Monday, 31 August 2020

Mott The Hoople




"If you make a revolution, make it for fun, don't make it in ghastly seriousness, don't do it in deadly earnest, do it for fun" - D.H. Lawrence

Mott The Hoople were my favourite band as a teenager in the mid seventies. It began for me with the "All The Young Dudes" single in 1972 and I stuck with them for the remaining just over two years of their rollercoaster career. These were their "glam" years", the years of "the suits and the platform boots" as referenced in their valedictory final single, "Saturday Gigs". At the time I had no knowledge of their earlier Dylanesque rock period from 1969 to 1972 under the producership of the madcap genius that was Guy Stevens, before David Bowie gave them the legendary shot in the arm. I have come to those challenging, but interesting albums over subsequent years.


So, like many groups who had a "glam phase" there are two incarnations of Mott The Hoople. Those early albums have a real appeal to them, but the three glam years saw the very best of the group as they became momentarily famous something that never really sat quite right with them. Mott The Hoople were an honest, hard-working, uncompromising and often shambolic band. They were never quite as good as they might have been, or maybe they were just what they were - a good time rock band who never let us down, despite what they said in "The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople". I finally got to see them live on the final night of their farewell tour in 2009 at the Hammersmith Odeon where they had played all those years before. I had been just a bit too young to see them in 1972-74.

For more information on their history at my local music club when growing up, Friars, Aylesbury, check out the excellent https://www.aylesburyfriars.co.uk.

   

I read an interview with Queen's Brian May (Queen opened for Mott in 1973) and he said "Mott The Hoople - God bless 'em....". Indeed. He speaks for everyone there.


REVIEWS - I have divided their work into two sections - click on the image to read the reviews from that period:-

1969-1971
1972-1974

6 comments:

  1. Mott is one of my all-time favorite albums even though I didn't really like their early albums all that much, except for the songs All the Young Dudes and Sweet Jane and maybe a couple more on that album like ready for love. And I even like most of the Hoople even though it's too over-the-top and straining to be too glammy. Like they were trying to be David Bowie or something. But I still like it anyway

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  2. The early stuff has its appeal but it is not really much like the 1972-74 albums.

    The Hoople definitely has its low points - The Crash Streets Kids, Through The Looking Glass and a much inferior version of Roll Away The Stone.

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  3. I was just checking to see if you reviewed Mott Live. The 30th Anniversary Edition is really great but I remember I had the original version a long time ago and I remember not liking it. I thought the song selection was really sucky and it didn't even sound good. And it was too short. But the newer one is pretty good cuz it has a lot more songs and sounds a whole lot better.

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  4. I too felt the album was too short back in late 1974, it should have been a double like David Live. Thankfully the release we have now is much better. Mott were always a bit shambolic live but that was their appeal, to some extent.

    I saw what was supposed to be their last ever concert in 2009 at the Hammersmith Odeon (I never call it the Apollo) but they came back again in 2013 to play a half empty O2 centre. I didn’t go to that one.

    Incidentally, I have just listened to Nilsson Schmilsson. I will post my review tomorrow.

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  5. Mott the Hoople we're still around in 2009??? Unbelievable. I wonder how many of the old numbers we're still in it.
    I love David live and it's one of my top Boy albums. Even though it's kind of saxophone-mad. Most Bowie fans hated but I think it's one of the classic live albums. In fact it's the first Bowie album I ever listened to and it's where I learned all the songs from Ziggy and Aladdin sane and Diamond Dogs. I learned them all from David Live before I listened to the other albums. So that could be why I love it. I listened to Nilsson myself the other day. The one produced by John Lennon called Pussy Cats. It's as strange as all his other albums but much better than most of them.

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  6. As a lover of saxophone I liked David Live and, in 1974, it was the only Bowie live stuff available so I lapped it up.

    The Mott The Hoople line up in 2009 was Ian Hunter (piano, guitar, vocals), Mick Ralphs (guitar), Overend Watts (bass) (now deceased), Verden Allen (organ) and Buffin (drums) (now deceased, who was suffering from Alzheimers but came out on the drums for the last couple of encores, alongside Martin Chambers of The Pretenders, who had drummed for most of the gig. It was a moving occasion. He got a huge, spine-tingling reception from the audience when they wheeled his drum kit out with him on it. I remember Chambers constantly looking over at Buffin as he drummed, (they were both drumming) marking time for him. As I said, so moving.

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