Mick Ronson – Slaughter on 10th Avenue (1974)

MickRonson_Slaughter3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Basically, guitarist/vocalist Mick Ronson’s debut solo effort Slaughter on 10th Avenue includes all the musicians from Bowie’s “Spider From Mars” group but without Bowie himself.

Here, Ronson showed off his own voice, which had many of Bowie’s same quirky qualities, as shown on tracks such as “Only After Dark” and “Music is Lethal,” and he recorded this album just prior to briefly hooking up with Mott The Hoople until he and Ian Hunter went off doing their own “duo thing.”

In my eyes, Ronson was a unique and sorely underrated musician, more than simply a “sidekick” to Bowie, and although not perfect, Slaughter on 10th Avenue was nevertheless a classic of the glam-rock universe, displaying some impressive fretwork, songwriting mastery and orchestrations (such as on the grandly scored title track), and deserves many more accolades than it actually received at the time of its release.

(RIP, sadly, to both Mick Ronson and bassist Trevor Bolder!)

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David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World (1970)

DavidBowie_ManSoldWorld4 out of 5 Stars!

The Man Who Sold the World was the first Bowie album I ever purchased, and it’s still one of my favorites (just shy of being equal to my fondness for the “Ziggy” era releases).

Regardless, this album is nothing if not unique within Bowie’s vast catalogue of platters, being his only album to truly border on Heavy Metal with tracks such as “She Shook Me Cold, “The Width of a Circle,” “Running Gun Blues,” “Saviour Machine,” and “The Supermen.”

With Mick Ronson performing his raw, somewhat psychedelic guitar gymnastics on many tracks, along with some acoustic and spacey bits tossed in that add haunting touches to several songs (“After All” and the title track instantly spring to mind), Bowie and his cohorts created a rather fascinating and experimental exercise in “Glam Metal” on The Man Who Sold the World that undoubtedly influenced countless Glam rockers in the years to come.

A true gem of the genre!

(RIP, sadly, to both David Bowie and Mick Ronson, rock legends forever!)

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