Mott the Hoople

Release Date: August 25, 2009 (1974/2004)
Produced by: Dale Griffin
Format: 2CD



Matt Rowe


The already disintegrating Mott the Hoople continued a final tour before calling it a day as the fully named band.  And it isn't because they quit trying.  On their final studio album, The Hoople, they left an enduring document that, although not the power that its predecessor, Mott, was, was not a bad album in any sense.  However, the demands of being a great band wore them down, especially when they achieved so little mass support.  Officially, they saluted their audience with a Live album, Mott the Hoople Live, a single LP set that combined the tracks from two recorded shows, one in NYC, and one at the Hammersmith in the UK.  Because of that hybrid show album, the LP has always felt a bit in two universes. 

Iconoclassic Records rights the tilted ship by reissuing the OOP remastered and expanded 2004 30th Anniversarya 2CD Deluxe set, originally released by Columbia, that dedicates each CD to one of each show.  Disc One features 13 performance tracks from their Broadway stint including their truncated rendition of “American Pie,” which seques into “The Golden Age of Rock and Roll” from The Hoople.  The show is then filled with classic Mott tunes as well as support tracks.  There's the obligatory “All the Young Dudes,” and selections from past favorites like Lou Reed's “Sweet Jane.”  The second CD provides eight full-length songs, some replicated from the first CD but with a  freer, more loose performance.  Disc One (The Broadway show) is more attentive to Mott (the album), supportive of the new album (The Hoople), and providing classic gems, while Disc Two is a more powerful performance.  The British shows at The Hammersmith feature a searing 9-minute version of “Walking With a Mountain,” and a satisfying 16-minute medley of six songs.

Additionally, Iconoclassic adds to the classic experience by avoiding releasing the CD with a branded CD.  Instead, they opt for history and nostalgia by releasing the CD on the original US red Columbia label for the US show, and the UK orange Columbia label for the second disc.  The newly designed 12-page booklet enhances the experience further by adding a 6-page essay by Campbell Devine, and augmented with memorable magazine ads for the album.  The credits are complete for the original release as well as this new Deluxe Edition.

Obviously, the powers that be from Columbia, should have released a complete Live album from one of the two shows (I think the Hammersmith  performances are strongest).  But they released the best from both.  This re-release of the Columbia 30th Anniversary is unconventional in that sense but since that is part of the history, this 2CD expanded reissue girds up the album, giving you, the fan, both shows in their fullness.  As a fan, you win, especially given the professional manner in which this version of Mott the Hoople Live is respectfully presented to you.

If you're a Mott the Hoople fan, you need this definitive album in your library.









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212 Frech

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