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Shrunken Heads

4.7 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As the leader of seminal seventies band Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter ripped straight through the hypocrisy and broken ideals of the hippie generation, cutting a jagged swath through popular music and paving the way for the punk rock revolution. Hunter's interpretation of the David Bowie-penned classic 'All the Young Dudes' made him an icon and further work with legendary Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson cemented his position as underground rock 'n' roll royalty. After Mott the Hoople's final break-up in 1974, Ian Hunter pressed on as a solo artist releasing 11 solo albums to date. Now, with Shrunken Heads, the man that has influenced bands from The Clash to Oasis is still affecting today's most groundbreaking artists (Jeff Tweedy collaborates on three tracks), recording with his beloved band and offering characteristically wry commentary on today's political climate.

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Though Ian Hunter hit his popular peak in the 1970s, as the frontman for Mott the Hoople and with solo favorites such as "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" and "Cleveland Rocks," fans who have followed his career ever since will find him in fine form here. Co-produced by Hunter and Andy York (guitarist for John Mellencamp), the album mixes the hard-crunching rock 'n' roll, literate lyricism, bittersweet balladry, and self-deprecating humor that have long marked Hunter's best work. Musically, both "Stretch" and the piano-driven "How's Your House" have the dynamics of Mott (though the latter was inspired by the aftermath of Katrina), while "When the World Was Round" and "I Am What I Hated When I Was Young" find Hunter in older-and-wiser mode. After "Brainwashed" attacks consumer culture with a feverish immediacy, Hunter finds soul-stirring redemption in "Guiding Light." --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 15, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
  • ASIN: B000NTPGCK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,584 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Ian Hunter's last three solo albums have been on different labels and all are out of print. Some may conclude that Ian's career never recovered from the loss of his friend and collaborator Mick Ronson to cancer. However, Ian has never been one to deliberately seek fame and fortune, even while fronting Mott the Hoople.

Because Ian creates music for music's sake, and because he has found a simpatico collaborator in Andy York from John Mellencamp's band, Ian gives us his strongest and most consistent post-Ronson effort. The songs on Shrunken Heads reflect Ian's take on life - both personal and community. He has been one of rock's most enduring songwriters for decades and he hasn't lost his touch one bit.

Musically, the album is based on the same Dylan/Stone-ish rock that has always served Ian's vocal range very well. There are also shades of Mellencamp and Springsteen. Thematically the album is an American version of Ian's last release - Rant - which took on the state of affairs in England, Ian's homeland. Ian has been a resident of the US since 1976 (reference All American Alien Boy), and Shrunken Heads gives equal time and focus to the other side of the Atlantic.

The title track is a wonderful "rant" about political leaders (the shrunken heads) who make bad decisions that hurt common people. Soul of America is a lament for the soul-less-ness that too often pervades the American landscape. Brainwashed takes on American consumerism (and reminds me of my 15 yr. old daughter for some odd reason). How's Your House is a post-Katrina story. The media takes their lumps in Fuss About Nothin'.

The political "rants" are balanced with insightful personal songs.
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Format: Audio CD
Once upon a time, Ian Hunter was fast becoming a rock legend. Hits with Mott the Hoople and his early solo career had made him and his music easily recognizable. Then something happened. For some unexplainable reason, most people don't know who Mr. Hunter is, let alone that he is a wonderful, still relevant artist.

Mr. Hunter's latest effort, Shrunken Heads, shows he stills knows how to put together words and musics quite well, thank you. He goes forward without having to ride his catalogue of music in to the dust. His lyrics combine honesty and world weariness in a way few poets, let alone rockers, can.

In a world where more people are more concerned with Paris Hilton's latest exploit rather than Dafur, Somalia, etc., Mr. Hunter's lyrics remind us about the need to get real.

Shrunken Heads highlights are Big Mouth, When the World Was Round, Shrunken Heads, and Soul of America. Do you think the Stones would pen a song like "I Am What I Hated When I Was Young?" The album closes with a beautiful poem/song "Read 'em 'n Weep."

Miss this at your own risk.
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Format: Audio CD
There are some things in life you can depend upon, public holiday weather, politicians fibs and television's dependancy on promoting mediocraty but amongst all the gruel that the "music industry" pumps out into a trend greedy world there are a few strong strands of quality and Ian Hunter is one of the longest running of those strong threads, In truth this album could be placed anywhere in his carefully wrung out proccesion of angst and joy, it reminds me in parts (Big Mouth, Brainwashed, How's your house) of his first solo effort and sometimes it reminds me of "All american alien boy" (Fuss about nothin' and the excellent When the world was round), but this is more to the albums credit than a critisism, it's that sharp critical, mocking set of shaded eyes that we need to see through to get the full depth of what's being pointed at, Hunter has always strove to be good and according to him been found wanting but what he does in that striving is often to find himself being great and I mean great at a genius level, the lyrical perception of "When the world was round" and "Brainwashed" is so far ahead of what passes for songwriting today that the comparison can only be made with Dylan at his best and Van Morrison at his most melancholic as to "Shrunken heads" and "Soul of America" this is beyond simple songwriting it's political journalism, it's a documentary that a fat man in a baseball cap would be proud of...too important to ignore and all too likely to pass unoticed, next time you're watching MTV and they ship out the usual mix of trendy guitar wangers and tired old "legends" ask yourself when was the last time you saw and heard something that made you smile with it's charm and think about it's content? Ian Hunter? Long may he rant!
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Format: Audio CD
This is sooooo much better than 'Rant' his last studio CD. With Andy York (Mellancamp's band) replacing Mick Ronson in the all important guitar/producer slot, this CD is a keeper for a number of reasons.

Well crafted songs and lyrics, production of the CD, and to me the most important, a 'looseness' to the whole thing---kinda like the old Mott LP's.

There are rockers (Stretch) and ballads (Read em and Weep) and basically everything inbetween.

I thought that Bowie was smoking at age 59/60 on his last tour of the states, but for Ian to craft this type of music at age 67!!!! He's on tour this year--catch him while you can--it's always a fun show.

See ya in Cleveland IH
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