Mott the Hoople

Under Review

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In the feast or famine world that is Mott the Hoople fandom those in the inner circle are aware of Campbell Devine's excellent All the Young Dudes: Mott the Hoople and Ian Hunter, the Biography, the superb re-releases on the Angel Air label, and Justin Purington's webpage for the loyalists. This informative disc -- Mott the Hoople Under Review -- brings the esoteric to the general public in an informative and entertaining way and deserves mainstream attention. Stephen Thomas Erlewine is liberally quoted from Allmusic online text while commentary from the Clash's Mick Jones -- who actually produced and appeared on a 1981 Ian Hunter album, Short Back and Sides, keyboardist Morgan Fisher who performed with the band on Broadway, recording engineers Mick Glossop and Tony Platt, and the usual array of journalists including Kris Needs, founder of the fan club "Mott Lott." There's an absolutely superb commentary by keyboardist -- and roommate of Mick Ralphs -- Morgan Fisher who, at 23, took his Super 8 camera on the 1974 tour when the band performed on shows with the New York Dolls, Aerosmith and Joe Walsh. This "Mott in America" footage is priceless, as is the voice of Fisher recalling the events on this bonus, which turns out to be a very key, well scripted nine-and-a-half minutes of material. There's also an extra three minutes with Kris Needs, called "one of the most knowledgeable authorities on the band," and an interactive quiz. Oh, and outside of the extras, there's the DVD itself -- a wonderful career overview in documentary form efficiently packing tons of information and becoming what all these Under Review episodes should be, an essential addition to the group's recorded repertoire including thoughts and recollections from those who actually participated in the band's history. Where other companies slap things together with, perhaps, the second cousin twice removed from the ex-drummer of the group being discussed giving useless information -- the Killers Leaving Las Vegas DVD comes to mind -- Chrome Dreams has done an exquisite job with this set and deserves high marks. Let's hope other discs of this nature follow suit. A+