Is Ronson Burned Out Already? (Slaughter LP review)
9 March 1974
MICK RONSON: 'Slaughter on 10th Avenue' (RCA APL1 0353)
Saturday night at the London Rainbow starring Mick Ronson was, they tell me, great. But I went Friday, and no way was Friday great - So what do you do, play doubting Thomas and withhold judgment 'til the record turns up? Right, that's exactly what you do.
So now it's here and in my books Ronno is no star - not yet anyway. The presence that was so sadly lacking on stage that Friday is equally absent here. One would have expected him to showcase his guitar work since that's what he's known for, but every effort has been taken to make it play second fiddle to his voice and it's a voice lacking both character and individuality. The range is there, so is power when it's needed, but I don't think he has the gift of interpreting lyrics nor that of realising a melody to its full. Often he sounds too much like other people. His 'Love Me Tender' is too close to Presley, his ultra-Brel effort is too Bowie-ish.
The title track, courtesy Gershwin, is the best. I also like the Bowie song 'Growing Up And I'm Fine', though I don't think Mick's vocal does it justice. The rest are never worse than all right, but there's no freshness about them.
Basically, for all his competence as a producer, arranger, guitarist and, to a lesser extent, singer, Ronno, has failed to project a personality.