Schizophrenic is possibly the finest moment of Ian Hunter's solo career. Everything comes together: a great band including the late Mick Ronson on guitar along with Roy Bittan, Max Weinberg and Gary Tallent from Bruce Springsteen's E Street band; a heartfelt vocal performance from Hunter; and above all a strong set of songs, from the raucous rock of Just Another Night to the tenderness of Ships (that pass in the night), a song which Cambell Devine's enclosed essay tells us was written about Ian's father.
Easy to recommend then; but the chances are that many potential customers for this package already have it. Is the remaster worth it?
It's nicely done, with a trifold sleeve, the aforementioned essay by Devine, five bonus tracks, and a second CD assembled from contemporary live performances. Sound quality wise, I didn't hear much improvement over the original CD release, but was relieved to find that it was not wrecked by excessive loudness.
The bonus tracks are demos and early takes, and good to hear though nothing special, with the exception of a very different early version of Just Another Night, less rocking, different lyrics, more emotion.
The concert CD is a treat, though we already have a decent live CD from the period in the form of Welcome to the Club. Still, there are a couple of songs here that are not on Club - Life After Death and Letter to Brittania from the Union Jack - and of course the performances are different. Some of the songs are from Mott the Hoople days, including the anthemic All the Young Dudes.
All very enjoyable, and should be snapped up by Ian Hunter fans.