Angel Air SJPCD136.
1Bad Company - unreleased track from 1977
2demo from 1970
This is Mick Ralphs' third solo album and, like its predecessor, is a competent album packed with earthy, blues-based tunes. The big difference is that this time round Mick sings on virtually all of them.
Under Pressure (no relation to the Queen tune) starts things off nicely, a good mid-tempo blues number. For My Baby is much heavier, dark and moody. Our Time, A to Z and You And Me are all ballads, Mick ditching the guitar entirely in favour of keyboards on You And Me. Hey Hey is more like the Mick we know and love, being a mid-tempo rocker. If I've one complaint it's that I wish Mick rocked out more like this.
The pace slows again on Everybeat and Nobody Knows Me, but Mick then cranks the guitar up once more for Ain't It Good (yes, it is!). Fool For Your Loving (no relation to the Whitesnake number) is bluesy with some excellent guitar playing from Mick. If the whole album were more like Aint It Good and Fool... then we'd be looking at four or meybe even five stars.
The bonus tracks are both interesting. Budgie is a Bad Company demo from 1977 and the only instrumental on the album. I'm surprised this wasn't taken further, but is one of the stronger tracks on the album.
Can't Get Enough is the original demo Mick recorded back in 1970, complete with a vocal. Incredibly heavy and moody, it wouldn't have been out of place on Brain Capers, and it's a shame (compared with Paul Rodgers) neither Mick nor Ian Hunter could do the vocal justice.
If you liked Mick's previous album, then I think you'll enjoy this. Recommended.
Mick Ralphs website is at www.mickralphs.co.uk.Adrian Perkins