Wednesday, September 9, 2020

For The Record #5: Mott On Broadway

Just released on the Madfish label is a two-LP document of Mott The Hoople's triumphant run at NYC's Uris Theatre in 1974. According to Ian Hunter, the band loaded in as Sammy Davis Jr. was loading out.

The original live set released by Columbia in 1974 was a shambles, offering a mess of a selection of songs from both the Broadway shows and the Hammersnith shows the year before. The label refused to accomodate in any way, with the only possible change being a bonus 10" with a few more songs, which never happened. And so, one of the greatest live performances of the band's career went undocumented, with no visual footage at all, and a hastily slapped together live record that fans thought was crap.

In 2004, Columbia righted that wrong with a 30th anniversary, 2 CD set, offering up full sets from both the Uris Theatre and the Hammersmith Odeon, and now finally, on vinyl for the first time, is the Uris set from May 9th. (Technically, all but two songs are from the 9th, as that was all the King Biscuit Flower Hour recorded. The remaining two songs were recorded on the 8th and inserted into their proper places.)

This Madfish set is really terrific. It's inexpensive, with simple yet classy packaging, and really solid audio quality. But the selling point truly is Mott's performance. It's a blistering set by a band who, as we know, should have been history by 1971. Then, David Bowie comes along and Bob's your uncle.

All of the songs, ballads included, are kicked up, with Ariel Bender's guitar sounding so wonderfully nasty. The opening power chord after Ian Hunter's piano intro to "All The Way From Memphis" stll gives me chills. The original live album offered no songs from the band's current record at the time, "The Hoople," but now we get five and they all explode on stage.

If you are a fan of the band, and you enjoy your music served on a vinyl platter, this set is a must.


Jim H. said...

Dang! I gitta grab this one, thanks!

ken49 said...

A big fan. Finally a live album to check out. Still remember the beginning of Scorcese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" with All the Way to Memphis. I was hooked.

Unknown said...

Granted QUEEN was an Elektra recording artist, but is it possible their set (as opening act) was professionally taped as well? The fact this was their 1st tour of the States, Brian May was suffering from hepatitis, and the band was touring behind their incredible 2nd album makes it even more desirable to me.

Whattawino said...

Just ordered this and can’t wait to hear one of the greatest bands given a new (re)lease on life in the Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll (for me!)

Softshoebanana said...

My Rock 'N' Roll wake up call....Mott on Top Of The Pops early 70's Ian Hunter resplendent in mirrored shades and his wild corkscrew hair, pure Rock 'N' was never the same for this young Scottish kid.