100 Greatest Guitarists

41

Mick Ronson

mick ronson
Denis O'Regan/Getty Images

It was an exhilarating collaboration – Mick Ronson's terse phrasing and skewering distortion igniting David Bowie's sexually blurred confrontation, during the latter's king-glam role as Ziggy Stardust in the early Seventies. "Mick was the perfect foil for the Ziggy character," Bowie said. "We were every bit as good as Mick and Keith or Axl and Slash... the personification of that rock & roll dualism." The historic partnership actually predated Ziggy Stardust, hitting its first peak in the long, metallic furor of Bowie's 1970 recording "The Width of a Circle." Ronson's blues-with-flair style was also a vital component on sessions for Lou Reed, John Mellencamp and Morrissey, and during his second great partnership, in the late Seventies and early Eighties, with ex-Mott the Hoople singer Ian Hunter. "I want people to say, 'Wow, isn't that great, and isn't it simple?'" Ronson, who died in 1993, once said. "If you get sort of fancy and cluttered, you're just baffling people with science."

Key Tracks: "The Width of a Circle," "Suffragette City"

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