Ian Hunter - Shallow Crystals fake 7" (1977)
If someone'd asked me what's my fave Ian Hunter's song, I'd answer withouth any hesitation "Shallow Crystals", even if it's on a weak album (Overnight Angels) and somewhat altered by the awful production of Roy Thomas Baker (if he could have stayed Mister Queen it would have been great). Even Ian Hunter, who regrets to have recorded this album (although songs are rather good, but he sings them too high and the production is more pretentious than you could imagine, even more than the Queen one) says that it's a great song. I'm surprised he so rarely sang it afterwards since the text seems one of his most autobiographical and intimate. It's about a mother who seemed to be so cool that she destroyed the members of her family. Not a usual way to revisit negatively his education. All this is written it seems, by a son who sees her growing old and tired, maybe dying. And he's full of bitter words for her and recriminates her past attitude. The melody, music and arrangements (he really worked hard with Earl Slick on the guitar parts he admitted) make this song one of the peaks of his career, one of my all-time favorite songs since it was released in 1977, even if at the time, my musical preoccupations were far from Ian Hunter's world. Since he never released it anywhere else than on the album, I decided to create one of my (quite stupid I know) fake singles, putting the other great song of the album, "Ballad of Little Star" on B-side. For the sleeve, I chose pictures of Hans Bellmer puppets that seem to me the perfect visual equivalent of these songs. You see I'm a sickened mind. Enjoy it here.
Shallow Crystals. Her life gets smaller in his eyes And he wonders if he thinks he should cry Oh mother the colour's gone and left your hair And he wonders if he thinks he should care She told him how to play a guitar She told him how to be a star But mother were you really there My friend don't speak he's such a mixed up boy I wonder if she sold him his toys A kiss on the cheek a conversation decoy In his cute little corduroys Oh she taught him how to win the game She taught him everything is your name Oh mother did you have to destroy Mother if you really cared You'd talk to him cry for him All you every did was dream All you ever said was be cool be cool be cool And I think you made a mess of his life And I think he made a mess of your life And I think it made a mess of my life Mother if you really cared You'd talk to him cry for him All you every did was dream All you ever said was be cool be cool be cool And I think you made a mess of her life And I think she made a mess of your life And I think it made a mess of my life I think you made a mess of my life I think you made a mess of my life