ARTIST: Mott the Hoople
TITLE: Mott the Hoople
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: #66 UK, #185 US
SINGLES: Rock and Roll Queen
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover the Kinks, Doug Sahm, and Sonny Bono
LINEUP: Ian Hunter, Mick Ralphs, Verden Allen, Overend Watts, Dale Griffin
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut for Mott the Hoople is a bit unfocused and fussy, thanks mainly to producer Guy Stevens.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Well, the first three tracks of their debut are covers, including an instrumental of “You Really Got Me”. That raises red flags. Yet their originality hit with the single “Rock and Roll Queen” (a title oft-used later by many other bands) it demonstrated their smarts and chops. But Guy Stevens, the manager and producer, made some creative choices that obscured their originals in favor of those covers.
Ian Hunter was a late addition to the band, showing up right before this recording, and Hunter was going through a lot of Dylan affectations at the time. But the power of the band with Mick Ralphs and Overend Watts made rockers notice, and while they didn’t buy their records they were big on the live circuit.
They did the late 60’s, early 70’s thing of jamming a bit too long, and Hunter’s Dylan impersonation doesn’t grow on you. But they got their foot in the door here even if it took a while form them to burst through it.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Just an FYI, record company issues make it so a comprehensive compilation isn’t quite possible now, at least streming.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a couple of B-sides..
GRADE: B-: I waver between liking this, or exiling it. I’ll keep it thanks to Ralphs and Watts.