All the Young Dudes actually brought Mott the Hoople success, but you wouldn't know that from its sequel, Mott. Ian Hunter's songs are a set of road tales fraught with exhaustion, disillusionment, and dashed dreams, all told with a wry sense of humor so evident on Mott's earlier work. This is no ordinary road album where a band whines about the perils of traveling — it's more of a wry commentary on rock & roll itself, which, as Hunter notes, is a "loser's game."
Mott doesn't sound that way, though — it's as winning and infectious as rock & roll gets. Even with the undercurrents of ironic despair and restrained hostility, this is a fun record (partially because of that despair and hostility, of course). This sounds better, looser, than All the Young Dudes, as the band jives through "All the Way from Memphis" and "Honaloochie Boogie," beats the living hell outta "Violence," swaggers on "Whizz Kid," and simply drives it home on "Drivin' Sister."
Apart from the New York Dolls (who, after all, were in a league of their own), glam never sounds as rock as it does here. To top it all off, Hunter writes the best lament for rock ever with "Ballad of Mott the Hoople," a song that conveys just how heartbreaking rock & roll is for the average band. If that wasn't enough, he trumps that song with the closer "I Wish I Was Your Mother," a peerless breakup song that still surprises, even after it's familiar. It's a graceful, unexpected way to close a record that stands as one of the best of its era.
The bonus tracks have all been released before. "Rose" has appeared on the Mott the Hopple anthology (although never sounding this good) while the demo for "Honaloochie Boogie" (with different lyrics)and "Nightmare" (by departed organist Verden Allen)both appeared on the "All the Young Dudes" 3 disc anthology released in 1998. "Drivin' Sister" is pulled from the UK double CD/remaster of "Live" and is a killer live performance.
I'm not sure what Columbia/Sony has in the vault but I would have liked other live performances of material included here that hasn't been released before. Surely there were other shows recorded for that album? Anyhow, the bonus material is welcome even if it has been available before because many fans may not have had the opportunity to purchase the "Dudes" anthology.
Written primarily by lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Ian Hunter, "Mott" provides an unflattering glimpse into the machinery of the music business. Hunter turns his jaundiced eye on the business of rock and how it dehumanizes at the same time it glories. Or something like that. Either way "Mott" is one of the finest albums of the 70's with the band in top form.
01. All The Way From Memphis
02. Whizz Kid
03. Hymn For The Dudes
04. Honaloochie Boogie
06. Drivin' Sister
07. Ballad Of Mott The Hoople
08. I'm A Cadillac/El Camino Dolo Roso; I'm A Cadillac\ El Camino Dolo Roso
09. I Wish I Was Your Mother
11. Honaloochie Boogie
13. Drivin' Sister