CHRX 1214 / 50999 698134 2 9.
1Bonus track on 30th Anniversary 2-CD issue
2Download only (eg from Amazon) - not on the physical CD!
3Live, Agora Ballroom, Cleveland OH 18th June 1979
4Live, Hammersmith Odeon, London 22nd November 1979
5Live, Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley CA 7th July 1979
Ian came back after a two-year absence in 1979 with this album. Mick Ronson was back on guitar, and Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band were the backing musicians (they had just worked on Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album).
This is a brilliant album, and the yardstick by which all his other work is judged. From the opening beat of Just Another Night to the closing strains of The Outsider there isn't a bad track on here. Mixing full-tilt rockers (Cleveland Rocks, Life After Death) with sensitive ballads (Ships) the album is well-paced and leaves the listener wanting more.
This was issued on CD on Chrysalis in the UK in 1994, and on Razor & Tie in the USA in 1995. The UK release was a limited-edition "25th Anniversary" edition, in a long (blue) box, with a blue jewel-case and booklet (which was about Chrysalis generally, not Ian). Sound quality is very good. No bonus tracks.
1999 saw this CD reissued in the UK, this time on the EMI label as part of their "Classic Rock" series. It boasted new sleeve notes, and improved (remastered) sound quality.
2009 saw a 2-CD issue with a wealth of bonus tracks and a second disc of previously-unreleased live material. As a live document the second disc works very well, despite being recorded at a variety of venues.
Of the bonus material on the first disc perhaps the most interesting is the early version of Just Another Night which features radically different lyrics, showing how such a classic song can develop from the initial germ of an idea to the finished product.