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DVD Review: Mott The Hoople – Under Review

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Mott the Hoople is the 1970s English rock and roll/glam rock band that are best known for the song "All the Young Dudes" which was written by David Bowie, one of Mott the Hoople's many fans.

Originally formed in 1968, the band consisted of Mick Ralphs (later forming Bad Company), Verden Allen, Peter "Overend" Watts, and Dale "Buffin" Griffin. After changing their name to Mott the Hoople after a Willard Manus novel about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show, Stan Tippens joined as a lead singer in 1969. But he soon left because of an injury that left him unable to continue singing. They then recruited a boogie piano player named Ian Hunter who responded to an ad that read "Singer wanted, must be image minded and hungry."

Mott The Hoople: Under Review is a 90-minute documentary about the career and music of one of music's most influential bands which remained largely unheralded. They were championed by the largest names of the day including David Bowie, The Clash, and the Sex Pistols.

Mott The Hoople: Under Review includes historical musical performances that are assessed by the panel of critics which includes: Morgan Fisher (keyboard player who came aboard in 1973), Mick Jones (Clash guitarist and co-songwriter), Tony Platt and Mick Glossop (producers/engineers of the band), Kris Needs (music journalist), Nicky Horn (Radio One and Capital Radio DJ), and John Robb (music journalist and author). There is obscure footage, rare interviews, and seldom seen photographs as well as some previously un-broadcast tour film from the private collection of Morgan Fisher.

While overall this is a good production, I found myself wanting more. There is not enough music and video of them playing. There is a lot of commentary, and, although good, it comes off a bit dry. They do a wonderful job of tracking the band's history, especially the early history before "All the Young Dudes." It sets down a good basis of what was a great band and gives you the feel for the times and tribulations that they went through.

Mott The Hoople: Under Review is a must buy for Mott the Hoople fans as well as anyone wanting a better look at the history of the early glam period of rock. If you are not familiar with Mott the Hoople, I think that upon watching this video, you might be inspired to find out what this extraordinary band was all about and purchase their albums.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.