Top positive review
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It's the golden age of rock'n'roll...
on 2 March 2006
OK, you could say this is a notch below "Mott." Still, that is high praise indeed, as "Mott" is one of the greatest rock'n'roll albums ever. With "The Hoople," we get more of the same, but on a slightly different wavelength. With the departure of Mick Ralphs, the guitar situation was somewhat confused, leaving more room for Ian Hunter's keyboards in the mix. That isn't to say that "The Hoople" doesn't rock - it does, and like a madman. "The Golden Age of Rock'n'Roll," "Born Late '58" (with Overend Watts on vocals), and "Crash Street Kidds" are first rate proto-punk rockers with Hunter's pounding piano adding to the wonderful noise. "Roll Away the Stone" simply soars, and the psychodrama of "Marionette" is funny and frightening. Two highlights are "Alice" and "Pearl'n'Roy (England)" - loping music hall numbers driven by Hunter's pseudo-barrelhouse piano and gutter poetry. Yeah, this may be a notch below "Mott," but that just means that "Mott" rates a 10 and "The Hoople" is a 9.9 - still sheer brilliance in my book.
The bonus tracks on this remastered version actually add substantial value to the package, a few b-sides/outtakes, stomping, storming live tracks, and Hunter's wonderful farewell "Saturday Gigs."