Vocalion 2CDSML 8578.
1Quadrophonic and Stereo
Another reissue of Mott's three studio albums they recorded for CBS between 1972 and 1974 (All The Young Dudes, Mott and The Hoople). What could this give that all the others did not? Actually, something quite remarkable.
First, there is the format. This is not a standard three-albums-on-2 CDs issue. These discs are actually dual-layer SACDs which can play on regular CD players, but also on high-end SACD players which - to the audiophile - offer much better sound quality. Certainly the audio is uncompressed - this is to be welcomed when other releases seem to be trying to outdo each other in the pursuit of ever-more compression/loudness.
Second is the fact that The Hoople tracks are available in quadrophonic format for the first time in the digital age. Again, this requires suitably set up SACD players to handle. 'quad' was all the rage in 1974 and The Hoople was made available in this format (without the band's prior knowledge), and the mix is certainly very strange - all sorts of weird overdubs that are not apparent in the regular stereo mix. One for the completists certainly, but in all honesty not a format I'll be playing that often.
A down side to this release is the lack of bonus tracks such as b-sides or single versions. Second, there is the strange split of the All The Young Dudes album between discs 1 and 2, presumably to reduce costs (two discs being cheaper than three), giving some 60 minutes playing time on each disc.
So, overall a welcome release, if only for the audiophile sound quality and the 'quad' version of The Hoople tracks.