All Of The Good Ones Are Taken

Ian Hunter

Columbia Records, 1983



Ian Hunter is one of those unforgotten heroes. If you're familiar with a tune called "All The Young Dudes" by Mott The Hoople, Hunter was the lead singer of that band.

On his own, Hunter has less than a dozen solo albums. Many of them are unavailble on CD. One of those unfortunate albums not to see the CD racks on a regular basis, is his 1983 release, All Of The Good Ones Are Taken. (I was fortunate to locate this CD as an import, and YES! it contains all of the lyrics!)

This album is just plain great. It features your basic rock 'n' roll measures, and some songs may may pass as "rock meets punk in a pop-rock fashion." If I were to compare other rock acts more closely, I would have to say this album is a little like The Ramones, and T. Rex, but in a more pop rockin' style.

There are two different versions of the title track. The first one is the one that received radio airplay, as it stands out as a basic rock song. The second version is slower, yet it is enjoyable. Either way, the title track's lyrics really stands out in the ideas of how both men and women see one another's outstanding looks, and quite obvious, they always think that they've already been taken by some lucky individual.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Every Step Of The Way" is a rocker, and believe it or not, The Monkees did a version of this tune when they reformed back in the '80s. Hunter's version is much better.

"Fun" is another great one, where rock meets punk. Not your average-sounding Sex Pistols/Clash punk, but somehow, Hunter's voice (throughout many of the songs here) is a little rough, and his voice could easily pass for anyone who enjoys punk rock of any kind. "Speechless" and "Somethin' Goin' On" are two great bouncy pop-rock numbers. "Death 'N' Glory Boys" is a slow tune, yet it's mysterious as its title.

"That Girl Is Rock 'N' Roll" defines rock at its finest. The lyrics are great, as it describes a girl who categories herself for what rock 'n' roll is all about:

"She dresses in leather,

She isn't too together,

She looks like she lowers her eyes at me,

She smokes cigarettes,

She likes to get wet,

And she's about a woman as a woman can be, I said


"Captain Void 'N' The Video Jets" -- it's title sounds like something you'd hear from the late Frank Zappa. Actually, it sounds like a song that Zappa could of done himself. It's rock 'n' roll, and it does have some special effects, both in sound and vocals. "Seeing Double" is a nice, slow-paced tune. All of the vocals work here; both lead and background, as well as the instruments, including the saxophone.

Ian Hunter is a true rocker. His vocals are unique, almost like a very harder-edged Bob Dylan. He brings rock back to the surface, as this album truly does just that.

Ian Hunter has been silent since 1989, but he has been active in the music scene. He participated in a 1992 AIDS benefit concert for the late Freddie Mercury of Queen. The rock band Great White did a version of Hunter's "Twice Bitten, Twice Shy" on their 1989 album, Twice Shy.

All Of The Good Ones Are Taken is an enjoyable album that will not be a disappointment to those who enjoy rock 'n' roll. Ian Hunter is one of those many rockers who you just don't hear enough about. His solo efforts, likewise with the group Mott The Hoople, is another adventure in discovering another "lost" talent. This album is a good start in the "Hmmm...What album stands out for this guy named Ian Hunter??" department.

Rating: A

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© 1998 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Columbia Records, and is used for informational purposes only.