Ian Hunter – All-American Alien Boy (1976)

LPFrontCover1Ian Hunter Patterson (born 3 June 1939) known as Ian Hunter, is an English singer-songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Mott the Hoople, from its inception in 1969 to its dissolution in 1974, and at the time of its 2009 and 2013 reunions. Hunter was a musician and songwriter before joining Mott the Hoople, and continued in this vein after he left the band. He embarked on a solo career despite ill health and disillusionment with commercial success, and often worked in collaboration with Mick Ronson, David Bowie’s sideman and arranger from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars period.

Mott the Hoople achieved a certain level of commercial success, and attracted a small but devoted fan base. As a solo artist, Hunter charted with lesser-known but more wide-ranging works outside the rock mainstream. His best-known solo songs are “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, later covered by Great White, and “England Rocks”, which was modified to “Cleveland Rocks” and then later covered by The Presidents of the United States of America, and became one of the theme songs used for the American TV series The Drew Carey Show.

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All American Alien Boy is the second studio album by Ian Hunter. Because of management issues, Mick Ronson did not appear on this album;[3] instead, Hunter brought in keyboardist Chris Stainton to act as a balancing force in the studio. Unlike his previous album, the album didn’t feature any of his trademark rockers (apart from “Restless Youth”) and he opted for a more jazzy direction including bassist Jaco Pastorius. The album title is a play on Rick Derringer’s 1973 album All American Boy.

In 2006, the album was reissued with several bonus tracks.(wikipedia)


After the relative success of his debut, it would have been very easy for Ian Hunter to continue in the glam-inspired vein that made that album so successful. Instead, he twisted his sound in a jazz direction for All American Alien Boy, a partially successful attempt to open up his sound from its traditional rock & roll routes. Since Hunter couldn’t utilize the producing and arranging skills of longtime cohort Mick Ronson because of a dispute with Ronson’s manager, Hunter took the reins himself and invited a diverse cast of session musicians that included everyone from journeyman drummer Aynsley Dunbar to jazz bass wizard Jaco Pastorius. The resulting album mixture of conventional Mott the Hoople-style rock and sonic experiments never truly gels, but does contain some fine tracks.

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The experiments are hit and miss: the title track is a funky, sax-flavored exploration of Hunter’s adjustment to life in America that works nicely, but the interesting lyrics of “Apathy 83” get buried in an uncharacteristically bland soft rock arrangement. The songs that work best are the more traditional-sounding numbers: “Irene Wilde” is a delicately crafted autobiographical ballad about the rejection that made Hunter decide to “be somebody, someday,” and “God – Take 1” is a stirring, Dylan-styled rocker featuring witty lyrics that illustrate a conversation with a weary and down-to-earth version of God. However, the true gem of the album is “You Nearly Did Me In,” an elegant and emotional ballad about the emptiness that follows a romantic breakup. It also notable for the stirring backing vocals from guest stars Queen on its chorus. In the end, All-American Alien Boy lacks the consistency to fully succeed as an album but still offers enough stellar moments to make it worthwhile for Ian Hunter’s fans. (by Donald A. Guarisco)


Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar, piano on 02.)
Chris Stainton – piano, organ, mellotron, bass guitar on “Restless Youth”
Jaco Pastorius (bass, guitar on 08.)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
Jerry Weems (guitar)
Don Alias (percussion)
Dave Bargeron (trombone)
Dominic Cortese (accordion)
Cornell Dupree – guitar on 01. + 09.)
Arnie Lawrence (clarinet)
Lewis Soloff (trumpet)
background vocals on 06.:
Freddie Mercury – Brian May – Roger Taylor
background vocals:
Bob Segarini – Ann E. Sutton – Gail Kantor – Erin Dickins


01. Letter To Britannia From The Union Jack 3.49
02. All American Alien Boy 7.08
03. Irene Wilde 3.44
04. Restless Youth 6.18
05. Rape 4.04
06. You Nearly Did Me In 5.47
07. Apathy 83 4.43
08. God (Take 1) 5.44
09. To Rule Britannia From Union Jack (Session outake) 4.09
10. All American Alien Boy (Single version) 4.04
11. Irene Wilde (Take 1) 3.52
12. Weary Anger (Session outake) 5.46
13. Apathy (Session outake) 4.43
14. (God) Advice To A Friend (Session outake) 5.32

All songs written by Ian Hunter




More from Ian Hunter:

Ian Hunter – You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic (1979)

FrontCover1You’re Never Alone with A Schizophrenic is the fourth solo album by Ian Hunter. The album featured members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band as the backing band. Allmusic considers the album to be Hunter’s best.

