Producer Guy Stevens ushered the band into the studio and cut a series of quickly recorded, though classic, albums. MOTT THE HOOPLE, MAD SHADOWS, WILDLIFE, and BRAIN CAPERS quickly established the band as a schizoid, critically acclaimed troupe. However, on the sales level, Mott was the pits. This lack of sales, plus the constant vying between styles (Hunter's writing was a good 180 degrees away from Ralph's style) within the band, led to problems. In 1972, the group fragmented, but was brought back together by David Bowie, who produced the classic ALL THE YOUNG DUDES LP. The boys now had a new producer and a new label (Columbia replacing Atlantic).
A new Mott was sculpted from the glitter and glam prevailing in the early seventies. Hunter became the leader. Verden Alien left shortly thereafter. Bowie departed as a producer and Ralphs left the fold to form Bad Company in the middle of recording MOTT. Although Mott was certainly proving more successful on Columbia than they were in the old days, they were anything but superstars. Single after single stiffed in the States and Mott was growing frustrated.
|Ian Hunter Centre|
Hunter left the band, entering a hospital after a stateside bout with total exhaustion. Ronson departed for an ill-fated solo career, and the remaining members of the band regrouped with newcomers Majors and Benjamin as simply Mott. The group got off to a shaky start but quickly picked up steam with albums SHOUTING AND POINTING and DRIVE ON. Hunter embarked on a critically acclaimed but commercially disastrous solo career. He was dropped by his label in 1977, as was Mott, who also severed ties with lead singer Benjamin. [extract from Lillian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia, Angus and Robertson, 1978. p359-360]
Mott the Hoople/Greatest Hits suffers a bit because this band, whose "Tales of the Near Great" stories made them sentimental favorites, produced only two albums of real worth after they moved from Atlantic to Columbia. One sees the breakdown of the group following the departure of guitarist Mick Ralphs in the terribly ill-fitting and annoying lead guitar work of Ariel Bender. Still, such gems as "All the Way from Memphis," along with a different take of "Roll Away the Stone" and two previously unheard cuts, "Foxy Foxy" and "Saturday Gigs," give this absorbing group a belated last testament.
- Billy Altman, Rolling Stone, 1-13-77.
Hits my ass. Never heard "Foxy Foxy" on the radio, and never want to. But the other new one, "Saturday Gigs," recapitulates quite movingly a banal theme this collection fleshes out with real wallop: a band and its fans. Four songs is too much overlap with 1973's Mott, but this is the essence of Mott the Hoople as a group, which always needed Ian Hunter and always did more than back him up. - Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
01 - All The Way From Memphis 3:24
02 - Honaloochie Boogie 2:42
03 - Hymn For The Dudes 5:20
04 - Born Late '58 3:58
05 - All The Young Dudes 3:32
06 - Roll Away The Stone 3:11
07 - Ballad Of Mott (March 26, 1972, Zurich) 5:22
08 - The Golden Age Of Rock 'N' Roll 3:25
09 - Foxy Foxy 3:30
10 - Saturday Gigs 4:17
11 - Sucker (Bonus Track)
12 - One Of The Boys (Bonus Track)
13 - Sweet Jane (Bonus Track)
MOTT THE HOOPLE WERE:
lan Hunter (guitar, vocals),
Pete Watts (bass),
Dale "Buffin" Griffen (drums, vocals),
Morgan Fisher (keyboards),
Nigel Benjamin (vocals),
Ray Major (guitar),
Verden Alien (keyboards),
Mick Ralphs (guitar);
Ariel Bender (guitar)
Mott The Hoople FLAC link (361Mb)
Mott The Hoople MP3 Link (148Mb)