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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 October 2012
Having seen the now 73 year old Ian Hunter rock the socks off the Shepherds Bush audience last week it seems as pertinent a time as any to investigate this great value collection. With 4CDs comprising 62 tracks, we have complete albums "You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic", "Short Back `n' Sides" and "Welcome to the Club" - a live album which is a favourite of mine featuring as it does coruscating performances by Mick Ronson. There is also a previously unissued CD (it says here) - "Ian Hunter Rocks" which is another live album, this time not featuring Mick Ronson but with a decent enough band. My one concern with the package is that to my ears this album is a bit "weedy", the guitars are way down in the mix and it definitely suffers in comparison with "Welcome to the club". There are various rare songs, studio outtakes and previously unreleased demos dotted about the piece and not being au fait with the situation vis a vis Ian Hunter bootlegs etc, these may or not already be available. Suffice to say that I didn't have them in my collection but as is the case with many such outtakes, they are not left on the cutting floor for nothing, so whilst they add something to the overall package they are hardly essential.
Nevertheless at this price this is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of someone who is still rocking 30 years after these albums first came out. The man's a marvel!
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on 16 November 2012
This is a must buy for any Ian/Mott fan capturing his Chrysalis years after Columbia, he plays with sound and music styles in these few records but no matter the change his lyrics are still heartfelt or tongue lashing which makes him a great songwriter. The value for the buck makes this a great buy, you cant get a better collection, for me I own all the previous on record and cd but the live show at Dr. Pepper Festival enticed me to buy this because I had that show only on cassette so this completes my collection, dont let this great deal pass you by get it now before its gone.
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Looking at the playing times below on this incredible haul through Ian Hunter's stay at Chrysalis Records there's a lot to get through - so here are the big-rimmed glasses... "From The Knees Of My Heart: The Chrysalis Years 1978-1981" by IAN HUNTER was released 22 October 2012 in the UK on EMI/Chrysalis 5099923270121 and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (77:06 minutes)
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic" UK released April 1979 on Chrysalis CHR 1214
Tracks 10 to 16 are BONUS TRACKS ("Schizophrenic" Outtakes) - Track 12 "Ships (Early Version)" was a download only track, Tracks 14. 15 and 16 are "Just Another Night" Version No. 3 - Ronsonesque Version)", "The Outsider (Early Version)" and "Alibi" are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Disc 2 (79:37 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 14 are the 2LP live set "Welcome To The Club" UK released April 1980 on Chrysalis CJT 6
Tracks 15 and 16 were BONUS TRACKS on the 1994 CD reissue

Disc 3 (77:09 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Short Back N' Sides" UK released August 1981 on Chrysalis CHR 1326
Tracks 11 to 15 are BONUS TRACKS on the 1994 CD reissue
Tracks 16 and 17 are "Detroit (Take 1)" and "China Rough Mix with Mick Ronson Vocals)" and are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED VERSIONS

Disc 4 (78:13 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are "Ian Hunter Rocks" recorded live at Dr. Pepper Festival, New York in September 1981. It was originally released on Video in 1983 and is presented here for the first time as PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED on CD
Tracks 11, 13 and 14 are from the original "Welcome To The Club" Live Set
Track 12 is a rare version from the 1980 2LP retrospective "Shades Of Ian Hunter" (included on the 1988 American CD reissue)

The 16-page booklet is info packed with liner notes by Campbell Devine, track-by-track notes from Ian Hunter himself and recording details for each set. It features a few photos, 7" picture sleeves, small shots of the album covers. It's hardly knicker-wetting - typical of these sets (what they could get away with). But as ever the big news is with the sound.

The remasters have been carried by long-time Abbey Road associate and engineer PETER MEW who has handled hundreds of these reissues - and his touch here is typically superb. The tracks rock with real power - but when they need to be subtle and sensitive (like the beautiful piano Demo of "Don't Let Go") - he allows them to breathe without over-trebling everything.

For many "Schizophrenic" has to be a fan-favourite with "Ships", "Just Another Night" and "Cleveland Rocks" all lifted as singles - but my poison is the stunning but bitter ballad "Standin' In My Light". The two live sets feature a fantastic mix of Mott and Solo stuff with the Mott Medley on the "Ian Hunter Rocks" video only set rocking like a monster. Fantastic stuff...

Still rocking but relevant - Hunter joined forces with Mick Jones and Topper Headon of The Clash (roping in Ellen Foley and Todd Rundgren and Roger Powell of Utopia too) for the hugely enjoyable "Short Back N' Sides" LP. His lament for Lennon (an old hero blown away) on "Old Records Never Die" always moved me more than a hundred other tributes. "Noises" could be Bowie and was a brilliant departure for him. But away from the rockers the track that sent me the most was the Side 2 opener "Rain" which is magical. I bought the album off the shelves when I was visiting New York and I played it into the floor. Still gets me after over 30 years. "Gun Control" may as well be a Clash outtake and the sheer pop of "Leave Me Alone" is kind of cool and shocking at one and the same time. But it ends on a typically huge Hunter ballad that lingers and won't leave - "Keep On Burning".

I'm kind of shocked at how good the Bonus Tracks are - especially the new stuff. MICK RONSON and MAX WEINBERG fans won't believe their luck with 'Version 3' of "Just Another Night" rocking like proper Hunter with Ronson adding that magic guitar touch and Max whacking those drums like only he can. Although it's easy to see why the all-over-the-place "Alibi" was left off everything. "Detroit" on Disc 3 is a bit of a mess too - but "China" with Ronson on Lead Vocals is lovely and will thrill fans.

