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DeathCult
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PostSubject: Mott The Hoople Discography   Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:08 pm


Mott The Hoople (1969)

SIDE ONE:
You Really Got Me
At The Crossroads
Laugh At Me
Backsliding Fearlessly

SIDE TWO:
Rock And Roll Queen
Rabbit Foot And Toby Time
Half Moon Bay
Wrath And Wroll

Though the roots of the band can be traced back to and most of the members had been playing together in Herefordshire since the early 60's, it wasn't until they released an Italian LP under the name of The Doc Thomas Group (though they toured the UK and were known outside of Italy as The Silence) that they would grasp the label attention they were looking for in the way of Island producer Guy Stevens. The essential core of the band was already together in this line-up of The Silence, but had Stan Tippins as lead vocalist, whom Stevens didn't care for as a vocalist. However, he agreed to sign the band under the conditions that Tippins be dropped (he would become the bands road manager for most of their career) and the name be changed. An ad was place for a singer who was "image-minded and hungry" with Ian Hunter eventually being chosen as the vocalist/piano player. The name change to Mott The Hoople was inspired by the book of the same name which Guy had read while and prison, which he thought would look good on a marquee because it had "lots of o's and t's". The newly christened Mott The Hoople headed into the studio in 1969, finishing the album in one week. Stevens' original vision for the band had been a cross between the Stones and Dylan, which are assuredly elements that Mott pulls off to a T, but amidst the swagger and lyrical cynicism a crunching proto-metal vibe also lurked. These companied with the invigorating musicanship, sly humor, and fierce intelligence all helped cement it as an underground masterpiece and the blueprint for the hard rock of generations to come.

The album effectively kicks off with a mind bendingly heavy instrumental cover of You Really Got Me, on which Mick Ralphs takes the first of many oppurtunities to show off his axe licking skills. The opener dissolves quite nicely into an awe inducing cover of Douglas Sahm's At The Crossroads which shows off the bands jamming musicality and depth quite nicely, while a relatively straight laced faithful (but nonetheless carrying that MTH edge which makes the song their own) cover of Sonny Bono's Laugh At Me. While those songs definately unleash Mott's power and Ian's dylanesque style full force, the real surprise is given on the band's first two original's, Hunter's own Backsliding Fearlessly & the Ralpher unleashed the band's first signature song in Rock And Roll Queen. Backsliding without a doubt achieve's Stevens vision and shows Mott's own emotional depth all in one, while Queen shows their earth shaking edge (as well as Ralphs excellent voice), and in an odd state of affairs showcases pretty much exactly the Mott sound of later years. These songs and the first side alone are enough to thrill the listener and cement Mott's status, and the second side for the most part keeps the vibe going. During Rabbit Foot And Toby Time, which is another nice jam showcasing the bands musicality (Ralphs tosses out quite the tasty solo at the end), however, the album derails ever so slightly here with the song lacking alot of the immediacy of its predecessors. It does serve as the perfect segue/intro for the albums sprawling epic Half Moon Bay though a track which delivers the band's prowess perfectly here with a great groove layed down, a nice riff, excellent texture delievered by the piano and organ here (Verden really shines on the Hammond), and of course Hunter's vocals solider through giving it a heartfelt quality. The album then dissolves into Wrath And Wroll, which is a rowdy outtake of the tail end of the the original take of You Really Got Me where the band fell into a 10 minute + jam afterwards all orchestrated into a bombastic frenzy by Stevens. The perfect way to close an album with some intense Hoopling, and to have a look inside Guy Stevens' head. A true classic that stands the test of time, and has a real organic quality missing from most albums, quite an achievement for a band that had only been fully together just prior to the recording and had yet to even play live!

SINGLES


Rock And Roll Queen w/ The Road To Birmingham (October, 1969)

The bands first single actually quite nicely sums the early Mott up from their rowdy harder edged rock, to the multi leveled throught provoking jams which formed the otherside of the groups personality.

THE BAND:
Ian Hunter- Vocals, Piano
Pete "Overend" Watts- Bass
Mick Ralphs- Lead Guitar, Vocals
Verden Allen- Organ
Dale "Buffin" Griffin- Drums

NOTES

The original UK Island presses of the album contained 2 errors, one in which Backsliding Fearlessly was replaced by the Road To Birmingham, or Rock And Roll Queen was changed with it instead.

The 2003 remaster contained two bonus tracks, a live cover of Ohio, and an unreleased Ralphs composition called Find Your Way, an awesomely heavy demo, its ashame the song was never turned into anything beyond a demo.

The highest chart positions were #66 in the UK and #185 in the US.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:22 pm

For anyone curious about how it sounds:

Rock And Roll Queen


You Really Got Me


At The Crossroads

You Really Got Me and At The Crossroads are from their first TV performance at the Beat Club in Germany in 1970. Rock And Roll Queen is from a french TV special shot in 1971.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:15 pm

A really good band for sure, I think Mick Ralphs is a better guitarist in this band than in Bad Co. This was a band I'd been wanting to start collecting but I didn't have any of their albums until the Mighty SAHB hooked me up.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:41 am

I am looking forward to reading this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:12 am

Akeldama wrote:
A really good band for sure, I think Mick Ralphs is a better guitarist in this band than in Bad Co. This was a band I'd been wanting to start collecting but I didn't have any of their albums until the Mighty SAHB hooked me up.

