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Mott The Hoople Extra tracks, Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, January 12, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

As the 'Swinging Sixties' limped wearily into its final twelve months, an ambitious (but still flat broke) South Midlands rock band called Silence was preparing for the one last tilt at breaking into the London gig scene. The group at this time consisted of organist Terence Verden Allen, drummer Terence Dale Griffin (Buffin), guitarist Michael Geoffrey Ralphs, bassist Peter Overend Watts and vocalist Stan Tippins. Early in May 1969 Watts spied a likely ad in Melody Maker-'Tough Aggressive bass player required for Island Records group'. A quick phone call identified the group as Free or rather as Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, who were looking for new musicians. With Mick Ralph's along for moral support, Watts travelled up to London for the audition, but on arrival at the rehearsal room in Gerrard Street, Soho, he was dismayed to find a long queue of tough aggresive bass players all in German helmets waiting to be seen. Mick Ralphsthought that Guy Stevens, who he had briefly met through Traffis's Dave Mason the previous year, might be at the audition and, so, pushing his way to the front, disappeared into the studio. Moments later he reappeared and ushered Watts inside past what you can only imagine, was an incredulous and none too pleased queue. The audition did not lead to being offered the job,(in fact Free decided to carry on with its original members) but it did provide another connection with Guy Stevens and Island Records. Guy liked the image and asked if I was in a band and I said I was in Silence with Mick. He said he'd like to hear Silence. Stevens arranged for Silence to audition for Island Records in a third floor room at Spot Studio, South Molton Street in London's West End. Shaking their heads like their lives depended on it, Silence ripped through a set, luckily Guy liked them. Guy was impressed by the bands instrumental firepower but felt that Stan did not look the part. On 13th may 1969, the remaining four members of Silence entered Morgan Studios, Willesden, for what was essentially a recording test to decide whether Guy would record an album with them. Guy was satisfied with the results. All they needed to do now was find a singer. An advertisement was placed in Melody Maker. On the evening of 5th June, oblivious to the events happening in Denmark Street, Ian Hunter Patterson was sat in front of the TV when The telephone rang. Bill Farley asked me if I'd seen the advert and said I ought to get down there because they'd run out of apploicants and the job was still vacant - so I relented and said I was on my way. I arrived at Regent Sound, I remember Buff looked about fourteen. In my own primitive way I did impress them enough to offer me the job-though they were very dubious about my appearance. On the evening of 12th June, Guy rang the boys at their Lower Slone Street residence to let them know that they were 'MOTT THE HOOPLE'. On the 20th June, after just 11 days of rehearsal and without playing a single gig. Mott The Hoople entered Morgan Recording Studios, Willesden High Street, London to record their debut album with Guy Stevens producing and Andy Johns as engineer. Although Guy was credited with production, it was Andy Johns who was responsible for how the album sounded. 'Guy really knew nothing about music'. Musicians: DALE GRIFFIN, IAN HUNTER, MICK RALPHS, OVEREND WATTS and VERDEN ALLEN.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. You Really Got Me
  2. At The Crossroads
  3. Laugh At Me
  4. Backsliding Fearlessly
  5. Rock And Roll Queen
  6. Rabbit Foot And Toby Time
  7. Half Moon Bay
  8. Wrath And Wroll
  9. Ohio (Live)
  10. Find Your Way (Instrumental)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import
  • Label: ANGEL AIR
  • ASIN: B0000AJ5T7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,776 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James L. Viland on August 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a great album, with original mix of everything other bands always wanted to be. Mick Ralphs guitar has such personality, they didn't even need lyrics on the Kinks "You Really Got Me". Hunter's voice does have a Dylan quality, but the songs are more musical, and, aiming back at the critics; they aren't even Dylan's songs. This band had great musical intelligence and ability on their own, as well as borrowing tastefully from resources and contemporaries of the time. Producer, Guy Stevens, had a great vision and ear, and although he drove the band nuts, had genious for sound. He was a strong advocate and defender of the band, sadly passing away at such an early age. I enjoy listening to the album with Ralphs guitar, Verden Allen's Hammond organ/Leslie speaker, Ian Hunter's voice and Jerry Lee Lewis style piano, Overend Watt's interesting powerful bass, and Buffin's raucious drumming. Much of the album has an easy listening, swashbuckling tone. "Half Moon Bay" is the cornerstone piece with its rolling, soothing sound of the sea and a classical bridge. I imagined the organ sound reflecting the texture of the lizard on the back of the album. "Rock and Roll Queen" is a great rocker with searing lead guitar by Ralphs that just does not quit. Just when you think it might be peaking out, he kicks it up another notch, and then another, until fading out frantically at the end of the song. A lot of energy that still gets me buzzing when I hear it. "Cross Roads" and "Laugh At Me" are other favorites, building from mellow slow beginnings to rocking high energy finales. I especially liked the tiny backgound voices on "Laugh At Me", singing the band's name, "Mott the Hoople!", just after the intense and colorful lead guitar kicks in.Read more ›
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In 1969 the Midlands group: Silence, was in search of a new lead singer. Mick Ralphs, Pete Watts, Verden Allen and Dale Griffin had decided that Stan Tippins, the vocalist for Silence, was not projecting the image and voice that would propel Silence to the top of the charts.

