)

Widowmaker should have been big. Unfairly dubbed a 'supergroup' because all their members had already found fame elsewhere, their eponymous debut pulled no punches. From the rock of On The Road and the raunch of Ain't Telling You Something to their softer side with Leave The Kids Alone there isn't a bad track on it. It is the sound of a band full of confidence, knowing that only good times lie ahead. Live shows were good as well - look no further than their BBC In Concert show (available elsewhere) for proof of this.

Fast forward a few months to early 1977 and their second album to find a band just treading water. Vocalist Steve Ellis had departed and the expected breakthrough hadn't happened. Title track Too Late To Cry is reasonable enough, but a re-recording of Bender's solo track (from 1971) Here Comes The Queen suggests a shortage of material. Indeed, the whole album sound just so... pedestrian. It is as if the band know their days are numbered - indeed, they disbanded shortly afterwards.

This 2-CD set is interesting (from a completist point of view) because Widowmaker's second album is presented in full for the first time. But with the aforementioned BBC show packaged with the first album and selected tracks from the second available on Straight Faced Fighters the casual purchaser may want to hunt down that release instead.

Related links

The following links are relevant: and