The debut is really an essential release when it comes to MTH, plenty of power and classic moments on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:30 am

I just relistened to the debut this morning and it's definitely a kick ass album. It sounds rushed (hence all the covers), but that doesn't take away from the overall vibe of the record.

There are a couple songs here that are damn near mirror images of a couple Dylan songs, but even those end up working because of the attitude of the band. But once you get to Rock And Roll Queen you finally get to hear how much power they have in reserve.

A very fun record, nice loose vibe throughout.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:43 pm


Mad Shadows (1970)

SIDE ONE
Tunderbuck Ram
No Wheels To Ride
You Are One Of Us
Walkin With A Mountain

SIDE TWO
I Can Feel
Threads Of Iron
When My Mind's Gone

1970 proved to be a very problematic time for Mott The Hoople. Sales of their debut had been slow and poor, but their live success was immense. The band found it difficult to come to terms with the situation. Stevens, based on this situation got the idea to record the next album live in the studio to capture the feel of a Mott gig. Mad Shadows, the resulting album, was a very dark album, reflecting the band's mood. If their first album had been fun, jamming and carefree, their second was dark, sombre, introspective, and shooting straight into the abyss. The album was received poorly, receiveing many negative reviews and bad sales. The band themselves to this day aren't happy with the albums mix, Hunter especially feeling it was poorly recorded. Verden Allen was initally so incensed with Guy Stevens over the mix of Ralph's powerhouse "Thunderbuck Ram" that he broke a white label press of Mad Shadows in two over his knee before Stevens's eyes because his storming organ solo was so far behind the guitar it lost all it's impact. Ian Hunter feels his vocals really ruin the album saying that "you can hear the guys trying to play, and I'm all over the place...just me egoing out." The band would make it's first trip to the USA in May of that year, where they met with the same curiosity of explosive gigs, but terrible album sales.

Things start off with a beautiful biting piano intro before wee jump headlong into a thundering Ralphs riff in the raucous little rocker "Thunderbuck Ram". With some tasty riffs delievered regularly (backed by some piano lines just as powerful as the riffs), and lyrics sung with an immediacy that sounds almost like a drowning man crying out. Full tilt classic track. Moving on to the piano driven, sludgy introspection "No Wheels To Ride" it gives off a raw emotion that turns it into a truly beautiful song. Along with another thundering guitar track, very 'eavy indeed. "You Are One Of Us" is an anthemic jam that boogies along to the organ quite nicely, and would've worked well as a live platform for them to build their jams off of. Another element which really adds to the feel of the album is Hunter's untouched balls out vocals here, undeniably raw and full of that power that is so sorely absent from most recordings. So they don't sound perfect, who cares, they grab hold of you and command you to listen! "Walkin' With A Mountain" is another tearing rocker that would become a live favorite til the end of the band. Building off a punchy little blues riff, the rest of the instruments get just as rowdy, even paying homage to the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" towards the end while the Ralpher rampages us into oblivion. The rhythm track on this song is great as well, has that boogie feel to it, and with a fun singalong chorus to boot. Despite being more upbeat, it still carries that weight along with it, making those riffs almost brooding in stature. "I Can Feel" is a quiet little piece which has an gospelish feel to it, but features some gorgeous piano and guitar work in it. Got to love those tones, very relaxing! A big complaint with this one has always been the squeaky bass peddle, which personally doesn't bother me, it fits in alright with the song, and adds some character by being recorded live in the studio like that. Hunter is also in great voice on that track. "Threads Of Iron" is an upbeat ditty with with a jammin main riff, and a couple of changes that are awesome, especially the heavier turn at the end, Buffin pounds those skins like no other! Hunter's screaming/moaning through the recorded insanity and jarring piano sounds no less than perfect running through it all. Lord Watts' bass amp is in great volume here as well, giving it a thicker feel. The descent into insanity is a perfect picture of Mott's jamming prowess of the early days. "When My Mind's Gone" is the most interesting song on the record. Guy Steven sat Hunter in front of the piano and told him to play whatever came to mind, and the following was recorded purely stream of consciousness (and reportedly Stevens' hypnotisim) in one take live. The resulting ballad is excellent, once again picking up that brooding feeling, while Hunter's voice carries you away. Overall, one of their best albums, and is well worth hearing, even if you have issues with raw production.

SINGLES

Thunderbuck Ram w/ Walkin With A Mountain (1970)

The best two rockers from the album together! Japan sure lucked out with this exclusive single. There's also an alternate version of Thunderbuck with some things guy cut out added back in that's just ballsy as all get out that will be coming up in the anthologies.

THE BAND:
Ian Hunter- Vocals, Piano
Pete "Overend" Watts- Bass
Mick Ralphs- Lead Guitar, Vocals
Verden Allen- Organ
Dale "Buffin" Griffin- Drums

NOTES:
Recorded at Olympic Studios, Barnes from Febuary-April 1970. The original working title for the album was Sticky Fingers, which would later be used by the Rolling Stones, who were recording at Olympic at the same time. The segue into "Jumping Jack Flash" during "Walking With A Mountain" was cause by Jagger & Richards walking into the studio. Jagger sings a few back up lines during the song as well.