Enter a bass guitarist/vocalist: Ian Hunter Patterson. The group wanted their new singer to play piano and sing a bunch. Ian, could barely play piano but had a rough Dylan voice and style, that the band was searching for. Eleven days after Ian met Silence, the group was in the studio working on this album. Changes were in order. First the name of the new singer was shortened to Ian Hunter, Dale Griffin, became: Buffin, Pete Watts was now: Overend Watts. The band name of Silence was re-christened: Mott The Hoople.

This startling debut record opens with a cover of The Kinks: "You Really Got Me." Not happy with the vocal track, the instrumental track was used as it was deemed more powerful. "At The Crossroads" By Doug Sahm & "Laugh At Me" by Sonny Bono spotlight Ian Hunter's vocal skills as a Bob Dylan type singer as backed by a Rolling Stone's style band. The Ian, penned: "Backsliding Fearlessly" is the first original song on the record, and it is a gem. "Backsliding" features a smoldering vocal and relentless piano that is all anchored by the pounding beat...the first glimse of what Mott The Hoople were to become.

Side two opens with the first classic MTH song: "Rock And Roll Queen." With the guitars of Mick Ralphs, and shared vocals between Ian and Mick, this is now a BAND and here is right where it all begins. "Rabbit Foot & Toby Time" is a short jam that leads in the album's centerpiece: "Half Moon Bay" a sweeping 11 minute ballad orchestrated by the mighty organ of Verden Allen.
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As many have stated before, I shall state again. How and why this band didn't sell more records, especially pre-1972 is completely beyond me. They were a great throwback to the original sounds of the genre while at the same time so new and original and could cover the best and write some of the best as well. Combining Little Richard with Dylan and a mish-mash of English and American Pop music, you had this five piece band that was a force to be reckoned with. Kicking off with the strange choice of "You Really Got Me" (as an instrumental and 9 years before Van Halen took a crack at it) and segueing into the hauntingly beautiful cover of"At The Crossroads" (this is where I got turned on to Doug Sahm) and then Sony Bono's "Laugh At Me" you can tell that this is a band that takes chances, even when covering other people's material. The band would show off their skills as writers on the second side, namely with guitarist Mick Ralphs's "Rock and Roll Queen" becoming a staple of the band's set for the rest of it's days and singer Ian Hunter's "Backsliding Fearlessly" showcasing the idiosyncratic nature of his writing that would eventually take center stage as the years and tours wore on. But the album's centerpiece has to be the Hunter/Ralphs composition of "Half Moon Bay", an epic ten minute mini-suite in several parts that seems to combine Doug Sahm and Beethoven and transform it into this strange, new thing. Organist Verden Allen's playing really comes to the fore on this one at the halfway mark before the rhythm section of Dale Griffin and Overend Watts come crashing back in to close it out. To me, this is one of the strongest debut albums ever released. The strength, the songs and the sounds are all here. And you, simply just have to buy it.
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