Reissue of the former Mott The Hoople leader's second solo album, originally released in 1976 on Columbia. Helping out on the slickly produced album were David Sanborn, Jaco Pastorius, Aynsley Dunbar and Queen members Fred... more »die Mercury,Brian May & Roger Taylor. Eight tracks. 1998 Columbia release.« less
Reissue of the former Mott The Hoople leader's second solo album, originally released in 1976 on Columbia. Helping out on the slickly produced album were David Sanborn, Jaco Pastorius, Aynsley Dunbar and Queen members Freddie Mercury,Brian May & Roger Taylor. Eight tracks. 1998 Columbia release.
One of Hunter's best solo albums remastered with great sound
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 05/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Punk poet and one of the stepfathers to the punk movement ( I don't think anyone can truly be pegged as the father of punk), Ian Hunter has worn many hats during his long career. His sound has a little bit of Little Richard, a dash of 50's rock 'n' roll with a contemporary twist and it still sounds totally unique. Contrary to the Amazon.com review, Hunter never aped David Bowie. He was inspired by his career and sought him out for advice (as did fellow Bowie traveler Iggy Pop), but his sound never borrowed from Bowie with the exception of the album Bowie produced for Hunter's band Mott the Hopple (even then Hunter made Bowie's All The Young Dudes uniquely his own).Listening to this remastered classic has allowed me to re-evaluate it; it stands as one of Hunter's best works. Jaco Pastorius plays a stunning bass solo (a slight correction as well--contrary to the following review, Pastorius plays on every track but one) on the meandering but powerful title track. Irene Wilde captures the wounded, scared adolescent trapped in all of us. Irene Wilde is one of Hunter's exceptional ballads. Bowie, despite his considerable talents, would never be able to write something so naked and personal.The use of Singing in the Rain to introduce Rape is surprisingly powerful ( the intro was taken off the final release although a handful of vinyl versions exist with the it. Columbia and Hunter failed to get clearence to use it). The reference to Kubrick's Clockwork Orange exists on one level but Hunter uses that as a spring board to a much broader issue -- emotional rape. God (Take 1) appears at first listen to be inspired by Lennon's God but is much more of a dialog about faith than Lennon's classic song. It's a fitting end to a powerful and provocative album.The remastered sound on this British import is spectacular and quite an improvement over all the previous versions (particularly the first American CD version. The Japanese edition is very close). This version duplicates the original sleeve (including lyrics although it would have been nice to have them in a booklet form and with larger text). Highly recommend along with Hunter's self titled debut, You're Never Alone and YUIORTA, All American Alien Boy presents Hunter at his finest."
All American Alien Mott
Kim Fletcher | Pattaya, Chonburi Thailand | 11/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bit of a strange one this, catching Ian Hunter in a bit of a flux in his career. Having just completed touring the highly successful "Ian Hunter" album (Ian's first solo work) all over Europe and America, and having the hit single "Once Bitten Twice Shy" reaching the upper reaches of the singles charts. Ian Hunter's side kick for the previous eighteen months that Rock `n' Roll Gypsy Mick Ronson, decided to take his guitar and production talent off and join Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour, (Ronson's work on that tour can be heard on the fabulous "Hard Rain" album) so Ian disbanded the band and moved lock stock and smoking barrel to America, where he still lives today. Hence the title to this his second solo work.The completed album was built thematically around Hunter's move. Recorded over three weeks, several of the tracks were first or second takes, all the material was written, arranged and produced by the man himself. Unusually most of the lyrics were written in the third person, and it appeared that the move Stateside had made him look towards Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, and possibly another English Exile John Lennon for some of his inspiration. Hunter had also become infatuated it seemed, with the mythology of America and the excitement he had discovered there, giving the album new creativity and maturity. He certainly didn't play safe with the subject matter of this discerning and at times somewhat disturbing record, as Hunter tackled subjects as diverse as Britain, America, Young Love, the Mafia, Rapists, Anti-drugs, Political corruption, Rock `n' Roll life styles, and God. All head on. Lyrically this is the most mature and potent record in the Hunter Canon each and every track deserving careful listening.So 5 stars rating for lyrical content, but the slight stumbling block is that although Hunter had assembled a glittering array of session musicians around him to record the tunes they never had the chance to become a band or sound like one, and here lies the problem, all the players turn in a polished performance, but that is exactly how it sounds very smooth, but also somewhat clinical and sterile. Most Ian Hunter albums sound as if the band are running through a prospective live set, with a beginning, middle, & end, whereas this is just a good set of songs laid down in any old order. Even the only rocker on the album "Restless Youth" (the only track heavy enough on the album, you would dare to request in the famous Tahitian Queen's Rock `n' Roll Happy Hour on Friday) sounds as if everybody is frighten to actually let rip incase they offend someone.Never the less the album does have some of Hunter's classic songs on it. The opening number, "Letter To Brittania From The Union Jack", a lovely lolloping song that would have been better off as a center piece to the album, was a song Ian addressed to his homeland. Sounding a slightly discordant note of national pride and a plea for England to "Get Its Act Together". He was at the same time critical of the country of his birth, but also sorrowful of the state the country had got itself into."Irene Wilde" was a song to a girl from Hunters youth, a poignant fragile ballad of un requited love, which has remained in his live set to this day. His teenage dream girl rejects him in this autobiographical true story of a "Barker Street Station non affair", which pushes him on towards ambition and stardom, away from his hometown of Shrewsbry.Hunters previous band Mott the Hoople had done two tours of both the States and U.K with Queen as support so it is nice to hear them adding backing vocals to the hymnlike "You Nearly Did Me In".Ian Hunter "All American Alien Boy" was released in June 1976, as Hunter did not tour the album. And label C.B.S gave only minimal promotion (no obvious single to promote) the album sunk more or less without trace, although it remains Hunter's own favorite amongst his solo work.But just around the corner the "Overnight Angels" were gathering.
