Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Ray Majors CD: "First Poison"

Sleeve and track listing

Angel Air SJPCD057. (3 stars!)

  1. Leave Me Be
  2. The Killing Time
  3. I'll Never Leave You
  4. Love That Burns
  5. Writing On The Wall
  6. Soon
  7. Errant Magic
  8. Dangerous Liaison
  9. Jam Rag
  10. Driftin
  11. Nobody Home
  12. The Dawning
  13. Back Door Friend
  14. Walk The Line
  15. Carrie


This, the first solo album by the former British Lions and Mott guitar player, is an interesting mix of styles. Across these 15 tracks Ray Majors encompasses heavy metal, blues and reggae to produce an album that is varied and full of surprises.

Leave Me Be is a good, mid-tempo rocker which features Joe Elliott (of Def Leppard) on vocals. This just throws a curve, as The Killing Time shows distinct Eastern influences I thought, as indeed does Errant Magic which is an instrumental and would not have been out of place in the hippyish late 60's. I'll Never Leave You is different again, showing reggae overtones and with a very lightweight, almost minimalist arrangement.

Half the tracks are, however, definitely blues-based, such as the excellent Love That Burns, the instrumental Jam Rag and Back Door Friend. Driftin' is a great mid-tempo rocker, while Ray turns the amps up even more for the crunching Soon, which is pure power-metal in style. If you bought Friends And Relatives then you'll already have heard Walk The Line, a powerful moody ballad which brings visions of the Deep South to mind.

The booklet that accompanies the CD contains the lyrics and musician credits, together wiuth a few additional notes by Ray. We learn, for example, that he prefers the minimalist approach (eg preferring percussion to a full drum kit) as this allows the instruments to breathe more, and this is obvious on several tracks.

This debut album has been a long time coming. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, there should be something on here to suit most tastes. Recommended.