Skip to content

Ian McLagan And The Bump Band's "United States" Reviewed

Left with the debris

Left with the debris

I listened to United States early this year and I thought it was a steady as she goes, swinging rocking little album, self-effacing without being down in the mouth; it has a rockabilly tumble, and a smart sloppiness worthy of the great Face and 70s piano player par excellent Ian McLagan.

And then Ian died.

So I went back and listened to United States again and now it sounds like a steady as she goes self-effacing rocking album with an air of impossible to bear poignancy. The Small Faces seemed hell bent on dying early, Ian was just 69 years of age, Steve and Plonk much younger, and only Kenny is still kicking. But their deaths aren’t the usual rocker by misadventures and Ian had his life settled down in Austin, Texas, a much loved member of the music scene.

This manifested itself in a strong keyboard based set of rockers, the intro to “Mean Old World” is plainly lovely, “Who Says It Isn’t Love” is chomping to break out, and “Sha La La” waiting for a “le” to break out and raise hell.

The ballads, and really everything here is a mid-tempo jaunt, are equally great. The beautiful rockabillyish, or do I mean a sort of London Americana, “Love Letters” with a heartbreaking, Ian’s wife had died in a car crash six years earlier, “the only thing missing is you” he sings with a catch in his voice and it sounds like he might cry any moment. It is a relation to “Debris” (which he performed with a vibrant hand on the heart when I saw him at Joe’s Pip a coupla years ago)  the way “Shalala” is a relation “Sha La La La Le”. It covers a similar sort of mood.

If United States is a minor work, it is minor in the same way all aging is minor, in the same way Jerry Lee’s current Rock And Roll Time is minor, it is minor because we older people are minor. But for Ian, the piano playing is sturdier and obviously McLagan and the mood is tinged and I know this is hindsight because I couldn’t hear it before, with a summation but not of life, of the moment.

Ian could’ve left us with a lot worse.

Grade: B+

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

UK Top 10 Albums 11-25-22 – 12-1-22

By Iman Lababedi | November 26, 2022 |

from Dermot to Nickelback is a highway to hell

UK Top 10 Singles 11-25-22 – 12-1-22

By Iman Lababedi | November 26, 2022 |

seven days later she falls to earth

Press Releases For November: Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | November 25, 2022 |

emotional vocals crooning over a gently plucked acoustic guitar

The Early Bird: Top New Recorded Release 11-25-22 – 12-1-22 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | November 25, 2022 |

nostalgia as the last exit to oblivion

The Earliest Bird: Top New Recorded Release 11-25-22 – 12-1-22, Jimi Hendrix And Zayn’s “Angel” Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | November 25, 2022 |

I can’t see how it can be a hit but it sure deserves to be

Thank U Thanksgiving With Alanis Morrisette

By Iman Lababedi | November 24, 2022 |

Thank you readers, thank you Alanis, thank you, thank you, karma.

David Bowie World Fan Convention 2023

By admin | November 24, 2022 |

a weekend of stardust-spangled grandeur

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – September 1980 (Volume 12, Number 4) 

By Steve Crawford | November 24, 2022 |

excellent work by future editor John Kordosh

Hollywood411 News Best Of Christmas 2022

By admin | November 24, 2022 |

let’s share the music, laughter and love of this past year

The Flaming Lips At The Wiltern Theatre, Monday November 21st 2022

By Alyson Camus | November 23, 2022 |

an explosion of sounds, images, colors, confetti, and bright lights

Scroll To Top