Mott the Dog."
Hunter works without a net...
Robert Dumas | Pawling, NY USA | 02/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame that this -- Ian Hunter's second solo album -- is now only available as an important and at such a high price.Hunter's self-titled first solo effort was in the wake of the demise of Mott the Hoople and is often considered his best. Maybe. It was certainly one of his most introspective records and still maintained much of the Mott the Hoople feel. However, on this record -- "All American Alien Boy," Hunter is in a more experimental mood and lyrically, many of the songs find him contending with his then-recent move from England to America.Consequently, there are both hits and misses on this record, but it maintains that kind of thrilling quality that seems to come from working without a net.The CD kicks off with "Letter to Brittania from the Union Jack," another solemn look from Hunter's point of view at the U.K. and its ills. In keeping with the unconventional approach to making this record, "Letter to Brittania," though heartfelt and moving, is an odd and interesting choice to have as the first track. It's a slow, quiet ballad that seems somewhat unassuming... not the way most rockers want to greet the listeners right out of the box when the record is first played.However, "Britannia," eventually melts into the opening guitar riffs of "All American Alien Boy," a song that is its complete antithesis, musically speaking. It's that contrast that makes the track sequencing work so well on this CD.The title track is a seven-minute-plus bluesy rollick in which Hunter takes a look around and offers some wry observations about his new American homeland. It's great fun and features some incredible backing support. Guitarist Gary Weems (doing a fine Mick Ralphs/Mick Ronson impression throughout the record), is absolutely incindeary on this track. Additionally, Hunter features two jazz greats here: Saxaphonist David Sanborn, who kicks in a blistering solo, and the late/great bass player Jaco Pastorious, who adds a funky little bass interlude to "Alien Boy," as well. This song makes you tap your feet and sing along with gleeful abandon.Hunter, being such a fearless lyricist, has never been afraid to expose himself emotionally in song and here, the heart-wrenching ballad "Irene Wilde" is one of the best examples of that. It's a Billy Joel-esque piano ballad in which Hunter looks back at his early teens and at the young girl who shot him down so hard that he vowed he make something of himself someday and come back. You can hear the quiver in his voice as sings, "She seemed to say, you ain't nothing - go away...""Restless Youth," follows -- a fiery rocker in the Mott tradition (a perfect companion to "Crach Street Kids" and "One of the Boys," or even "Violence," from his Mott the Hoople days). The only drawback here is that the song does suffer from a bit of over-indulgence. It's a great riff, but the track seems to stagger on interminably and the lyrics disolve from biting social commentary to a sophmoric mess."Rape" is another standout track -- something only Hunter could have handled with such aplomb. The way the track opens with "Singing In The Rain," (and obvious correlation to the move "A Clockwork Orange,") adds to its disturbing themes.This is not a perfect record. Some songs (i.e. "Apathy") are just not all that memorable and some of the arrangements are over-cluttered and a bit prolix. But, as I said, Hunter was experimenting with new sounds, new directions and a new country. Consequently, for every awkward moment on this CD, there are dozens of absolutely luminous ones. That's what comes from taking chances: sometimes you fail, but when you succeed, you do so in a big way.If your are an Ian Hunter and/or Mott the Hoople fan then this CD is requisite listening. As noted earlier, it's available only as an import and is quite costly for a single disc. However, it's readily available used from several re-sellers at much more reasonable prices. Highly recommended."
The first high point of an overlooked solo artist
Robert Dumas | 03/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The critics may have preferred his first self-titled solo album, but this one has many more high points and fewer low ones. Sounding still like a mix of Mott the Hoople and David Bowie, Hunter's dry humor has never been better. The droll deadpan vocal and superb bass solo of the title track could easily be counted among Hunter's solo best. The same dry sense of humor shows through on Hunter's take on religion, "God Part 1." The rockers rock hard (Restless Youth), and the ballads compare to Lennon's best in melody and style (Letter to Brittania, Irene Wilde). Some may be turned off by the preachiness of some lyrics, but Hunter is one of the few who can write personal songs that appeal to many. A rather run of the mill guest vocal by Queen also appears here. A must for Mott fans and those who search for the good albums that have been missed."
An album with outstanding moments from Hunter
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/07/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ian Hunter, despite his considerable talents, has had a hit and miss solo career. He's always needed someone like Mick Ralphs or Mick Ronson to argue with and collaborate on his recordings second guessing Hunter and pushing him in new directions.ALL AMERICAN ALIEN BOY(along with ARTFUL DODGER) is an exception to that rule. Although a trifile slick, the album has many exceptional moments littered throughout. "Letter from Britiania to the Union Jack", "Rape", "Apathy", Irene Wilde" are all outstanding songs that rank among the best of Hunter's songs. Each shows Hunter in a reflective mood about his home, humanity and his own life. Even the misses(the amusing "God(take 1)" and "All American alien boy") have their moments. "All American alien boy" features some outstanding playing from the session musicians Hunter assembled for the album(including bassist Jaco Pastorius). Still, Hunter could have used a Mick Ronson here to co-pilot this project and toughten some of the arrangements. This album has the generic sound and feel of many mid-70's albums. Still, this album(unlike the overproduced follow up OVERNIGHT ANGELS--a pairing of Hunter with Roy Thomas Baker.)has moments of wit and clarity. The songwriting is, for the most part, focused and on target.This album, along with IAN HUNTER, YOU'RE NEVER ALONE... and ARTFUL DODGER represent Hunter at his best."