The album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, however several songs were dropped with outtakes including: Going Home (Hunter sings a few lines of it during the jam in Threads Of Iron), Moonbus; Chosen Road; Hunchback Fish; It Would Be a Pleasure, Can You Sing The Song I Sing?; Liberty Belle; Ballad of Billy Joe; Coalminer's Dilemna; Enough Is Enough; Presence Of Your Mind.

The front cover is a Gabi Nasemann mirror-image photograph of a fire grate. (Nasemann's work can also be found on covers of science fiction magazine New Worlds, on Michael Moorcock books, and on Hawkwind album covers.) The inside cover reproduces William Strutt's painting Peace, and a little child shall lead them, representing the biblical prophesy in Isaiah 11:6-9 ('... and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.') The Baudelaire poem quoted on the back cover is a translated passage from Damned Women, taken fom from the preface to the 1959 novel Mad Shadows.

The 2003 Angel Air remaster would contain bonus tracks. How Long? A demo of the Brain Capers track Death May Be Your Santa Claus, and It Would Be A Pleasure. Which is a Ralphs composition that pointed towards the more mild/countryish direction the band would take on their nextalbum.


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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:59 pm

Walkin' With A Mountain live from the 1971 Paris show


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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:07 pm

I've been waiting for your next post DC, I gotta listen to this again I remember being not that into it b/c of the aforementioned production issues.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:26 pm

Akeldama wrote:
I've been waiting for your next post DC, I gotta listen to this again I remember being not that into it b/c of the aforementioned production issues.

Thanks! Just had to get into a Mott mood before I could write the next chapter. Mad Shadows is actually high in the running for my favorite Hoople record, even though I didn't hear it in it's entirety until I was about 14 or so. The production being a bit naff doesn't really bug me too much, it actually lends an integrity to it most bands never rightly accomplish. It has a very "this is what Mott The Hoople was all about at this time" feel to it if you will. Also, it's very important to hear when viewing the transition from album to album.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:10 pm



Wildlife (1971)

SIDE ONE
Whisky Women
Angel Of Eighth Avenue
Wrong Side Of The River
Waterlow
Lay Down

SIDE TWO
It Must Be Love
Original Mixed-Up Kid
Home Is Where I Want To Be
Keep 'A Knockin'

By the time Mott The Hoople was ready to record their third album, they were so disenchanted with the biz, it was decided anyone BUT Guy Stevens was needed to produce the new record (not to mention Treasure Island's encouragement on this subject). As it turned out, the Hooplers decided who better to take on the production task then themselves. Recorded over a relatively long period of time (well, for MTH anyway) from September to November of 1970, the band decided to take a break from the raucous madness that had encompassed Mad Shadows, creating a brighter more musical album then before. Wildlife however is much quieter and subdued then what was expected of Mott, largely due to Mick Ralphs writing predominance on the record (the only album where anyone encompasses Hunter) and his fascination with Neil Young's country western vibe at the time. Though this quite quickly earned the album the nickname of "Mildlife" the resulting album shows a band that sounds much more confident and unified then before and at times is quite beautiful.

Despite the stylistic change here and the Western tinge, some rockers are still tossed out, the album opening with the Ralphs penned Whisky Women a nice little jam with some great riffs and a quite cunning acoustic rhythm line, along with an excellent wall of sound closer courtesy of ol' Verden's organ. Easily one of Mott's finest tracks! We're then taken on a mellower turn with a beautiful Hunter penned ballad in Angel Of Eighth Avenue, complete with an uplifting string section, it shows how killer of a song he could write, another classic! Also, chalk up another point for it because there's never been a more beautiful song about a hooker either. Not to be outdone though, Ralphs comes right back with his own ballad Wrong Side Of The River, which is just as disarmingly introspective as Angel, with a beautiful piano line to boot. Fading quite nicely into Waterlow, quite possibly the most tearjerking ballad on the record, the strings & Hunter's voice just make you want to close your eyes and fade out. Side One closes with a faithful, yet more electric version of Melanie's Lay Down, another stellar example of Mott taking a song and making it their own. Side two opens up with the most countryish sounding song on the record a nice little upbeat ditty with some great acoustic playing, It Must Be Love, which almost sounds like it could've been on a Crazy Horse record, followed up by one of Mott's best songs Original Mixed Up Kid, a great little acoustic ditty that showcases the bands chemistry to a t, with Home Is Where I Want To Be continuing on to the vibe. The albums closer is an interesting one to say the least, a live version of Keep 'A Knockin' from an (at the time) aborted live album from the Mad Shadows tour recorded at Croydon's Fairfield Hall in late 1970. The band sounds great on it, giving the song a raunchy electric feel that just makes you wish you could've witnessed an early 70's Mott show. Another interesting thing about this track is during the segue into What I'd Say and Ian's speech about rock n' roll, he introduces the song as being written by Jerry Lee Lewis and not Ray Charles. All told, in spite of it being Mott The Hoople's worst selling record and panned due to the stylistic departure, it's one of their best albums, showcasing how well the band was as a unit and allowing them to experiment. Mott The Hoople was something great, and this record is a great example if you don't mind your Mott a little mellower.


