Today has been a damned good day. First, I discovered that I have a couple of things in common with Joe Elliott, of Def Leppard fame, whose written introduction to this set I have just read.
Second, I sat down to a veritable feast of mind boggling brilliance in the shape of the four CD set that is Mott The Hoople In Peformance 1970-1974 (Angel Air).
When you get your hands on this superb set I highly recommend you do something unusual with it. Sit down, pour a glass, light up, feet up, and read the notes. 48 pages crammed full of quotes, anecdotes, and facts; forgotten and otherwise. Then play the CDs with your brain refreshed with all that knowledge.
Quite simply you need to transport yourself back to a time when seeing Mott The Hoople could literally ‘wreck your minds, completely, absolutely’. Well that’s how they are introduced on CD one – Fairfield Halls, Croydon 1970. I couldn’t agree more. After all, my mind has been messed up for years. However, this is where Joe Elliott and I come in.
Like Joe I never saw MTH live. Damn, I just missed them by virtue of the fact that I was born too late. But I did see Ian Hunter a year or two back when Joe got up on stage helping the night become utterly unforgettable.
Just play that opening track "Ohio" from the somewhat infamous Croydon gig when Mott supported Free (you don’t get line ups like that anymore). Remember that this is 1970. Read the background as to why Mott were playing Neil Young’s “Ohio" in the first place and why the audience went crazy.
It’s incendiary, literally on fire, or at least smouldering away between Mick Ralphs superb guitar and the impassioned vocals.
It has to be said that a concert consigned to the waste bin for years by Island Record’s eccentric Guy Stevens is finally revealed and Angel Air have done a truly excellent job with it.