This is the first of the Angel Air reissuues of the original Mott The Hoople Island/Atlantic releases. When albums were originally put out on CD, they were often rushed out to capitalise on the CD boom and the Mott albums were no exception. At last, Angel Air have re-released them with the full benefit of re-mastering, extended/improved artwork and sleeve notes, and with bonus tracks.
Having not listened to this the debut album recently, it came back to me fresh again. It’s good to hear again the raw, more simplistic songs and arrangements of the early days. I must say I missed not having Road To Birmingham on this CD, but then I had the original mis-pressed vinyl copy where it replaced the classic Rock And Roll Queen.
This album contains 3 covers plus Neil Young’s Ohio as one of the bonus tracks; Ian was still developing his song writing talents back in 1969. The sound on this CD is superb, and full congratulations must go to Gareth Williams for the new mastering. The CD booklet is crammed with information, so much in fact that you have to have good eyes to read it!. However, this attention to detail is what has made Angel Air so respected within the industry and fans alike. My advice is to throw away your original Atlantic CD and get this one- the improvement is remarkable.
Phil Holbrook, http://members.tripod.com/~phil_holbrook/index.html
First in a series of Mott the Hoople’s Island albums, that have been re-mastered and add bonus tracks. This being the band’s 1969 debut album, with the line-up was Ian Hunter (vocals/piano), a pre-Bad Company Mick Ralphs (guitar), Verden Allen (organ), Overend Watts (bass) and Dale Griffin (drums). It’s a mix of covers and band’s originals – pick of the covers is the bonus live track ‘Ohio’, originally by Neil Young and an instrumental workout of the Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’. Classic slice of rock on the Ralphs’ penned ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Queen’, with Hunter showing his vocal talents on ‘At The Crossroads’.
One for the fans and those with an interest in the roots of 70′s rock. As you’d expect from Angel Air, there are extensive sleeve notes (a mini-book in this case!) and the sound is very clean and clear, even the live track benefits.
Jason Ritchie, Get Ready to ROCK! (September 2003)
…in between the Dylan tribute and the songs that ramble (well, this was 1969) you can hear stabs of the chaotic greatness that was to come.
Angel Air are planning to release the other three albums that make up Mott’s Island tenure in the near future. As with all of the Stowmarket-based label’s releases, the sleeve notes are comprehensive and illuminating.
Included are a couple of bonus tracks, one of which is an excellent version of Neil Young’s Ohio.
Tony Shevlin, East Anglian Magazine (October 2003)
For those who only know Mott the Hoople as glittery, glam-rocking young dudes, the almost comically accurate Bob Dylan impersonations…that punctuate their first album will come as a shock. Hunter was the last addition to the group producer Guy Stevens had asssembled from the remnants of rock also-rans, The Doc Thomas Band, so his is not the only authorial voice, with guitarist Mick Ralphs’ songs…taking a more familiarly anthemic route…
David Sheppard, Q (Dec 2003)
…always a delight to listen to. A healthy mixture of covers and originals…
The remastering is to be welcomed, delivering excellent sound quality…
Adrian Perkins(Nov 2003)
…the album actually starts with an instrumental version of ‘You Really Got Me’ before it settles down to an album of interesting songs…It is over the top at the time at it is no wonder that the British press couldn’t work out if MTH were a valid band or copyists of the electric Dylan.
Feedback (Nov 2003)
By all accounts the debut album’s…only real flaw is that it failed to translate their awesome live thrust, listening in retrospect there is a definite Dylan influence which is prevalent throughout.
Mark, Losing Today, www.losingtoday.com
Though their sound may change over the subsequent years this album shows that Mott The Hoople were always a force to be reckoned with.
Adrian Lyth, Classic Rock Society, (January 2004)
…Truth is, Mott the Hoople were one of the finest, loudest rock bands England ever produced, a rampaging thrash that was never heavy rock, with the angst and anger of the Stooges, yet often rootsy, even country…Their 1969 debut…A curious collection of covers…along with self-penned screams of anguish…set the tone for the next several years…
Nick Dalton, Record Collector, (January 2004)
…it does, indeed, wipe the floor with any other version you’ve heard on disc. The liner notes are a virtual book in themselves…
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine, (December 12, 2003)
…The band’s debut album from 1969 is a typical mix of the bombastic and the delicate…The rich Hammond organ of Verden Allen reflects the squeezy Tex-Mex playing of Augie Myers without ever attempting to recreate it.
Maverick, (Issue 18, January 2004)
Excellent and exhaustive liner notes provide fascinating historical data, while each beautifully remastered disc avoids overkill by only adding a couple of well-chosen bonus tracks…Ultimately, none are expendable
Bernard Perusse, The Gazette (France), (December 2003)
…it’s somewhat chaotic but enthusiastic, and definitely not without its moments…
Free Appreciation Society (January 2004)
…Hunter’s Dylan influence is perhaps at its strongest here…The album caused a few ripples, as indeed it deserved to do, as it’s a strong set of covers and originals…Out of all Mott’s early albums, this is a real gem, and with the addition of the two bonus cuts, it’s a great one to start.
Modern Dance (March 2004)