From the very tangled tree of about a dozen '60s bands that fed into the eventual formation of Mott the Hoople, the Doc Thomas Group were one of the most important, chiefly because they actually released an album. Future Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and bassist Pete Watts were both on board when the group recorded their sole LP (released only in Italy, where they were based for a time) in late 1966. Future Mott drummer Dale Griffin (aka Buffin) joined the band in the spring of 1967, although he doesn't appear on the album, which featured Stan Tippins as lead singer. The self-titled LP consisted entirely of R&B/soul covers, executed derivatively and just about competently, in the style of mod bands of the period such as the Small Faces. The Doc Thomas Group struggled on until 1968, changing their name to Silence with the addition of organist Terry (soon to become Verden) Allen; from that point, it was only a matter of recruiting Ian Hunter to replace Tippins to create Mott the Hoople in 1969. The extremely rare Doc Thomas Group album was reissued on CD in 1998, on a disc that also included a Silence "reunion" session recorded in 1990.
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