Hunter says that the title had been spotted on a toilet wall by co-producer Mick Ronson which he had planned for one of his solo albums. Hunter loved the title so much that he offered Ronson co-writing credit on the first single “Just Another Night” in exchange for the use of the title for the album. “Just Another Night” reached the Billboard Hot 100 No. 68. The album became one of Hunter’s biggest sellers at the time. Later, singer Barry Manilow covered the song “Ships” for his album One Voice which became a top-ten hit.

In 2009 EMI released a 30th-anniversary reissue of the album remastered with five bonus tracks on the first disc of outtakes and a second disc of live tracks recorded on the tour to support the album but previously unreleased. The reissue also came with a deluxe booklet discussing the making the album along with vintage and new interviews with Hunter.

The song “Cleveland Rocks” (originally recorded as a single for Columbia Records and entitled “England Rocks” around the time of “Overnight Angels”) later became a hit when The Presidents of the United States of America re-recorded the song as the theme song to The Drew Carey Show in 1997, raising Hunter’s profile. (by wikipedia)


This classic album from 1979 is considered by many to be the high point of Ian Hunter’s solo career. Although its sales never matched up to the enthusiastic critical reaction it received, this polished hard rock gem has held up nicely through the years and is definitely deserving of its strong cult reputation. You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic also marked the reunion of Hunter with his finest creative ally, Mick Ronson, who had been forced to sit out of Hunter’s last few albums due to management problems. Together, the reunited duo put together an album that matches Hunter’s literate lyrics to a set of catchy, finely crafted tunes brimming with rock & roll energy. Two of the finest tracks are “Cleveland Rocks,” an affectionate, Mott the Hoople-styled tribute to an unsung rock & roll city that later became the theme for The Drew Carey Show, and “Ships,” a heartrending ballad built on a spooky and ethereal keyboard-driven melody that was later covered with great success by Barry Manilow.

Ian Hunter

Elsewhere, the album features plenty of tunes that soon became mainstays of Hunter’s live show: “Just Another Night” is a rollicking rocker with an infectious, piano-pounding melody reminiscent of 1970s-era Rolling Stones, and “Bastard” is a pulsating rocker that features guest star John Cale contributing to its ominous hard rock atmosphere. However, the unsung gem of the album is “When the Daylight Comes,” a beautifully crafted mid-tempo rocker that balances a soulful, organ-driven melody with rousing guitar riffs and surprisingly vulnerable lyrics about romance. It should also be noted that You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic benefits from a sterling mix by Bob Clearmountain, who gives the sound a muscular quality that makes it leap out of the stereo speakers. In the end, You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic is not only Ian Hunter’s finest and most consistent album but one of the true gems of late-’70s rock & roll. (by Donald A. Guarisco)


Roy Bittan (keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals)
Lew Delgatto (saxophone)
Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion)
Mick Ronson (guitars, vocals on 05., background vocals, percussion)
Garry Tallent (bass)
Max Weinberg (drums)
George Young (saxophone)
John Cale (piano, synthesizer on 07.)
background vocals:
Ellen Foley – Rory Dodd – Eric Bloom

The inlets:

01. Just Another Night (Hunter/Ronson) / Wild East (Hunter) 8.37
02. Cleveland Rocks (Hunter) 3.48
03. Ships (Hunter) 4.05
04. When The Daylight Comes (Hunter) 4.19
05. Life After Death (Hunter) 3.48
06. Standin’ In My Light (Hunter) 4.22
07. Bastard (Hunter) 6.31
08. The Outsider (Hunter) 5.49



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Ian Hunter Band (feat. Mick Ronson) – Live At Rockpalast (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgWith Mott the Hoople, guitarist/vocalist Ian Hunter established himself as one of the toughest and most inventive hard rock songwriters of the early ’70s, setting the stage for punk rock with his edgy, intelligent songs. As a solo artist, Hunter never attained the commercial heights of Mott the Hoople, but he cultivated a dedicated cult following.

