Can`t believe I`m only the second here to review this magisterial compilation. Oh well, here goes.
Mott released seven studio LPs and a live one, before packing it in by the end of 1974. Four of those were made before a certain Mr Bowie gave them All the Young Dudes (they`d turned down Suffragette City - can`t blame them, myself) to record as their next single. The rest is, as they say, history, if a brief one.
Over twenty tracks and 78 minutes, this excellent collection - along with superb booklet, with lots of photos and some of the best-written sleeve-notes I`ve ever read in such a context, courtesy of one Campbell Devine - gives the listener reasons enough to hear what the fuss was about, and why so many in and out of the business loved Mott and, in some cases, were inspired and influenced by them.
There`s a wonderful sense of controlled shambles about the Hoople, but under all the pretence of long-haired chaos this was a band who cared what they played and sang, and songs like All the Way From Memphis, Roll Away the Stone, Honaloochie Boogie, the lushly elegiac yet (at the time) absurdly overlooked Saturday Gigs, and of course the ecstatic, immortal All the Young Dudes - well, they`re all here in their majesty, plus many more great songs, such as minor hit Foxy Foxy, one of their finest tracks, as well as the gorgeous ballad Waterlow and the brilliant Sea Diver.
And so many more...
Mott the Hoople were a very English outfit - rather in the way The Band or Little Feat were quintessentially North American - with little of the trans-Atlantic swagger and glitz of the Stones, or the self-conscious artiness of Roxy Music. You can hear it in Ian Hunter`s voice, in their lyrics, and in the pre-punk `home-made` feel of much of their music. They were, in short, a national treasure we prized too casually, and hearing them at their peak on these mostly marvellous songs brings back an era when a band like Mott - fiercely individual, with fire in their bellies and something to say - could take the stage for all too brief a time, and rock the world on its axis!
I can`t help thinking that this is what rock is all about. This is, all in all, one of the best compilations I`ve ever heard, beautifully presented, with loving care, which is no more than this great band deserves.
Do you remember the Saturday gigs?
We do, we do...
on 21 July 2015
A brilliant overview of MTH and their musical legacy. In any Greatest Hits collection by anyone, there are usually going to be some tracks you are not keen on and others, you think should have been included. However, these are all great. It is all fabulous stuff and can only be improved by turning the volume UP!!!!
on 14 January 2015
Having bought Mott's excellent live album last year I thought I would add to it with this. This is a pretty good compilation album but it should have been outstanding! It tends to concentrate more on their last three commercially successful albums. The early albums are represented but not perhaps as much as they should be (only one track from each) which costs this review a star. For instance 'Walking with a mountain' is rightfully included from 'Mad shadows' but 'Thunderbuck ram', possibly the best song on the album, is not! The same could properly be argued for the other early albums, but the glaring omission is 'The journey' Mott's epic masterpiece from the 'Brain capers' which is surely one of the best things, if not the best thing they ever did! That said you do get an idea of the Rawer sound of the early Mott. The later material is good (and much more polished) and gives a fair indication of the band's variety during their latter and more commercially successful history. All their notable hits 'All the Young dudes','All the way from Memphis' and 'Roll away the stone', are present and correct along with other excellent material. For example, how on earth was 'Saturday gigs' not a hit? Also the booklet that charts the band's history is very good to!