ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 24, 1998
By Steve Newton
This long-awaited, three-disc Mott the Hoople box–All the Young Dudes: The Anthology— is only available as a British import, but for die-hard fans of the distinctive and innovative glam-era band it’s definitely worth the extra dollars.
As well as the group’s biggest hits (“All the Young Dudes”, “All the Way From Memphis”), Anthology includes 37 previously unreleased tracks, with numerous demos and live versions remixed by former Mott the Hoople drummer Dale Griffin.
Of particular interest is David Bowie’s one-take “guide” vocal to his composition “All the Young Dudes”, which he recorded so the band could listen to it at home and work out instrumental overdubs that wouldn’t clash with the narrative of the verse. Of course, that gift song from Bowie became the international hit that saved Mott the Hoople from obscurity, and paved the way for its short but sweet dance in the ’70s-rock spotlight.
Followers of lead vocalist and main songwriter Ian Hunter’s post–Mott the Hoople career will be intrigued by a 1974 version of “Lounge Lizzard”—featuring guitarist Mick Ronson—which originally appeared on Hunter’s self-titled solo debut of ’75.
After Hunter and Ronson quit MTH, the band shortened its name to Mott and released two albums, previously unavailable B sides and outtakes from which are included here. This sharp-looking set also features a 56-page booklet crammed with rare photographs, an in-depth band chronology, a discography, and track-by-track analysis.