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Mott The Hoople – MOTT

Review: 020
Date: 16 Apr 01

 


Rating: 4 Stars

Musicians:
Motts on this album.
Ian Hunter / Vocals, Piano, and Guitar
Mick Ralphs / Guitar, Organ and Vocals
Overend Walls / Bass
Buffin / Drums

Auxiliary Motts
Andy Mackay / Saxophone
Paul Buckmaster / Electric Cello
Graham Preskitt / Manic Violin
The Lovely Thunderthighs / Backing Vocals

Tracks Listing: n/a

 

 


‘Mott’ was Mott the Hoople’s seminal album released just after they had cut the safety belts from David Bowie’s writing and arranging.

Opening with “All The Way From Memphis”, it is a ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ chronicle of the frought and fragmented journey to Memphis that culminated in Mott the Hoople’s triumphant end of tour gig and their subsequent assault on Elvis Presley’s Gracelands mansion. (For more details of this please read Ian Hunter’s “Diary of a Rock ‘N’ Roll star”). When this dog first heard the opening line of “Memphis”, “Forgot my six string razor and hit the sky”, it taught him a whole new way to growl.

Next up is “Whizz Kid”, with Ian Hunter’s reflections on a certain persistent groupie, a lovely slab of Glam Rock.
The pivotal song on ‘Mott’ is “Hymn For The Dudes”, with Ian Hunter directing his lyrics at his young and enthusiastic audience, whilst warning his contemporaries about the pedestal they were setting themselves upon:

“Correct your heads, for there’s a new song rising 
High above the waves
Go write your time, go sing it on the street
Go tell the world, but you go brave

You ain’t the nazz….
Your just a buzz….
Some kinda temporary….."

Eleven months after the release of “All The Young Dudes”, which was written by David Bowie, Mott the Hoople unleashed “Honaloochie Boogie”. This was a smash hit and a perfect piece of writing that was to establish Ian Hunter’s pop credentials.

Ian Hunter showed that he was capable of astonishing flashes of percipience and with “Violence” he brilliantly foretold the coming and the mood of the Punk generation. This song culminated with insane violin and a fight scene in a blazing fadeout.

“Drivin’ Sister” with its hard, raunchy riffs and lyrics due to Mott the Hoople’s fascination with fast cars was the perfect opener for their live set at the time.

“The Ballad of Mott the Hoople” referred to the time when the band temporarily split in disillusionment, before their triumphant return after linking up with David Bowie.

“I’m A Cadillac / El Camino Dolo Roso” is the chink in Mott’s armour. Although Mick Ralph’s guitar playing is exemplary throughout this album, his singing and songwriting do not live up to that of Ian Hunter at this time. This song was included to placate egos, which is a shame as they had already recorded two Hunter written songs, “Rose” and “Roll Away The Stone”, either of which would of strengthened this collection.

The songs conclude with “I Wish I Was Your Mother”, which is a heavily Dylan-flavoured piece addressing the matter of heavy jealousy and this brings the album to a fine close.

Mott went top 10 in the U.K. and top 40 in the U.S. Notably, however, it was voted ‘Album of the Year’ in U.S. magazines “Rolling Stone” and “Creem”. 

Surprisingly, this album and band were not named after Mott the Dog but Wilard Manus’s excellent novel “Mott the Hoople”. 

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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