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Mitch Ryder - The Anthology 1979-1994

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 31 / 8 / 2012

Mitch Ryder - The Anthology 1979-1994
Label: Repertoire Records
Format: CD X2


Mesmeric retrospective of former Detroit Wheels front man and garage rocker Mitch Ryder's solo work between 1979 and 1994

This anthology takes me into unchartered territory. It is a journey into the unknown for me after having many a brush with Ryder's early produce during my Northern Soul DJing stints. Those sounds back then were of a blue-eyed soul legend with immense power in his voice, making normal northern folk do back flips and swallow dives and such like. Spinning tracks like 'Breakout' and 'You Get Your Kicks' by the Detroit Wheels and the popcorn soul obscurity 'Blessing in Disguise' on Dynovoice was early education. But somehow it stopped there. I never once sought to follow the great William Levise, Jr's path after that. More fool me it seems. More fool indeed, because it is after this part of Ryder's career that it becomes a whole lot more diversified and even ground-breaking. Mitch Ryder's career started in the sixties, of course, and this compilation of thirty-four tracks over two CD's covers his output between 1979 and 1994. It was a controversial and turbulent time in the singer's life which is portrayed in depth in the likes of 'Tough Kid'. He actually quit the music industry for a few years and worked in Detroit's Motor City car manufacturing factories. The booklet inside 'The Anthology' is a comprehensive account of this part of Ryder's journey. Put together by Chris Welch, author and journalist, it also has excerpts from Ryder himself littered throughout. 'Freezing in Hell' is a high point or a low in Ryder's eyes if you want. "Lord, I'm freezing in hell," he sings. It is a painful song, admits Ryder. And it is. But it lets you know and makes you aware that he has almost forgotten the soul of the sixties and now lays it on the line with such engaging Blues telling us of past relationships. 'Ain't Nobody White' another bluesed-up and heartfelt ballad is contrasted with the up tempo funk of 'War' and then darker times draw in on 'True Love' written, as he admits again in the notes, when he was contemplating suicide. The fest continues through tracks such as 'When You Were Mine', which written by Prince, will appeal to the 80's die hards amongst us. Initially I thought it to be a bit too much an 80's power pop number for my liking, but it's not. It's a sign of the times if you will. This collection is one to stick on the CD player and to sit back to. It really does take you on a journey, not just of Ryder's career but a journey of the progression of music itself. From the first track with its raw up tempo beat and confessional lyrical content to the 80's power pop pearlers to the back end of the record and its 90's rock. It grabs you somewhere around the mid 70's signal box, and just gets you seated in first class before the tunnel plunges you into darkness and honesty, before bursting you out bullet style into the bright day lit 80's and leaves you searching then long into the 90's. Including help and inspiration from artists like John Mellencamp and a Dylan cover of 'Rolling Stone' and three extra live cuts on the second CD, this is a mesmeric journey into a part of an artist's career not all of us can admit to be acquainted with. But it is one we all should be. To coin a phrase, 'Every home should have one'. Now, back to those back flips...

Track Listing:-
1 Tough Kid
2 Passion Wheel
3 Freezin In Hell
4 Long Hard Road
5 Nice n Easy
6 Poster
7 Ain't Nobody White
8 War
9 True Love
10 My Heart Belongs To Me
11 Red Scar Eyes
12 Bang Bang
13 Ich bin aus Amerika
14 Bare Your Soul
15 We're Gonna Win
16 Beyond The Wall
17 Subterranean Homesick Blues
18 Code Dancing
19 One Room World
20 Berlin
21 Like A Rolling Stone (Radio Edit)
22 Rock n Roll
23 Where Is The Next One Coming From
24 Little Latin Lupe Lu
25 Big Time
26 Junkie Love
27 It Must Be In Her Genes
28 Do You Feel Alright
29 Bye-Bye Love
30 Bow Wow Wow Wow
31 When You Were Mine
32 Let It Rock
33 Sex You Up
34 It Wasn't Me
35 I'm Startin All Over Again

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