Hunter was born in Owestry, Shropshire, but was raised in cities throughout England since his father worked in the British Intelligence agency called MI5 and had to move frequently. Eventually, the family returned to Shrewsbury, where the teenaged Hunter joined a band called Silence in the early ’60s. Silence released an album, but it received no attention. In the years following Silence, Hunter played in a handful of local bands and worked a variety of jobs.

In 1968, Hunter began playing bass with Freddie “Fingers” Lee and the duo played around Germany. Shortly afterward, Hunter became the vocalist for Mott the Hoople. During the next six years, Hunter sang and played piano and guitar with the band, becoming its lead songwriter within a few albums. Although few of their records sold, Mott the Hoople was one of the most popular live bands in England. In 1972, David Bowie produced their breakthrough album, All the Young Dudes, which brought the band into the British Top Ten and the American Top 40. For the next two years, the group had a consistent stream of hits in both the U.K. and the U.S.

Mott The Hoople

Toward the end of 1973, the band began to fall apart, as founding member and lead guitarist Mick Ralphs left the band. Hunter carried on through another album, but he left the group in late 1974, taking along former Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson, who had just joined Mott. Just prior to leaving the group, Hunter published Diary of a Rock Star, an account of his years leading Mott the Hoople, in June 1974.

Hunter moved to New York, where he and Ronson began working on his solo debut. Released in 1975, Ian Hunter spawned “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” a Top 20 U.K. hit. Following its release, Hunter and Ronson embarked on a tour. After its completion, the pair parted ways, although they would reunite later in the ’80s. All-American Alien Boy, Hunter’s second solo album, was recorded with a variety of all-star and session musicians, including members of Queen. Released in the summer of 1976, All-American Alien Boy was a commercial failure. It was followed in 1977 by Overnight Angels, an album that saw Hunter moving closer to straightforward rock & roll; disappointed with the completed album, Hunter decided to leave it unreleased in America.

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Following the mainstream approach of Overnight Angels, Hunter became involved with England’s burgeoning punk rock movement, producing Generation X’s second album, 1979’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. For Hunter’s next solo album, he reunited with Mick Ronson, who produced and arranged 1979’s You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic. The album was a hit, especially in America, where it peaked at number 35. Hunter and Ronson set out on another tour, which resulted in the 1980 double live album, Ian Hunter Live/Welcome to the Club. In 1981, Hunter released Short Back N’ Sides, which was produced by the Clash’s Mick Jones.

Two years later, he released All of the Good Ones Are Taken. After its release, Ian Hunter Ian Hunter03became a recluse, spending the next six years in silence; occasionally, he contributed a song to a movie soundtrack. In 1989, he resumed recording, releasing YUI Orta with Ronson. After its release, Hunter remained quiet during the ’90s, appearing only on Ronson’s posthumous 1994 album Heaven and Hull, and at tribute concerts for Ronson in 1994 and Freddie Mercury in 1992. Hunter returned to recording with Artful Dodger, which was released in Britain and Europe in the spring of 1997. After a Columbia/Legacy compilation titled Once Bitten Twice Shy offered a wealth of Hunter solo titles in the year 2000, much attention was paid to 2001’s fine Rant. In 2002, Hunter performed a pair of semi-acoustic concerts in Oslo, Norway, which were recorded for later release on CD and home video; the resulting project, called Strings Attached, introduced some new songs, including “Twisted Steel,” inspired by the events of September 11, 2001.