THE BAND:
Ian Hunter- Vocals, Piano
Pete "Overend" Watts- Bass
Mick Ralphs- Lead Guitar, Vocals
Verden Allen- Organ
Dale "Buffin" Griffin- Drums


SINGLES


Midnight Lady w/It Must Be Love

Mott was trying hard for a hit single at this time, having already laid two years of groundwork, and not getting far commercially. With Island putting the pressure on, they wrote Midnight Lady and recorded it with Shadow Morton. Unfortunately, the band was never happy with the mix as they had been up all night drinking and were incredibly hungover during the session. Whether it got them anywhere or not, it's a great song, and just goes to show the world wasn't quite ready for Mott The Hoople. In some countries, it was released with The Debt as the b-side, another non-lp track that fits Wildlife's vibe perfectly.


Downtown w/Home Is Where I Want To Be

A great adaptation of a Crazy Horse song, it's another fine Ralphs performance, but it's obvious why it was left off of the finished record.


Whisky Women w/It Must Be Love

A Phillipines only released single.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:33 pm



Original Mixed-Up Kid, live at the 40th Anniversary show in 2009.



Keep A Knockin' live from the 71 tour
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:25 pm

I like this album, it is mellower and has somewhat of a country-rock feel to it. What I remember most about Wildlife is that on Keep A Knockin' they start playing What I'd Say and Ian Hunter mistakingly says is written by Jerry Lee Lewis instead of Ray Charles.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:51 am

I actually think Wildlife is the perfect "starter album" for people interested in Mott. The slightly more accessible and melodic direction make it a good entry point, a warm up before jumping into the insanity of Mad Shadows & Brain Capers.

I dig this entire album.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:51 pm


Brain Capers (1971)

SIDE ONE
Death May Be Your Santa Claus
Your Own Backyard
Darkness Darkness
The Journey

SIDE TWO
Sweet Angeline
Second Love
The Moon Upstairs
The Wheel Of Quivering Meat Conception

Unfortunately, Wildlife turned out to be their worst selling record to date, and after touring Europe in early 1971 with sales still low and angst at an all time high, they postponed the rest of their USA tour to enter the studio and record a new album. Needing that old spark of raw intense insanity that was missing on the previous album, MTH not only returns to their harder style but rehired Guy Stevens to produce the record. The album was recorded live in the studio in just 5 days of utter insanity. The sound engineers even dressed as highway men complete with Zorro masks, and Stevens would set fire to the studio on the last day of recording. The result? A balls out punk/proto metal record at least 6 years ahead of it's time, Mott was pissed and they were going out with a roar. Out of their early catalogue, this is easily their strongest and best offering. As fate would end up having it, the general public & the record company STILL didn't get it, and the album became their worst selling yet, failing to chart either in the UK or US. They would cut two more non-LP singles for Island (which I have already listed under my previous post, got the months wrong, sorry bout that) before they were dropped from the label. Our fearless heroes would return, but that's a story for another day...


Kicking off with some insanity inducing pick licks and a storming distorted organ ala Verden Allen, Death May Be Your Santa Claus is an instant classic, with Hunter singing his nads off, literally sounding like he's commanding you to listen to the record. Ralphs throws down his own ripping performance on his axe, with Wattsy pounding out a bass burp that rocks the hell out of you, and the only way to describe Buffins drums is intense! The WOOOO! at the end gives the song a perfect ending to a song which can only accurately be called frantic. Up next we're treated to a slower number, a cover of Dion's Your Own Backyard, which while more toned down continues on the feeling of immediacy & intensity this record conveys so well, in short, they Hoople like hell even through the ballads on this baby. This track also contains a beautiful acoustic guitar track and a great vocal by Hunter. Darkness Darkness, the sole Ralphs sung track here (also a Jesse Colin Young cover) is a right corker. Starting off mellow with some kicking drum rolls and cymbal crashes ala Buffin, with a ripping guitar tone laid down by Mick whose more soothing voice fits this song perfectly, taking you on a nice relaxing journey before it crashes straightforward into an ironlike solo, and finally fading into a great tight instrumental jam at the end. One of the best Mott tracks laid to wax. Coming in immediately afterwards is The Journey, another of MTH's great epics (clocking in at 9 minutes), containing great performances from the band as a whole, and showing off Hunter's own evolution as a songwriter and lyricist beautifally. Easily one of Mott's best tracks and one of Ian's best compositions. The solo in this song and the jams are nothing short of amazing. Just going to show, even at their most mellow here, these Hooplers still rock the bejesus out of everything. Sweet Angeline, which would've started off Side 2 on the original album, is a great little rocker, with surprising love song lyrics that show Mott in their finest hour, and would remain in their live show up to the final tour. Second Love, a Verden Allen penned tune, is the most interesting cut here, complete with a horn section. It's a quiet little ditty, mainly organ driven, with some real raw emotional vocal from Ian, very touching in it's way. Along with some great guitar riffs thrown in here, with the rhythm section holding like a wall. While out of the ordinary for them, no one else could've pulled this track off better. From here, the only way to end is straight balls to the wall no nonsense rock and roll mates, and that's EXACTLY what they deliver in The Moon Upstairs a full tilt rocker that also acts as a final message of defiance and frustration to Island records (with the classic and all too true lyric "We ain't bleeding you, we're feeding you, but you're too fucking slow!), everyone sounds great here, with a great fuzz edge to the instruments, and some of the best MTH lyrics ever. This is still probably my own personal favorite Mott song actually. Their fury is just conveyed so well here. The album, as if Moon itself wasn't enough, then segues into it's outro The Wheel Of Quivering Meat Conception, a fade in on the end of the jam session for The Journey which resulted in the studio destruction is without a doubt the perfect closer. All in all, this is THE forgotten british hard rock album, and everyone should have it in their collection, Mott The Hoople in their finest hour.