I've reviewed 2 of the Robin Trower sets, Ten Years After and Barclay James Harvest in these superb EMI anthologies.

This is right up there with the best of them. King of the Moondoggers!
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on 3 November 2012
Got it today. The good news is it's in a jewelcase, not cardboard!

First, here's what's missing on this from the previously released UK 2 cd sets:

Welcome To The Club:

When The Daylight Comes (Live)
Medley: Once Bitten Twice Shy/Bastard/Cleveland Rocks
Original mix of We've Got To Get Out Of Here

You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic:

Just Another Night (Early Version) (aka The Other Side Of Life)
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

And all of the live disc 2:
1. F.B.I. (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)
2. Once Bitten Twice Shy (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)
3. Life After Death (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)
4. Sons And Daughters (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 22/11/79)
5. Laugh At Me (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 22/11/79)
6. Just Another Night (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 22/11/79)
7. One Of The Boys (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 22/11/79)
8. Letter To Brittania From Union Jack (Live In Berkeley 7/7/79)
9. Bastard (Live In Berkeley 7/7/79)
10. All The Way From Memphis (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)
11. Cleveland Rocks (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)
12. All The Young Dudes (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 22/11/79)
13. When The Daylight Comes (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)
14. Sweet Angeline (Live In Cleveland 18/6/79)

However, 2 tracks are ADDED that are not on the 2 cd set:

The Outsider (Early Version)

Short Back `n' Sides:
Detroit (Rough Mix-instrumental)
I Need Your Love (Rough Mix)
Rain (Alternative Mix)
Theatre Of The Absurd
Na Na Na ( Extended Mix)
Old Records Never Die (Version 1)

Also, apparently Short Back is oop except on this set which I wasn't aware of & sells for a fortune (or at least USED to!)

It was "mastered by Peter Mew at Abbey Road". No other sonic information is provided. From a quick comparison of 3 Welcome To the club tracks (the album i was most concerned about sonically), the new version is both louder (more compressed, but also has much more detail (likely better more modern a/d convertors). Comparing the dynamic range on the first 11 tracks of WTTC on Foobar (the only valid comparison due to splitting both versions over 2 cd's & the 2 missing & 1 alternate track), the original UK cd scored DR 12 (acceptable for a 44/16 cd), the new version scores a DR9 (not so good). I'm surprised I enjoyed the sound as much as I did. One thing I did find interesting; on the new version there is a large audible drop in volume between FBI & Once Bitten; that drop doesn't occur on the original 2 cd edition.

I think the alternate version of We Got To Get Out Of Here is simply a remix, though there is so much more detail it's hard to tell for certain. Oddly, both versions run exactly 3:14, but the new version starts with a drum stick count off & the original does not.

Also briefly checked the Pepsi Fest on disc 4. It is definitely the same tour as the King Biscuit & Westwood One shows that were released on US promo LP's from Westwood One & King Biscuit, but definitely not the same show. While I was kind of hoping to have those LP's on official cd, I'm still very glad to have it though! Long as I'm mentioning DR ratings, Disc 4 scored DR10 (again considered unacceptable; the audiophile community's conventional wisdom seems to be that acceptable for 44/16 cd is anything DR12 & above.).

I haven't yet spent any time with Schizophrenic or Short as I already own the 2 cd versions, & they were of the least interest to me here because of that.

To sum up, if you don't already own these albums, this is an absolute steal, especially as Short was oop world wide & still sells for a fortune.

If like me you already own all 3 of the 2 cd editions, at this price I still consider it worthwhile for the Pepsi fest on disc 4 (which apparently was previously released in the UK on VHS!), & there are some benefits to the new mastering; though I do wish it was less compressed. Though not nearly as loud sounding as many cd's the loudness wars do strike again; without the compression this would sound stunning.

Edit: Having played more of this, it really is brighter/louder than I like. The issue is more apparent on a cheap computer system than on my high end system; but even on my main stereo a few of the songs are REALLY BRIGHT (Silver Needles is the worst offender).
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on 10 December 2012
As a huge Ian Hunter fan, what drew me to this set was the unreleased live disk included in this set. To me that was worth the price of the entire set! The bonus tracks on this are well worth it also. If you are new to listening to the Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson era, this is a good starting place!
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on 13 July 2013
four cd's in a boxset at a great price but disc 3 isn't a patch on the other cd's. There's a few decent songs on disc 3 which is the 'Short back and sides' album but most of it is poor in my opinion and won't be getting half as much play as the others. Disc 1 is 'You're never alone with a Schizophrenic' album and is first class with some interesting versions in the bonus tracks. Disc 2 is the 'Welcome to the club' live album (with Mick Ronson) and it's stunning. It also has 2 bonus tracks 'One of the Boys' and 'The Golden age of Rock n' Roll. Disc 4 is another live cd which is good but can't match 'Welcome to the Club' Even though I think disc 3 to be pretty dull stuff the other discs certainly make up for it.
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on 13 December 2012
This contains "your'e never alone with a schizophrenic" his finest solo album with no weak tracks plus extras and unreleased stuff along with with the album "Short Back and Sides" , the live double album "Welcome to the Club" plus one other live concert from 79. As it has all the extras from previous special releases which are now deleted, as well as other unreleased tracks, it is an essential purchase for fans plus incredible value for those coming to it the first time.

Buy with confidence.
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on 21 February 2013
You don't need to buy the seperate Chrysalis albums, Schizophrenic and the others collected here in the same pristine remasters. But at budget price.
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on 17 August 2014
good album.value for money
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on 27 April 2016
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