“Mott the Hoople are an English rock band with strong R&B roots, popular in the glam rock era of the early to mid-1970s. They are probably best known for the song All the Young Dudes, written for them by David Bowie and appearing on their 1972 album of the same name.” Thank you Wikipedia. Without you and the copy and paste function, I would have nothing to say about this band in this intro. Because I know nothing about Mott the Hoople, accept that I felt like I needed to listen to the album named after their most famous song, All the Young Dudes.
Immediately, Sweet Jane is a great sign that I’m dealing with one of those rare bands with a real timeless quality. Sweet Jane doesn’t sound like 1972. It sounds more like turn of the century, popular, commercial rock. Which, I guess, technically means those turn of the century, popular, commercial rock bands sound like Mott the Hoople. Not the other way around.
Momma’s Little Jewel is exactly what I want from 70s rock. Filled out with piano and sax, it has a real swing in it hips. It’s a shame that it cuts itself off with a mock record scratch/tape wind down, going straight into All the Young Dudes. I like All the Young Dudes, it’s a rock classic and icon for a reason. But I could have done with another 20 or 30 seconds to let Jewel come to a more natural conclusion before getting to the iconic rock classic.
After some jagged blues with Sucker, Mott the Hoople and All the Young Dudes go into full blown Rolling Stones blues mode on Jerkin’ Crocus. The vocals are channelling Jagger, the guitars and backing vocal are pure Richards. I know the Stones ripped off their sound from American blues, so I’m not accusing Mott the Hoople of ripping off the Stones. It’s just a comparison that sprang to mind with the song’s opening notes and only got stronger as the song progressed.
Living up to its name, Soft Grind crunches through its deliberate tempo, ominous vocals and durgy sound to deliver some real darkness not heard anywhere else on All the Young Dudes. Going into the jangled, 60s sound of Ready for Love / After Lights, then the grandeur of the orchestra filled Sea Diver, and I realise something about Mott the Hoople: They’re awesome late 60s / early 70s rock chameleons. This record covers so many sounds from that time, and lucky for me, they’re the sounds I love best from that time.