THE BAND:
Verden "Phally" Allen- Keyboards
Dale "Buffin" Griffin- Drums
Pete Overend Watts- Bass
Mick Ralphs- Guitar, Vocals
Ian Hunter- Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards


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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:11 am

great review. Brain Capers is probably one of the most aptly titled albums of all time. It's completely psychotic, yet catchy as hell. This album truly captures the energy of the band.

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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:29 pm

I agree this is one good album and ahead of its time, you can see how Ian Hunter even influenced Mick Ralphs and made him a much more ballsy player.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:34 pm


All The Young Dudes (1972)

SIDE ONE
Sweet Jane
Momma's Little Jewel
All The Young Dudes
Sucker
Jerkin' Crocus

SIDE TWO
One Of The Boys
Soft Ground
Ready For Love/After Lights
Sea Diver

1972 subsuquently showed Mott The Hoople at their lowest ebb to date. Despite releaseing a masterwork (which is STILL critically acclaimed) in Brain Capers, the constant enigma of trickling record sales but explosive sold out gigs still persisted. By this point, Island was losing interest, morale was through the floor and they were just trudging along playing whatever gigs had been lined up. That is until March 26th 1972 where at a now infamous gig in Zurich (chronicled in the track The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople), when the band decided to call it quits. Recalls Ian Hunter "We were playing in Zurich in a gas tank which had been converted into a club, and we thought 'if this is fame, then forget it.' Our self worth was at an extremely low ebb, we genuinely felt like nobody wanted us." After returning home, the band split up and fanned out to look for jobs. David Bowie, a long time fan of Mott The Hoople, had originally offered them Suffragette City in 1971 for Brain Capers when they had been looking for songs, and despite turning it down the parties stayed in touch. When Mott split after the Zurich gig, Overend Watts promptly phoned Bowie to see if he had any openings in his band. Disappointed to hear that Mott The Hoople had called it quits, instead of offering Overend a job, he offered Mott a song and to get his management interested, proposing to save the group. Initally playing them Suffragette City again, the band in turn passed on the track for a second time, the band sat stunned when Bowie played them a demo of All The Young Dudes, a track he felt encapsulated the essence of what Mott The Hoople was. "I knew immediately that was it", Hunter recalls. "I'd wanted all my life to sing a song like that". Mott headed down to Olympic studios to record the track, while Bowie's manager Tony Defries filled Guy Stevens (whom had become increaseingly unuseful the further he dabbled into drugs) shoes and stepped into the Mott camp, wiping them free of Island and getting them signed to Columbia. Still commited to finishing their Rock 'N' Roll Circus tour for Island, which was quite a spectacle, complete with knife throwing and vaudeville acts, as well as opening band Hackensack where guitarist Ray Major would make a lasting impression on Overend Watts and Buffin. Despite being a contract filler, the band remembers it fondly as one of their best tours, and tapes show a Mott that sounds altogether, happy, and revitalized. With the tour completed the band spent the spring and summer recording Dudes with bowie at the helm, and with the album completed, the All The Young Dudes single would skyrocket to #3, becoming Mott's first hit, and a rejuvenated Mott would hit the road later in the year, playing one of their most explosive tours yet in the US. The tour is also documented quite well in Ian Hunter's book Diary Of A Rock N Roll Star.

The resulting album is quite well deserved of it's hit status. Kicking off with a cover of Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane" which Ralphs guitar playing sounds awesome on, and Hunter's biting swagger shines on the vocal track, and a concrete and vigorous backing performance which results in what's probably the best recorded version of the song. Jumping into "Momma's Little Jewel" easily one of Mott's best tracks starting off with a jamming little piano ala Verden and one hell of a groovy guitar, some very artful lyrics, an awesome punchy rhythm section, along with a jamming chorus, and some nice sax work from Bowie himself. Jewel dissolves into the albums title track via a tape noise that's just plain neat, and well, it's the best glam ballad there's ever been, a great performance with a biting edge that only Mott The Hoople could pull off. The organ flourishes in the song give it an epic air that marries with backing vocals beautifully. "Sucker" and "Jerkin' Crocus" are next in line, both two of Mott's heavier tracks, Sucker featuring some more awesome sax work, and a crushing guitar line that jams with the bass, as well as one of my favorite Buffin performances, complete with cowbell. An awesome storming solo on here is one of Ralphs highlights, and he gives some cool wooahhhh ohhhh backing vocals that give the track an even cooler feel. Jerkin' is the faster of the two, recalling Brain Capers' more manic moments, complete with that swirling organ from Verden, and jams along at full steam, what a corker! "One Of The Boys" is another anthem thats a stone cold Mott classic, the band goes all out on this one, just makes you want to get up and shout! The song really speaks of the essence of Mott, with huge performances from each member, and a descent into madness ending ala the bands jams of old. "Soft Ground" stands as Verden's sole writing contribution here, and it absolutely RAWKS! Driven by that tornado of a Hammond sound that's his signature by this point, it's got this nazty feel to it, great track! "Ready For Love/After Lights" is a Ralphs composition, which the first part of would be later re-recorded with his new outfit Bad Company, but ultimately sounds alot more ballsy here, with that 'tude and swagger only the 5 of these Dudes together can pull off. The other highlight to this is the second part After Lights, a nice mostly atmospheric guitar jam from Mick, it just takes you away into euphoria. Closing the album is the excellent ballad "Sea Diver" which is truly beautiful with it's string and orchestra section. Bowie's production is much cleaner then that of Stevens style, and as a result gives Mott The Hoople a new life that brings it all to the forefront and more focused. Another thing that really helps this album, is instead of jumping through different styles (even though they did it well) they stick with the Mott sound firmly established on Brain Capers, and just run with it. One of the best records of the 70's and glam rock in general.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:49 am

