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Mott the Hoople Live
Mott the Hoople

Columbia 33282
Released: November 1974
Chart Peak: #23
Weeks Charted: 13

Original Album
Advertising Art

Mott the Hoople are nowhere near as dumb as their name -- despite Ian Hunter's occasionally heavy-handed stabs at Dylanesque stardom, the band has maintained enough good sense to realize that its meal ticket is hard-assed, gut-bucket rock & roll. In light of this realization Mott's current stage presentation is lean on the introspective ballads Hunter has favored of late and heavy on the earlier hard-rock collaborations of Hunter and Mick Ralphs -- tunes that both attracted the band's early cult following and cemented its mass acceptance with All the Young Dudes and Mott.

Save for a couple of lapses into Hunter psychology, this album grabs at the listener with tenacious fury, rapidly becoming an ever increasing blur of white noise. It's almost as if the band had chosen their music as a vehicle for release from their often documented early frustrations.

Much of the reason for this belongs to the now departed Ariel Bender who, while not nearly as classy a guitarist as his predecessor Ralphs, is nonetheless in possession of a style that succeeds by sheer overkill. Throughout the record his guitar playing is obnoxiously heavy-handed and frequently devoid of any identifiable traces of sensitivity, yet it's a sheer joy to hear as it propels, prods and challenges the rest of the band.

"Violence" is the final installment of the medley and in a sense explanes what thsi album's version of Mott the Hoople is about. When they avoid their leader's excess they are fuly capable of nailing their listeners too the wall as forcefully as did the early Kinks whom Mott so often quotes.

- Gordon Fletcher, Rolling Stone, 2/27/75.

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