Mick Ronson

Main Man

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After close to two decades of unavailability, suddenly Mick Ronson's first two solo albums were turning up everywhere, and in every possible permutation. For anybody who skipped picking up the bonus track-stacked reissues earlier in the 1990s, however, Main Man offered the ultimate budget priced consolation.

The 22 tracks not only restate the Slaughter On 10th Avenue and Play Don't Worry albums in all their glory (the first more glorious than the second, but no matter), but also include the CD reissues' bonus tracks - a generous serving that includes Ronson's so-moody version of Annette Peacock's "Seven Days", plus a couple of cuts from the proposed, but ultimately scrapped live album, recorded at Ronson's debut solo concert in London in May 1974. There's also a glimpse of what would have been the guitarist's third album, had he not finally decided he hated the solo life and, if the likes of "Pain In The City", "Dogs" and a retitled cover of David Bowie's "Soul Love" don't exactly match the highlights of his first two albums, now you know why he abandoned the third.

Slaughter and Play Don't Worry, of course, are superlative and, if there's any criticism to be levelled at this collection, it is that the packaging really doesn't live up to the music. Which, at this price, really isn't much to moan about at all.

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