Great review!

I've yet to warm up to this era of the band yet, I like the early albums so much...the purity of them. Once this phase began the production became more polished and the songwriting a little more purposefully "hit worthy".

I need to pull this one back out and listen to it again, give it another shot.

p.s. - I've never liked "All The Young Dudes".

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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:42 am

Detuned wrote:
Great review!

I've yet to warm up to this era of the band yet, I like the early albums so much...the purity of them. Once this phase began the production became more polished and the songwriting a little more purposefully "hit worthy".

I need to pull this one back out and listen to it again, give it another shot.

p.s. - I've never liked "All The Young Dudes".


Thanks!

Yeah, it's definately different. But the cool thing about this record is though Bowie polishes it up in his production, you can still hear them playing with plenty of bite in it, and a few of the songs they had been working on since Brain Capers, so that spirit carries over. And then the bad side too it is, there's a few things absent here for the most part, like Verden's tornado of Hammonds, the rough edge to the guitars, so that's kind of disappointing. On the other hand, it's good to finally hear them as the big band they had sought so long to be. The demo versions they have on the Legacy edition (which are also on a couple offical rarity discs) are pretty cool, I personally like the faster version of Momma's Little Jewel (Black Scorpio), sounds awesome stepped up like that.

As for "Dudes" itself, I like it, but it's not the first song I'd pick from them, add in to that the fact that I've heard it wayyy too many times too. There's plenty of other songs here that are awesome though, Soft Ground, Ready For Love, Sucker, Jerkin Crocus among others. And I've never really liked Lou Reed or David Bowie all that much, so this is really the only version I've Sweet Jane I like
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:16 pm

While I really like the guitar on the title track I almost never listen to ATYD...I need to me thinks.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:47 pm


Rock & Roll Queen (1972)
SIDE ONE:
Rock & Roll Queen
The Wheel Of Quivering Meat Conception
You Really Got Me
Thunderbuck Ram
Walkin' With A Mountain

SIDE TWO:
Death May Be Your Santa Claus
Midnight Lady
Keep A Knockin'

With Mott The Hoople exploding into pop culture after the release of the ATYD album, Island felt it necessary to cash in on their former act's success. The result is Mott's first compilation album. Which, while pretty competent for it's day, doesn't hold up very well now with more comprehensive packages out there. The tracklist is mildly questionable, while it includes scorchers like Thunderbuck Ram & Death May Be Your Santa Claus along with hits like the title track and Walkin' With A Mountain appearing. It also has some curiosities in the way of the live Keep A Knockin' from Wildlife (however, while it seemed out of place on that album, this track feels like it finally found a home here) or The Wheel Of Quivering Meat Conception which bassically was only an end of album fade out for Brain Capers. With that said though, it does contain some of their best earlier songs as well as the non album romper Midnight Lady, and sports one of the best covers they ever had, but is overall quite inconsistent. This was my third MTH album ever actually and served as a good intro to the Island albums at the time, but now is more for completeists only.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:48 pm


U.S. cover

International cover
Mott (1973)
"You look like a star, but you're still on the dole."

SIDE ONE:
All The Way From Memphis
Whizz Kid
Hymn For The Dudes
Honaloochie Boogie
Violence

SIDE TWO:
Drivin' Sister
Ballad Of Mott The Hoople (26th, March 1972- Zurich)
I'm A Cadillac/El Camino Dolo Roso
I Wish I Was Your Mother

Mott The Hoople had finally hit the big time, and we're quite successful during their last world tour. The downside to this though was Bowie had also been quite successful during 1973, which ultimately lead Mainman being solely focused on managing David Bowie (in truth though the never really wanted MTH on the roster, they only took them on David's insistence). Which ultimately led to Mott The Hoople being dropped by Mainman. In quite a case of irony though, Mott was never actually interested in being managed by Mainman and had "forgotten" about signing the contracts anyway. Mott played a club tour of the UK before entering the studio once again to record their 6th album in 5 years. In typical Mott The Hoople luck fashion though, tragedy would once again strike home during the final UK leg of the Dudes tour, in the form of Verden Allen leaveing. Allen was becoming increasingly pissed off that his songs were not being used, whether it was newly recorded or on stage, and that the glam image was replacing the music. During one show of the final leg of the tour, his insults and on stage banter with Ian Hunter finally reached the point where he just stormed off never to return. While Mott The Hoople had always been a democratic band to this point, they all felt the right thing to do was accept ol' Phally's resignation.

