Mott The Hoople’s ‘Mott’ (1973)
An English band in distress, ‘Mott The Hoople’ found themselves on the brink of a breakup in 1972. Fabulous concerts aside, the band found themselves penniless and worthless in private, despite a legion of fans who it included Mick Jones, Noel Gallagher, and future members. REM One of the band’s fans, a rising star named David Bowie, raised his artistic cache with a version of his deleted version of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ ‘All The Young Dudes,’ a much-needed UK No. 3 hit. . Encouraged enough, the band entered their sixth album with guaranteed optimism. However, these sessions were largely dictated by frontman Ian Hunter, which caused enough pressure within the ranks of the band. Keyboardist Verder Allen resigned during ‘Mott’s pre-production run, and guitarist Mick Ralphs left just a few months after the album’s release. Though replaced (by Morgan Fisher and the auspiciously titled Ariel Bender, respectively), Hunter discovered how irreplaceable they were, prompting ‘Mott the Hoople’ to disband in 1975, a full 2009 reunion that revived just how timeless their work was. (finally abbreviated).
And none was better than this work, one of the best glam rock records, and one of the most underrated records of the seventies. At thirty-four, Hunter was at the peak of vocal finesse, combining the elegiac roar of Bob Dylan with the unflappable rockabilly of Marc Bolan; a quintessential glam rock singer. Fused by Ralph’s sizzling guitar lines (sometimes as melodic as George Harrison, sometimes as forceful as Tony Iommi), Hunter’s voice proved to be as tactile as rock ever needed.
His songs proved that he was as capable a hit writer as David Bowie had been. The opening track ‘All The Way From Memphis’ proved to be a far more valuable song than ‘Dudes’, complete with Roxy Music’s Andy McKay saxophone playing, giving the song an unheard ending since The Beatles ‘na-na’ ed ‘made their way. four moments from ‘Hey Jude’. The 1950s stomper ‘Honaloochie Boogie’ featured the beat and bop of a Memphis track, albeit with flashes of Noel Coward’s wit attached. ‘Whiz Kid’ screamed like a ’70s equivalent of’ The Velvet Underground ‘. ‘Drivin’ Sister ‘proved that car songs could be popular, five years before Gary Numan released’ Cars’.
Ralphs guitar touch is in the center of the crease here. Although he would feel marginalized as a secondary guitarist (he eventually left to form the heavy riff ‘Bad Company’ with Paul Rodgers), his playing varies from the Spanish fret on his self-written ‘I’m A Cadillac’ to the Richie. Blackmore strikes the chord on ‘Violence’ to the smooth, independent rendition of ‘Memphis’, a style that David Gilmour would have given two thumbs up to. Hunter later admitted that he tried to stop Ralphs from leaving by offering him half of his royalties. It turned out to be useless, although ‘Mott’ would be one of two albums (the other being Bad Company’s self-titled debut) that demonstrated his skill as one of the best rock guitarists of the seventies. Brian May himself was a fan!
But it’s Hunter’s closing ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ that elevates the album from ’70s great to’ 70s classic. Where much of 1973 sounded flashy (this was the year of ‘Dark Side of The Moon’), ‘Mother’ was a sumptuous acoustic ballad that was a love letter to the legions of fans who had supported Mott throughout. the years that led to this indelible. moments. The only track without an electric instrument (save for Overend Watts’ melodic bass), the song returns the band to its Guthrie roots, with the delicate harmonica playing intact. When fans exploded affectionately at the ballad in 2009, it turned out to be Mott’s ‘A Day In The Life’, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ or ‘When The Levee Breaks’, a closing track that turned to its interpreters. into living legends and his album into something bigger than you normally hear on the radio.