Home Read Classic Album Review: Various Artists | Mick Ronson Memorial Concert

Classic Album Review: Various Artists | Mick Ronson Memorial Concert

A slate of rock stars pay tribute to the late, great guitarist and ultimate sideman.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


THE ARTIST: The sideman’s sideman, flamboyant bottle-blond guitarist Mick Ronson worked with everyone from Morrissey to Mellencamp, but he is best known for backing David Bowie (in The Spiders From Mars) and Ian Hunter (during and after Mott the Hoople). Ronson died of cancer in 1993, and this tribute — featuring everyone from Hunter to Def Leppard and, for some reason, comedy singer Rolf Harris — was held on the first anniversary of his death.

THE MUSIC: Two CDs with 22 tracks, along with a third enhanced CD with video footage. THE MUSIC: Since Ronson wasn’t well known for his own material, much of the set consists of tunes by Bowie (Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City) and Hunter (Once Bitten, Twice Shy), which makes for a decidedly odd tribute. On the other hand, Michael Picasso — Hunter’s musical homage to Ronson — is movingly spot-on. THE QUALITY: No bootleg, this — everything is crystal clear and perfectly recorded and mixed. THE LAST WORD: Inconsistent — did I mention Rolf Harris? — but with some memorable moments.