With that all said and done, Mott The Hoople would enter the studio for their next album reduced to a four piece. Originally wanting Roy Wood to produce the album, MTH discovered he was unavailable and decided to say bollocks to all the nonsense and produced the record themselves. Mott The Hoople was, ultimately at this point incredibly pissed off above all else. Ian Hunter grabbed the reins as full fledged leader and said "We knew exactly what everyone was thinking, Oh Bowie's gone, it's all over. And that made us mad as hell. Out of that anger the writing came, the album came, everything came." Out of their angst Mott not only created what is one of their best albums, but stood on thier own feet with self confidence and gave a staggeringly large middle finger to the world at large. Unfortunately though, once again in typical MTH fashion if you can believe that bloke, tradgedy would once again strike during the actual recording of the record. This specifically happened during the recording of Violence wherein the banter of the track erupted into a full scale fight between Mick Ralphs and Ian Hunter (yes the recorded fight is real, damn the 70's ruled eh?). While the Ralpher shared vocal and writing duties with Hunter in the past, he was increaseingly unhappy with the fact Ian had become the leader and the band was mostly recording material penned by him. Mick felt completely sidelined by this, as well as his animosity towards the theatrical over-the-top stage act Mott The Hoople was sporting now. He preferred to just "forget about all that ox manur and play music" and was increaseingly displeased after he approached David Bowie with the question of if he was really queer or not, to which Bowie had replied it was just an act for publicity, Mick was too uncomfortable with Mott doing such for publicity to continue, coupled with the fact he was begining to pen songs neither he or Hunter could sing. The album would also follow a theme of trials & tribulations (mainly based on MTH's own experiences) experienced by rock bands on the road.

Mick would ultimately decide, especially after the eruption during Violence, it was time for him to leave the band, but agreed to stay on until a replacement could be found (which included the first leg of the tour). The album would end up being engineered by Bill Price & Alan Harris who also worked on ATYD, and arguably became their best sounding record overall. The result was, not only one of (if not THE) best sounding albums Mott The Hoople ever made, and was due to Ian's lyrics the first album to show fully the sheer brutality of the music industry and the absurdity of the idea of fame. While reduced to a four piece, Mott The Hoople performed better than any other rock band could've imagined

The album kicks off with straightforward rocker All The Way From Memphis which engaging in the albums theme, chronicles Mott's 1972 tour. The song, featuring great guitar lines ala Ralphs and awesome lyrics via Hunter, is a true classic. While Hunter & Ralphs are the main focus with the track, the rest of the band delivers quite a heartfelt performance. Whizz Kid is another rocker which shows MTH's lyrical prowess quite well as well as the Ralphers licks which makes this a classic in it's own right. Not to mention, this track delievers a swagger damn near unmatched by anyone. Hymn For The Dudes (Allen's sole composition) really chips away at the facade' fame puts on and makes you feel the same as your heroes once did. Ballad's might have not been popular until the mid 80's, but Mott could jerk tears with their own during the 1970's. Honaloochie Boogie, the second single behind Memphis, not only shows Mott's prowess as songwriters, but the jive this song gives off will keep you rocking for years to come. A pure MTH classic! Flowing nicely into the hard hitting Violence, MTH shows they can still beat a song into the mountain and still come out on top (the insane violin in this song rules). You think the Sex Pistols had attitude? Listen to this track, and you'll get the beginning of the movement. Drivin' Sister, which totally screams Brittania, is another rocker with a crunch that follows in the threatening wake of the previous track, but clearly with it's prowess just rips it up! That guitar alone makes you wanna rip something to pieces! The Ballad Of Mott, which long term fans can identify with the best, chronicles the bands toughest and best times, simutaneously serveing as a lament and celebration of the band's career. The best tale of rock ever recorded IMO. I'm A Cadillac/El Camino Dolo Roso serves as Mick's solo penned track here. While the main part rocks along in that vibe he digs so clearly, the second instrumental part takes you on a trip just like After Lights did on the previous album. A tru rock n' roll classic, it's a damn shame this song is so forgotten. Unfortunately, this would be the last MTH track for him. I Wish I Was Your Mother, moving back into Hunter penned territory, is a beautifully penned Hunter track which lyrically explores relationship jealousy, while incorporating mandolin's musically.

In short, Mott The Hoople's second greatest album, damn shame it ended an era, but without said animosity, it wouldn't have as much charisma. This was actually my first Mott album and I fell in love with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:41 pm



The Hoople (1974)

SIDE ONE
The Golden Age Of Rock & Roll
Marionette
Alice
Crash Street Kidds

SIDE TWO
Born Late '58
Trudi's Song
Pearl 'N' Roy (England)
Through The Looking Glass
Roll Away The Stone

The Mott album proved to be one of Mott's most successful ventures yet, reaching #35 on the Billboard charts in the US and even higher in the UK. With the tour coming up, they hastily recruited a new piano player (all organ and piano duties on the previous record were split between Hunter & Ralphs). Their first choice was actually Mick Bolton, but on hearing Morgan Fisher's (ex- Love Affair) audition it was clear he was the better pianist, so he subsequently was giving the spot, with Bolton staying on to play the organ. The new line-up jumped in the studio to record a new single entitled Roll Away The Stone which would be released during the U.S. leg of the tour. Come August however, with the first leg completed, Mick Ralphs would offically depart to form Bad Company.

