Mott the Hoople

All the Way from Stockholm to Philadelphia: Live 71/72

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There isn't much revelation here as far as songs that can't be found on Mott's studio albums, or in radically redefined interpretations of early-'70s material. Still, this double-CD of previously unavailable live concerts is a worthwhile document for serious Mott fans, taken from good-quality radio broadcasts. A February 1971 show in Stockholm comprises the whole of disc one, which runs only 34 minutes with a smattering of material from their first three albums ("Laugh at Me" and "The Original Mixed Up Kid" are the best numbers) and an otherwise unavailable cover of Mountain's (yes, Mountain's) "Long Red." Disc two is entirely devoted to a Philadelphia show in November 1972, and offers considerably more music (75-minutes worth). By this time the band's international reputation had grown considerably, and most of the set consists of songs from the All the Young Dudes album, filled out by a too-long (nine-minute) encore cover of "Honky Tonk Women"; David Bowie (who introduces the concert) sings with them on "All the Young Dudes," the highlight of the program. For all the modern talk of Mott as precursors of sorts to punk, so much of this is period hard rock or boogie, prone to overlong solos (check out the 13-minute version of "Ready for Love" and that theory is hard-put to hold water, at least on this package.) Even the glam quotient is rather sporadic (indeed absent from the 1971 concert), although disc two does provide goods in this regard with "All the Young Dudes," "Hymn for the Dudes," and "Sweet Jane"; "Sweet Angeline" is the best example of Hunter's more introspective side. [A Japanese version includes bonus tracks.]

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