Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Mott The Hoople unofficial CD: "Hoopling Furiously"

Sleeve and track listing

HIWATT MTH001. (4.5 stars!)

  1. Thunderbuck Ram
  2. Whiskey Women
  3. The Original Mixed-Up Kid
  4. Darkness Darkness
  5. The Moon Upstairs
  6. The Moon Upstairs
  7. Whiskey Women
  8. Your Own Back Yard
  9. Darkness Darkness
  10. The Journey
  11. Death May be Your Santa Claus
  12. One Of The Boys
  13. Midnight Lady
  14. All The Young Dudes
  15. It'll Be Me


Mott The Hoople recorded a number of sessions and "in concert" shows for BBC Radio 1 in 1970 and 1971. Sadly, most of these priceless recordings were wiped by the BBC in the mid-70s, mainly because the management at the time regarded the tapes as more valuable than any music recorded on them. A few Mott The Hoople recordings survived, however, including a complete "In Concert" show from the very end of 1971, and these form the bulk of this CD, which was released in the mid 90's and so predated The Original Mixed Up Kids, which was the official release of those BBC recordings.

Thunderbuck Ram sets the tone, similar in arrangement to the LP version except Ralphs' lyrics are clearer and so easier to work out. Both Whiskey Women and Original Mixed-up Kid sound cleaner than their LP equivalents, something Dale himself picked up on in the sleeve-notes of OMUK. Darkness Darkness and The Moon Upstairs are recognisably different from their form on Brain Capers, the former especially as it features Verden on organ (he didn't play on the BC version).

The next six tracks are taken from an In Concert show recorded on 30th December 1971 and broadcast a week or so later. Unlike OMUK, the tracks are presented here in their original broadcast order, complete with DJ links (as was customary at the time on In Concert programmes). The result is altogether more consistent than OMUK, as the audience reaction to those songs is now in the right place. The Journey is beautiful, showing just how well Mott The Hoople could mix the rough with the smooth, and Death May Be Your Santa Claus is barely controlled chaos. Indeed, the whole show demonstrates just how well Brain Capers had captured their live sound. Sound quality is very good throughout, both for the session and the in concert tracks.

Sadly, that is all that survives in the BBC vaults, so the CD is padded out with three tracks from the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, and finally It'll Be Me, an outtake from the Island days (April 1971). All four tracks have since been released commercially and are easily available.

Given the unavailability of the Original Mixed Up Kids CD (has it been reissued on Strange Fruit or not? Some reports say 'yes', but I've searched high and low and can't find it) this is an essential purchase. Even if OMUK was available, this is still a worthy CD, just to hear the In Concert material in the original running order.