Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mott the Hoople-Mott the Hoople

History Of The Group By Wiki:

The early years
The roots of Mott The Hoople can be traced back to two beat bands from Herefordshire in the early 1960s. The Soulents were from Ross-On-Wye, and boasted Pete "Overend" Watts on guitar, and Dale "Buffin" Griffin on drums. The Buddies were from Hereford, and featured Mick Ralphs on guitar and Stan Tippins on vocals. By 1966, the trio of Ralphs, Tippins, and Watts (now on bass) had come together in a band called The Doc Thomas Group, and soon secured a residency at a club in a resort town in Italy. The group were soon offered a recording contract with the Italian label Dishi Interrrecord, and released a self-titled album in January 1967. By 1968, drummer Dale Griffin and organist Verden Allen had joined the band.

Although the group toured and recorded in Italy as The Doc Thomas Group, their gigs in the UK were played first as The Shakedown Sound, and later as Silence. Silence recorded demos at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, which were shopped to EMI, Polydor, Immediate, and Apple with no success. In early 1969 the group came to the attention of Guy Stevens at Island Records, who liked the group but not with Tippins as lead singer. Advertisements were placed ("Singer wanted, must be image-minded and hungry"), and Ian Hunter was eventually selected as lead singer and piano player. Tippins assumed the role of road manager.

Stevens changed the band's name to "Mott the Hoople" from a novel of the same name by Willard Manus; the book is about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show. Their debut album, Mott the Hoople (1969), was a cult success, and their repertoire included cover versions of "Laugh at Me" (Sonny Bono), and an instrumental cover of "You Really Got Me" (The Kinks).

The second album, Mad Shadows (1970), sold poorly and received generally negative reviews; as did Wildlife (1971). Even though the group was building a decent following, the hard-rocking Brain Capers (1971) failed to sell well, and when combined with an aborted UK tour with The Lothringers, the band was close to breaking up.

The glam years
David Bowie had long been a fan of the band, and heard that they were about to split. He persuaded them to stay together and offered them "Suffragette City" from his then yet-to-be-released Ziggy Stardust album. They turned it down so Bowie wrote "All the Young Dudes" for them instead. Released as a single in July 1972, it was a success in the UK, with the band using Tippens - who by this time was their tour manager - to sing backing vocals during live gigs. A Bowie-produced album, also called All the Young Dudes, sold well. Late in 1972 they were going to record another Bowie song, "Drive-In Saturday" but their intended arrangement did not satisfy him and their professional relationship effectively ended. Another casualty in the wake of All the Young Dudes was Verden Allen, who departed before the release of their next album, Mott.

Mott climbed into the Top Ten of the UK album charts, and became the band's best seller to date in the US. It yielded two UK hits, "Honaloochie Boogie" and "All the Way from Memphis", both featuring Andy Mackay of Roxy Music on saxophone. "All the Way From Memphis" is also featured in the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Mott the Hoople's new-found popularity ultimately helped lead to the band's break-up, perhaps helped along by an exposé in New Musical Express of Tippens' role in singing the chorus of "All the Young Dudes", from a hidden microphone backstage.[citation needed] Ralphs left in 1973 to form Bad Company and was replaced by former Spooky Tooth guitarist Luther Grosvenor. For contractual reasons, he changed his name to Ariel Bender at the suggestion of singer-songwriter Lynsey De Paul for his stint with the band. At the same time, former Love Affair and Morgan member Morgan Fisher joined as keyboardist.

In the afterglow of The Hoople (1974), a live album was quickly released, after which Mick Ronson replaced Bender. The end was nigh when both Ronson and Hunter left the group to form a duo. Ray Major and Nigel Benjamin were added to continue the group, which abbreviated its name to "Mott".

In 1974, for their tour of America, Mott the Hoople were supported by the band Queen. This tour later provided the inspiration for Queen's 1975 single "Now I'm Here," which contains the lyrics "Down in the city, just Hoople and me."[1] The song became a live favourite of Queen fans and reached #11 in the UK Singles Chart. The tour resulted in a lifelong friendship between the two bands, with Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and David Bowie performing "All the Young Dudes" at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. Morgan Fisher went on to play piano on Queen's "Hot Space" tour in 1982, and Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor performed backing vocals on the Ian Hunter solo song "You Nearly Did Me In". May would later cover Mott's "All the Way from Memphis" on his solo album, Another World, with Hunter making a guest appearance.

Hunter wrote the book Diary of a Rock'n'Roll Star about the day-to-day life on the band's 1972 winter tour of the USA, covering the ups and downs of life on the road, including tales of David Bowie introducing them onto the stage and joining them to sing backing vocals on "All the Young Dudes", and Hunter's meeting with Keith Moon of The Who who took him in a battered Volkswagen beetle to visit Frank Zappa. It was published 18 months later in June 1974.

The post-Hunter years
This lineup released two more albums, Drive On (1975) and Shouting and Pointing (1976), offering a heavy, less Dylanesque taste on the Mott sound, and both of which sold poorly.After Nigel Benjamin quit in 1976, Mott added John Fiddler and became British Lions in 1978, but they soon split as well, similarly without any chart success. Hunter and Ronson worked and toured together sporadically until Ronson's death in 1993. Hunter has continued his solo career.

In 1996 K-tel records released a CD called The Best of Mott the Hoople purporting to be re-recordings of the bands hits and new songs by Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson. In actuality, the recording was by a Danny McCulloch and Gerry Chapman (usually going under the band name of The Trybe), consisted of heavy rock versions of Mott's hits and poor original songs, and had nothing at all to do with the original Mott the Hoople. K-tel were subsequently fined for supplying goods with a false description, but the tracks and album continued to circulate under the name Mott the Hoople, often appearing on compilation albums. In 2002, the tracks were released again as "I can't believe it's not Mott the Hoople!", though this time it was credited to The Trybe.

In 2005 it was reported in the publication Classic Rock, that Hunter had received the offer of a seven-figure number to re-form the band.

In October 2007 at Ian Hunter's concert at the Shepherds Bush Empire, he was joined by Mick Ralphs and Verden Allen for the encore

Mott the Hoople-Mott the Hoople @320

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 (Bonus Track Live)
10Find Your Way (Bonus Instrumental)



Anonymous said...

Your blog is really good. There aren't many around who post these excellent albums at 320 bitrate. You should get linked up to some bigger blogs (ChrisGoesRock, etc.) so you can get noticed more.

Papa said...


JohnnyRock said...

I guess you will have to update the description here about the reunion is now official at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in October. I got my tickets!!!!

bosshoss said...

Great blog!!! Any chance of a re-up?

Anonymous said...

re-up pleeeeeaze?

Thanks in adavance :)