"The Fall and Rise, A Rat's Tale" (SJPCD155)
Ronson's guitar work is stamped all over the album which sees The Rats playing a style of British Blues/R&B which bears comparison with the Yardbirds work of the same period.
Steve Ward, Classic Rock Society (May 2004)
One of the lesser known groups to emerge from Hull in the north of England, which is a shame because they predated The Housemartins by 20 years and were far better too...With a nod towards mod, the music was almost typical British Invasion; sadly the band werent really known outside the north of England. Such a shame with the talents of a young Mick Ronson onboard. And although his talents were obvious from the outset, the Rats were far from his backing band.
Joe Geesin, www.getreadytorock.com (April 2004)
The Fall And Rise A Rats Tale is the sound of Ronno long before he joined David Bowies band, in the days when he was simply guitarist with, indeed, the Rats, a band from the northern city of Hull who enjoyed a brief career on Columbia, but meant little outside of their hometown.
Featuring both of the bands singles, together with six other tracks recorded during the bands six year career, The Fall and Rise offers few clues to Ronsons eventual future the Rats primary diet is the blues, and theres some stunning Ronson guitar playing to be heard bleeding out of Spoonful and Chuck Berrys Guitar Boogie.
However, ten original Rats recordings are followed by a clutch more that complete the bands story versions of Ron Davis It Aint Easy and Creams I Feel Free, recorded by a reformed Rats at the Mick Ronson Memorial Concert in 1994, and three songs (including a couple of Ronson originals, Colour Me and Lifes A River) cut in 1998. A fat booklet details Ronsons entire career, and theres some stunning illustrations as well.
Jo-Anne Greene, Goldmine (May 2004)
Musically they come across as The Animals crossed with the Stones on the early material...Twelve songs from The Rats, plus three more from a reformed line-up.
Feedback (June 2004)
The pre-Ronson R&B (he joined in '66) is decent, the brief foray into psychedelia the most successful...1969 saw a return to the Rats moniker and with it came the layered guitar sounds Ronson would bring to The Man Who Sold The World session...
...even at this stage it was apparent that Ronson was something special.
Jon Mills, Record Collector (July 2004)
...This 15-track/57 minute CD neatly divides into three distinct periods: Mid-1960s beat group; late 60s with Mick Ronson; 1990s reunion...In the accompanying 24-page booklet, author Keith Smith tells the band's story with the kind of detail that Anglophiles will genuinely appreciate.
Joseph Tortelli, Discoveries (USA) (July 2004)
The disc contains some insistent and chugging gems that are just draped in sixties imagery...Any collector of the British R&B Boom sound or archivists and Bowie fanatics alike - should be pleased to add this to their colelction. Ronson was such a sad loss to the world and it's great to see him honoured in this way. Angel Air have played a blinder here.
Jim Tones, Modern Dance (August 2004)