Today we look at Mott The Hoople songs. They had all their UK hits in a 3 year spell between 1972 and 1975. Anyone who loved this band know that Ian Hunter was the lead singer but did you know who the other members of the band were? No, me neither. Let’s have a look at the history of the band.
The band originated in Hereford in the UK where 4 of the original band were from. Guitarist Mick Ralphs (born 31st May 1947), drummer Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin (born 24th October 1948), bassist Pete ‘Overend’ Watts (born 13th May 1947) and organist Verden Allen (born 26th May 1944). They all played together under various names in the sixties. They were known at different times as the Buddys, the Doc Thomas Group, Silence and the Shakedown Sound. In the summer of 1969 they moved to London.
The house producer at Island Records signed them. He then sacked their then singer Stan Tippens and introduced the guys to Shrewsbury born Ian Hunter (born 3rd June 1947). They became Mott The Hoople supposedly named after a character in a Willard Manus novel called Norman Mott. I don’t know if this is true or not but it sounds good.
Mott The Hoople
Between 1969 and 1972 they built up a dedicated following with their live performances. They released 4 albums, Mott The Hoople (1969), Mad Shadows (1970), Wild Life (1971) and Brain Capers (1971). They were all produced by Guy Stevens but none were commercially successful.
In 1972 the band were on the verge of splitting up as morale was at an all time low. In fact they did officially split up on the 26th March of that year. When David Bowie hearing of the declining fortunes of the group intervened and asked them to record a song he’d written called All The Young Dudes. He produced the record and sang on the chorus he also introduced them to his manager Tony De Fries who took over their affairs and got them a recording contract with CBS. All The Young Dudes became the band’s biggest hit, reaching number 3 in the charts in the summer of 1972.
Bowie also produced their album also called All The Young Dudes in 1972. The new found confidence of the band was evident in the 1973 album Mott. This album was their first to chart in the UK reaching number 7. The album included hit singles Honaloochie Boogie and Roll Away They Stone both written by Ian Hunter.
There was problems ahead though as Hunter became the dominant member of the group, Vernon Allen left not long after they recorded All The Young Dudes and in the summer of 1973 Mick Ralphs also left. Partly due to Hunter’s overbearing influence but also to form the successful group Bad Company with ex Free singer Paul Rodgers. His replacement was Luther Grosvenor who for some reason adopted the name Ariel Bender. Morgan Fisher was also recruited about the same time on keyboards.
In an interview for the New Musical Express in 1974 Ian Hunter predicted ‘the end will be rough’. He was right. Ariel Bender disappeared in 1974 and was replaced by Mick Ronson formally of The Spiders From Mars, David Bowie’s backing band. This arrangement only lasted a couple of months before Hunter collapsed from exhaustion on the eve of a UK tour. The tour was scrapped amid rumours, accusations and counter accusations, the band split into two camps. Hunter and Ronson both recorded solo albums which they toured together to promote. Griffin, Watts and Fisher added guitarist Ray Major and vocalist Nigel Benjamin into the group and they became simply known as Mott.
This was the end of the groups commercial success, though Ian Hunter had a solo hit with Once Bitten Twice Shy from the LP Ian Hunter in 1975.
Mott The Hoople Songs- The Singles
Below I will name the songs, the year released and chart position reached here in the UK.
- All The Young Dudes (1972) (3)
- Honaloochie Boogie (1973) (12)
- All The Way From Memphis (1973) (10)
- Roll Away The Stone (1973) (8)
- The Golden Age Of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1974) (16)
- Foxy, Foxy (1974) (33)
- Saturday Gig (1974) (41)
Mott The Hoople Songs – The Albums
As above, I will name the album the year released and the position reached here in the UK.
- Mott The Hoople (1970) (66)
- Mad Shadows (1970) (48)
- Wild Life (1971) (44)
- All The Young Dudes (1972) (21)
- Mott (1973) (7)
- The Hoople (1974) (11)
- Live (1974) (32)
- Drive On (1975) (45)
That’s it for this look at Mott The Hoople songs. Their chart career was short but sweet with 7 chart single in 3 years between 1972-1974. What are your memories of Mott The Hoople, maybe you saw them live, this is when they used to be at their best as a live band. Let me know in the comments below.
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