RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Mott – Drive On
Rock Candy Records
www.rockcandyrecords.com

Rating: B-

Mott the Hoople were one of the bands that no one could have predicted would become so successful.  They took Glam to a new level.  They were over the top and very European.   

What made the difference for the band was two-fold: The first piece of the puzzle was that the band contained one of the most insightful and idiosyncratic songwriters of his time named Ian Hunter.  The second piece was the flash guitarist Mick Ronson.  So when Ronson and Hunter left the group in 1974 nearly everyone figured the band was history.  And it was—sort of.   

Dropping ‘the Hoople’ and becoming simply Mott, the remaining members set out to record a new album.  They, on the recommendation of Bad Company guitarist and former Mott the Hoople member Mick Ralphs, enlisted unknown vocalist Nigel Benjamin.  Joining the other Hooples Pete Watts, Dale Griffin and Morgan Fisher was new guitar player Ray Major.  Together, they quickly realized that while they missed Hunter’s songwriting abilities, they didn’t suck as a band.  In fact, they were quite good.  Gone was Hunter’s grandiose approach to rock and roll (and life in general), replaced by a harder rocking, straight ahead approach.  It worked as the album had a ton of energy, even becoming a favorite of a future rock star named Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.  

Benjamin sang well, and while the group failed to escalate their success over MTH, they did okay.  The album is simply fun rock and roll and contains a few great songs including “By Tonight” and the slick “Stiff Upper Lip.”   

All in all this is not one of those albums where every song is an instant classic, but it is one where the songs all work together and make up a most enjoyable listening experience.  For the novice, this is a great place to learn a little more about a band that history has not done any favors in remembering.  The Rock Candy Records version makes that even easier, as they went all-out by making this special deluxe collection edition stand out.  The music is fully remastered and contains a bonus track, a full color 16-page booklet and new interviews with rare photos.  Joe Elliott also jumped onboard and wrote an essay on Mott and why he thinks the band is something special.  

TRACK LISTING:
1. BY TONIGHT
2. MONTE CARLO
3. SHE DOES IT
4. I’LL TELL YOU SOMETHING
5. STIFF UPPER LIP
6. LOVE NOW
7. APOLOGIES 8. THE GREAT WHITE WAIL
9. HERE WE ARE
10. IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE
11. I CAN SHOW YOU HOW IT IS
BONUS TRACK:
12. SHOUT IT ALL OUT 

By Jeb Wright

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