Angel Air SJPCD037 (76:15).
Mick Ralphs, founder member of Mott The Hoople, founder member of Bad Company. Two of the best and influential bands to come out of the UK in the 70's. The man responsible for writing Rock 'n' Roll Queen, Thunderbuck Ram (both for Mott), Can't Get Enough (for Bad Company) and Ready For Love (recorded by both Mott and Bad Company). A tasteful and tuneful guitarist who isn't afraid to handle vocal duties as well. So a solo album by this guitarist should be something any rock fan worth his salt should be drooling over.
Originally recorded and released in the mid-80's it didn't receive any promotion from a record company wanting (for want of a better term) a Bad Company record, and it sank without trace. US label Griffin subsequently issued it on CD in the mid-90's, but it was difficult to find. Now Angel Air have picked up the cudgels and reissued it with no fewer than ten bonus tracks. You also get an excellent 12-page booklet written by Campbell Devine, which include track-by-track notes by Mick and a comprehensive Mick Ralphs discography. The bonus tracks are good and should really be regarded as "alternative mixes" rather than demos or works-in-progress.
When I first listed to this album, I was quite surprised (not knowing what to expect). On subsequent listening I have to admit to feelings of disappointment. I get the impression Mick had little better to do at the time (feeling bored, must do something - recording an album is something - so I'll record an album). The sleeve-notes confirm this: Mick says he had all these songs ready but Bad Co were'nt functioning any more, so he booked the studio and recorded them himself. Simon Kirke plays drums and Mickey Feat played bass, and Mick did everything else, including the arrangements and production. I think the album suffers because of this; there is no balls to Mick's playing and ultimately the songs are just not memorable.
But then I'm not a musician. I've heard some of Steve Vai's solo work which left me cold - yet friends of mine (much more musically talented than I) have raved about it. On this basis I'll give this CD a "strictly for die-hards" tag.