Now essentially up smurf poo's creek with the rest of a tour to complete hot on the heels of a fast selling album and single, they needed a new axeman and fast. Originally they contacted their long time friend Ray Major, but he felt like his current band was going to make it and turned the offer down. While several name guitarists were considered (Tommy Bolin for example), Mott would end up ringing Luther Grosvenor (ex- Spooky Tooth) another old friend from their Island days to take the spot. After reading through old interviews with Luther, Ian decided he needed an image change (saying they were the words of a guy who was stoned) and came up with the stage name Aerial Bender with songwriter and friend Lynsey DePaul while seeing someone vandalize a car. With a slight spelling change, Luther adopted his new identity and Ariel Bender was born.

With the second half of the tour fast approaching, Mott rehearsed for a few days with Bender, then played All The Way From Memphis on Top Of The Pops before heading out to complete the US tour. Simply copying Ralphs' guitar lines, Bender fit in like a charm. His wild and out of control stage presence really connected with fans, and the tour was a huge success. Mott would return to the UK in November and play two live shows (with Queen as support) at the Hammersmith Odeon, both of which were recorded for a tentative live album. The second show would go down in rock history, running over time, the venues management lowered the safety curtain to get them to finish up and go home, inciting a near riot. Morgan Fisher ended up blocking the curtain with his piano and the band ducked under it and finished the show with a great encore. Mott The Hoople would return to the studios in January to record their seventh album, and as usual, nothing went according to plan. Originally wanting Air studios (which was booked solid) they had to settle for Advision. They wanted Bill Price and Alan Harris again (who mixed the Mott album), but Bill was also booked so they ended up going with Mike Dunne and Alan Harris. The album was supposed to be called Bash Street Kids, but the creators of the Beano comic strip refused to license the name, not liking the band’s concept for the record. The country was in crisis with strikes and power cuts common. To put the icing on the cake, their new guitarist whose electric live performance had just made the tour so successful had a creativity level of zero in the studio.

Mott would begin to record the album at Advision in January. With Hunter now the undisputed leader and losing his main collaborator when Mick Ralphs departed, the album would mark a distinct change, taking glam rock to the max. Wanting a sound similar to that of Roy Wood’s Wizzard, Ian arranged the tracks with a lot of sax and cellos, with Morgan’s piano turned up high in the mix and Bender’s guitar turned down (in some places, it was really nothing more than providing the rhythm for the track). Ian Hunter would also mysteriously take a trip to New York halfway through recording the album leaving nothing but a note that said to “sort Bender out”. While Bender stayed the same, the Watts penned Born Late ’58 (the only Mott The Hoople track recorded without Hunter) was recorded during his absence and Ian seemed pretty pleased with the track, but was still pretty pissed about Bender. After awhile during the sessions, Mike Dunne stopped showing up to work, so Alan Harris finished recording the album, and Mott then took the tapes over to Air so Bill Price could do the mixes and overdubs. The band would do another appearance on Top Of The Pops (this time promoting The Golden Age Of Rock ‘N’ Roll), then a short set of warm up dates before embarking on another US tour, once again with Queen opening….but the rest of that is a tale for the next album, their imminent and long awaited Live record.

From the gate, The Hoople had a lot to live up given the album that’s its predecessor was one of Mott’s best. Further plagued by the fact that Mick Ralphs decided to leave during the last tour, leaving Ian Hunter as the sole song writer and undisputed group leader. The result is, a good album, but without Hunter having a collaborator to work with, it ends up really uneven. Starting off strongly with a nostalgia trip on the raucous Golden Age Of Rock And Roll (which is pretty much the embodiment of the whole Glam movement) and then moving into the brillant mini rock opera that is Marionette (one of Hunter’s best moments) the album starts off on a pretty strong note. However, by the time you get to Alice (albeit a good track, with excellent lyrics, which were controversial enough at the time to only be played live once) it’s fairly obvious how samey the album sounds. The furious sounding Crash Street Kids and Born Late ‘58 are both top notch records and the only two tracks where the guitar takes the spotlight here, the rest of the album either being dominated by piano or a combination of saxes and other instruments. Trudi’s Song (written for Ian’s wife) has a nice orchestral arrangement, but is completely out of place here, it should’ve been saved for a solo record. Pearl ‘N’ Roy is a fun track (lyrically taking some really nice shots at the then prime minister and Britain in general), but falls in the same confines established earlier. Through The Looking Glass is another introspective type ballad, which while isn’t bad, once again seems out of place and frankly, doesn’t compare to Hunter’s earlier ballads, but the album ends on a strong note with another great track in Roll Away The Stone (which while an excellent song, Bender overdubbed new guitar over Ralphs’ original parts, and it loses a lot of power due to that). Overall, it’s an entertaining record, and glam at it’s best taken to the hilt, but pales in comparison to their earlier records.

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PostSubject: Re: Mott The Hoople Discography   Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:24 pm

Keep 'Em Comin!

I'm going to try and spin all these albums again this week!

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