Friday, February 14, 2020

For The Record #1: Mick Ronson

I've decided that I'd still like to write about vinyl, if not on a dedicated blog, at least once a week on these pages.

I buy it. I sell it. (See sidebar on the right.)  I play it more than any other medium. Maybe a few eyes and ears will care at least half as much as I do.

These posts will not be reviews of the music. The posts will focus strictly on the product itself: pressing quality, packaging, etc. Besides, if I am writing about the vinyl, you can be sure I am behind the music that is on it. I will give the music a grade on a 10 scale, then you can decide if you'd like to dial it up on your favorite streaming service to give it a listen, or if you still love to buy, hold, feel and spin, purchase the record itself.

Today's feature: Mick Ronson's second solo effort "Play Don't Worry" on Drastic Plastic.

I don't know what put the Ronson bug into me this week. I have owned many copies of his two RCA solo records over the years. I've liked them enough to keep rebuying them after I've sold them, once I realized maybe I just didn't love them enough to keep them. The reason I purchased this 2017 reissue on Drastic Plastic is because I read that Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio did the mastering. If you recall my Blue Note jazz posts, Kevin Gray has been responsible for the stunning audio on that Tone Poet reissue series which has knocked me out with every release. He does not disappoint on this Ronno record.

If you dig this record which is half covers and half originals, this 2017 pressing is the way to go, assuming you are not caught up in needing an original, which is not always the way to go. The sound is wonderfully clear and warm, spacious and natural. I swear I heard things I hadn't heard before. Even the noise fest on the coda of "White Light/White Heat," which closes out Side One, is not quite as harsh or distorted. (By the way, that VU cover is the exact backing track recorded for but left off of Bowie's "PinUps.")

It is not an expensive reissue but it is a limited run of 500 140g blue vinyl or 500 180g black vinyl.

Highly recommended.

Blue vinyl gatefold packaging- 8/10
Audio Quality- 8/10
Content- 7/10


Jeremy said...

Dude, thx a ton for making my Friday. I simply will go on record by stating that Mick Ronson is/was truly a star, a genius and more. Mick gets some recognition but by no means enough IMO. Mick's body of solo works can be uneven at times but overall is tremendous. Certainly the right talent at the wrong time surrounded by some wrong people, far too many main men.......
The recent collection is a fine tribute and a great place to start for those less familiar with his solo efforts. I close by asking who made the Spiders and it was Mick who played guitar and not Ziggy. Or so the song should go.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I didn't realize "White Light" was a "Pinups" out-take. Writing about vinyl is a great idea.
I got to see Mick Ronson play with Ian Hunter at the Santa Monica civic in 1979 or 80.
Ellen Foley was singing backup, pre Mick Jones.
John Hiatt opened in support of "Slug Line".

cmealha said...

I like that you're doing this. Looking forward to more.

dogbreath said...

Always preferred his first album to the second, but the man was a brilliant guitar player. Agree that Bowie's Ziggy wouldn't have been the same without Ronson as his sideman/co-conspirator. Had a real splurge of Mick on YouTube after reading your post so cheers for that.

ken49 said...

I think the vinyl focus is great. I no longer buy any but spent a good chunk of my life in record stores and still once in awhile will visit a local store just to look.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the vinyl angle.

Enough so that it needs it's own blog.

Post as much as you can, great idea!