The 2009 30th Anniversary version of Mott the Hoople Live finally makes up for one of CBS Records's biggest mistakes: refusing to release a double live album by the glam rock superstars. At the time, Mott the Hoople delivered one of the best rock concerts of its day: costumes, giant marionette puppets and staged fighting between singer Ian Hunter and guitarist Ariel Bender. Instead, in November of 1974, CBS shipped a single disc mishmash of Mott tracks taken out of context and apparently chosen to befuddle fans.
Worst of all, the album came out around the same time Ian Hunter announced he and the new touring guitarist, Mick Ronson, were leaving Mott.
Yes, the live album had the two big "All" hits : "All the Way From Memphis" and "All the Young Dudes". But "Rest in Peace" and "Rosie" are both British B-side ballads and the rest of the songs were not exactly stand out tracks on their albums ( though I have a soft spot for "Sucker"). The best thing here, if you have 15 minutes to spare, is the "Rock and Roll Queen medley".
It took 30 years but CBS made amends with a double CD accompanied by a 24 page booklet (with an essay by opening band Queen's Brian May). Finally you can hear the band that started a riot at The Hammersmith Odean and wowed American audiences on Broadway. Give a listen and find out why Mott the Hoople was one of the 70's best rock n roll bands.