MOTT: The Gooseberry Demos
The first seven songs on this album were recorded in the hiatus between the demise of Mott The Hoople and the re-incarnation as Mott. They were recorded at the now legendary “Gooseberry” studio in Gerrard Street, London and used to obtain a record deal with CBS. The four songs entitled “Gooseberry Auditions” are just that: the actual audition tapes of lead vocalist Nigel Benjamin and guitarist Ray Majors.
With a deal with CBS sewn up, the world was their oyster. Band member Dale Griffin’s informative, entertaining and comprehensive sleeve notes tell the story in the accompanying 16 page CD booklet filled with rare photos.
The “rarities” included on this release are The Paper Bags (in reality Morgan Fisher, Overend Watts, Ray Major and Dale Griffin), which finally blows the cover on that historic outfit.
This CD is an excellent companion to the other Mott release in the Angel Air catalogue: “Live Over Here And Over There” (SJPCD025)
"The Gooseberry Sessions And Rarities" (SJPCD054)
...as a historical document it certainly is a fascinating CD that fans will certainly find themselves returning to...
...a more than competent rock band with a good ear for melodies. The accompanying sleeve notes have some interesting information and photos...
Wondrous Stories (August 2000)
...All but the maddest Mott fans should turn off their players after track 12 and immerse themselves instead in the voluminous sleeve notes by drummer Griffin that accurately reflect the problems Mott faced in the immediate post-Hunter era.
Mike Heatley, Classic Rock (September 2000)
...Interesting stuff but...really for fans who want and require everything...Good sleeve notes by Dale Griffin...in a good 16 page booklet
Free Appreciation Society(August 2000)
...it's not quite like having a new Mott the Hoople album, but it's close.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine(September 2000)
"...the album consists of hard-hitting rock songs coloured with some truly melodic moments"
Hartlepool Mail (November 2000)
...nicely fills in a couple of the holes in the MTH story. Considering that these tracks were never intended for commercial release, the sound quality is pretty good...The CD comes with a 16-page booklet, featuring liner notes from dale Griffin and some great photos. I would think most MOTT fans will enjoy this CD. Sure it's aimed at the die-hards and may not be the best place for the casual fan to hear MOTT for the first time, but it is fascinating and I think we should be grateful to Angel Air for putting it out...
Two Miles From Heaven (February 2001)
Not for your casual fan, but for diehards of the post-Hunter era...
Colin Bryce, Mohair Sweets (March 2001)
The first section of this album, 'The Gooseberry Demos"…were instrumental in securing Mott as they had now become a record deal with CBS…The second section 'The Gooseberry Auditions' features the actual audition tapes of Nigel Benjamin and Ray Majors…The final two sections of the album…are true rarities…even someone with only a passing interest in Mott The Hoople history would do well to check these out. An essential release. David Schofield, Classic Rock Society (July 2002)
...the material is powerful in the main and maintain some of the Hoople's allure...
Undoubtedly of interest to completists will be the original audition tapes of potential vocalist Brian Parrish and eventual guitarist Ray majors...A worthwhile release
Rich Wilson, Record Collector (August 2002)