Shrunken Heads, a collection of all-new material, was released in 2007 on the Yep Roc label, followed by Man Overboard in 2009 from New West Records. That same year, Hunter unexpectedly reunited with Mott the Hoople for a series of concerts at the end of the year; Live at HMV Hammersmith Apollo 2009 documented these well-reviewed gigs. After a couple of quiet years, Hunter returned in the fall of 2012 with When I’m President, another critically acclaimed collection of rock & roll. Live in the UK 2010, a document from the Man Overboard tour, arrived in 2014, and in 2016 Hunter released another studio album, Fingers Crossed. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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And here´s a great show with Ian Hunter, featuring his old band mate from the Mott The Hoople dasys, Mick Ronson:

The newly re-christened Hunter-Ronson Band also toured incessantly, and Live At Rockpalast 1980 is a better document of this period than it really has any right to be. Recorded for a late-night television concert series from Germany’s Rockpalast, this concert displays both the short-lived band’s many strengths, but also a few of its weaknesses.

The late Ronson is definitely a great onstage foil for Hunter here, and his razor-sharp playing is much in evidence throughout this album. However, he also appears to be holding back at times. When the band launches into Mott the Hoople’s near-hit “All The Way From Memphis,” it lacks the 1970s glam-rock snarl of known live Mott recordings (even with the hapless Grosvenor). After Hunter sings “took out my six-string razor, and hit the sky,” you keep waiting for that great lead part from the original record. But it never comes. However, Ronson does add some impressive new lead guitar bits to the chorus. A version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” likewise falls just a bit short of the original version, although it is thankfully a bit grittier sounding than the ’80s polish of the Great White cover (“they taught us how to love”).

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Songs like “I Wish I Was Your Mother” and “Irene Wilde” also display Hunter’s considerable talents as a songwriter cut straight from the Blonde On Blonde-era Dylan mold. This was something Hunter was trying to focus on more following his days as a 1970s glam-rocker with Mott, and although the songs are undeniably good, I have to admit I still found myself waiting for the band to bust out a bit more here.

Outside of Hunter and Ronson, there are a bunch of really non-descript players. Good at what they do, sure. But also lacking both the admitted sloppiness, yet undeniable explosiveness of what Mott the Hoople could do on a great night. It’s right about here that you really want to see Hunter strap on that giant “H” guitar, and kick some ass. Or at least, those ridiculous, knee-high boots worn by bassist Pete “Overend” Watts during Mott’s glammier days.

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Fortunately, the band rallies somewhat to kick things up a notch with the rockers, including “Cleveland Rocks,” “Just Another Night,” “All The Young Dudes,” and especially a scorching version of “Bastard” from Hunter’s great Schizophrenic album. Here, the band falls into a tight-ass little funk pocket (well, outside of some misplaced synthesizer anyway), and Ronson gets a chance to flex his muscles on guitar a bit more. Ian Hunter also bites off the lyrical phrases to this song with all the fiery spirit of his obvious hero, Dylan. This performance alone is worth the price of admission.

Live At Rockpalast 1980 isn’t perfect, by any means. But it is still just about as good a document of Ian Hunter at his post-Mott the Hoople peak as one could have hoped for. It’s also a real treat to see Mick Ronson rock out on guitar, even if those moments are a little too fleeting on this album. (by Glen Boyd)


Martin Briley  (bass)
Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar)
Tom Mandel (keyboards)
George Meyer  (saxophone, keyboards)
Tom Morrongiello (guitar)
Eric Parker (drums)
Mick Ronson (guitar, vocals)


01. F.B.I. (Gormley) 3.41
02. Once Bitten Twice Shy (Hunter) 5.24
03. Angeline (Hunter) 5.00
04. Laugh At Me (Bono) 4.26
05. Irene Wilde (Hunter) 4.41
06. I Wish I Was Your Mother (Hunter) 6.53
07. Just Another Night (Hunter/Ronson) 7.24
08. We Gotta Get Out Of Here (Hunter) 4.19
09. Bastard (Hunter) 7.41
10. All The Way From Memphis (Hunter) 4.17
11. Cleveland Rocks (Hunter) 8.02
12, All The Young Dudes (Bowie) 3.50
13. Slaughter On 10th Avenue (Rogers) 2.46



And here´s the show on video: