Mott the Hoople

Sweet Jane

Song Review by

It was producer David Bowie who introduced "Sweet Jane" to Mott the Hoople's repertoire; written by Lou Reed during the last years of the Velvet Underground, the song was included on Mott's 1972 breakthrough album, All the Young Dudes. Mott's original version is a relatively straightforward cover of one of Reed's quintessential rock & roll songs; however, a more enthralling take featuring Reed himself on lead vocals also circulates among collectors -- Reed had stopped by the studio to add a guide vocal to the band's already completed backing track. It was not a happy encounter -- "Lou and me just did not get on," Ian Hunter later admitted. "When I heard the Velvet Underground, I thought they stunk as well. "Sweet Jane" really wasn't us." Nevertheless, band and vocalist alike turned in a fine performance, and the song gave them a minor U.S. hit later in the year -- one reason why "Sweet Jane" remained in Mott's live set until 1974. A strong version, medleyed with "Roll Away the Stone," can be found on the in-concert Two Miles From Live Heaven anthology.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
All the Young Dudes 1972 Columbia 4:21
Greatest Hits 1975 Legacy / Columbia 0:00
No Image 1979
London to Memphis 1992 Sony Music Distribution 4:19
The Ballad of Mott: A Retrospective 1993 Columbia / Legacy 4:21
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:20
Rockin' 70's [Coyote] 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 4:20
Super Hits 1997 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 4:20
All the Young Dudes [Box Set] 1998 Columbia 4:21
Rock'n Roll Greatest Hits, Vol. 4 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:21
Friends and Relatives 2000 Spitfire Records 5:42
Greatest Hits of the 70's, Vol. 10 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:21
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Sony] 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:21
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:21
Rock 'N' Roll's Greatest Hits 70's 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:21
Music from the Vietnam War Years, Vol. 1 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 4:21
Old Records Never Die: The Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter Anthology 2008 Shout! Factory 4:22
Great British Albums 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 5:00
The Essential Mott the Hoople 2013 Columbia 4:22
The Collection [Camden] Camden 4:21