Friday, July 28, 2017

Mott the Hoople

Guy Stevens (Island Records) had been auditioning a new group from Hereford, UK and liked them but not the singer. He advertised for a replacement and Ian Hunter, musician and ex journalist got the job. Ian Hunter (Patterson) was from Shropshire and had played in various bands including The New Yardbirds, Billy Fury’s backing band and, Freddie Fingers Lee backing group. He was an accomplished song writer and had been playing with a local band called Silence. The year was 1969 and Guy Stevens renamed the band, Mott The Hoople (inspired by Bob Dylans’ Blonde on blonde album). Mick Ralphs was the group’s leader but it was Ian who became the group's, principal songwriter and onstage with his striking long curls and dark glasses, the band’s focal point. Despite enjoying tremendous popularity on stage and recording four critically-acclaimed albums for Island Records their overall sales were poor.

Eventually Mott the Hopple change labels and moved to CBS/Columbia. The band had relentlessly toured the UK and was tired and despondent so decided to disband in 1972. David Bowie was a fan and persuaded the lads to reform, and records his composition, All The Young Dudes.

The song became an instant hit in the UK and US and Mott the Hoople could do no harm with seven hit singles and four albums in the charts between 1972-1974. Despite this success some of the band was unsettled and Mick Ralphs left to form Bad Company.

He was replaced by Ariel Bender who stayed for an album before being replaced by Mick Ronson (Spiders from Mars).

Personality clashes and strains within the group continued and after Ian Hunter suffered a physical breakdown in the USA, he finally decided his future lay elsewhere and left to pursue a solo career. Meantime a revamped Mott the Hoople, now called Mott continued with a new guitarist and vocalist. Later they changed their name to British Lions before breaking up in 1979.

Ian relocated to New York and continued as a solo act, working with Mick Ronson up until his death in 1993. Throughout the seventies he released albums all of which met with great acclaim and distinct following with the merging punk music scenes.

Ian became an icon and inspiration for many new bands including the Clash, Kiss, Def Leppard, REM, Motley Crue, Blur and Oasis. There are now over 50 different cover versions of Ian Hunter's songs from artists as diverse as Great White, The Presidents of the United States of America, Status Quo, Blue Oyster Cult, Bonnie Tyler, Barry Manilow, The Pointer Sisters, Willie Nelson, Thunder and The Monkees.

Worth a listen
Rock And Roll Queen (1969).
All The Young Dudes, (1972).
All The Way From Memphis (1973)
Honaloochie Boogie (1973)
Roll Away The Stone (1974)
The Golden Age Of Rock N Roll (1974)

Ian Hunter
Once Bitten Twice Shy (1976)

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