Tuesday, 1 April 2014

"All The Young Dudes" by MOTT THE HOOPLE (2006 Columbia/Legacy CD Reissue - Vic Anesini Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...


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"…Gotta Work…"

After three albums on Island between 1970 and 1971 that saw constant touring, critical acclaim but little chart action ("Mad Shadows", "Wildlife" and "Brain Capers") – Mott The Hoople were about to throw in the towel when they finally hit paydirt with the David Bowie assisted  "All The Young Dudes" Single and LP in the heady days of 1972 (the height of Glam Rock in the UK). With the mercurial Bowie a fan and his star exploding everywhere – the timing and the song was perfect. And that’s where this wicked 2006 Expanded CD Remaster comes swaggering in. Here are the Dude-ish details...

UK released April 2006 – "All The Young Dudes" by MOTT THE HOOPLE on Columbia/Legacy 82796938092 (Barcode 827969380925) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster and breaks down as follows (72:57 minutes):

1. Sweet Jane
2. Momma’s Little Jewel
3. All The Young Dudes
4. Sucker
5. Jerkin' Crocus
6. One Of The Boys [Side 2]
7. Soft Ground
8. Ready For Love/After Lights
9. Sea Diver
Tracks 1 to 9 are their 4th studio album "All The Young Dudes" – released September 1972 in the UK on CBS Records S 65184 and November 1972 in the USA on Columbia KC 31750

BONUS TRACKS:
10. One Of The Boys (Demo Version)
11. Black Scorpio (Demo Of "Momma's Little Jewel")
12. Ride On The Sun (Demo Version of "Sea Diver")
13. One Of The Boys (UK 7" Single Version) – released August 1972 on CBS Records S 8271 as the B-side to "All The Young Dudes"
14. Sucker (Live 1973 At The Hammersmith Odeon, London)
15. Sweet Jane (Live 1973 At The Hammersmith Odeon, London)

DAVID BOWIE originally produced the album and also plays Sax on some tracks (doesn’t say which). KEITH SMITH – Editor of the MTH Fanzine "Two Miles From Heaven" - provides the liner notes but I have to say that its 8-pages feels disappointingly slight – sporting centre spread liner notes by Ben Edmonds, recording details and precious little else… But the meat and potatoes lies in a fantastic new remaster by tape wizard VIC ANESINI whose credits include Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Jayhawks, Elvis Presley, Carole King, Hall & Oates, The Isley Brothers and Santana to name but a few. His name is a mark of Audio Quality I actively seek out.

It opens with a great cover of Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane" (lyrics above) where Mick Ralphs puts in some fantastically fluid Guitar playing. The muscle on the piano and guitar of the "Don’t Stop!" Intro to "Momma's Little Jewel" is just great as is Verden Allen’s slightly Prog Rock organ soloing throughout. It’s the first properly cool Hunter song on the album (co-written with Bass player Overend Watts). I’d have to admit a possible travesty here – I’ve always loathed the title track – it seemed hammy to me then and still does now – and it hung around the band's musical neck for decades. But at least it got the job done.

Far better is the menace of "Sucker" and the fabulous snotty British Rock 'n' Roll of "Jerkin' Crocus" (a B-side to the USA 7" single of "Sweet Jane"). It's back to Prog Organ for Verden Allen's "Soft Ground" where he unwisely ruins the song by taking Lead Vocals. Better is the Mick Ralphs double "Ready For Love/After Lights" where you can 'so' hear the beginnings of Bad Company (Hunter and Ralphs share vocals on this one). It ends on a short but poignant Ian Hunter piano balled "Sea Diver" – for me a real highlight - and like "Trudi's Song" on 1974's "The Hoople" – a hidden gem in their catalogue.  

The bonus tracks are shockingly good – especially "Black Scorpio" which is a pumping Rock Demo Version of "Momma's Little Jewel" and "Ride On The Sun" which is an equally delicate demo of "Sea Diver" but with different lyrics. It's still odd to hear David Bowie actually sing "All The Young Dudes" - but it actually suits him more. In fact what a single this previously unreleased duet between Bowie and Hunter would have made (as a double credit perhaps?). The reissue finishes with the huge guitar punch of "Sucker" and "Sweet Jane" - a track that will thrill fans of the Lou Reed live classic "Rock 'n' Roll Animal" – both recorded before a triumphant crowd at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

So there you have it – a great album and a properly fab trip down Rock’s Memory Lane. It's a real shame that the booklet doesn’t celebrate "Dudes" a bit more (an Indie label would have splashed out 20-pages or more) but what is on offer is sonically brilliant - a fantastic remaster by Anesini.

With principal song-writer and singer Ian Hunter still at the helm – the band would go on to even better things with the beautifully presented "Mott" album in 1973 and the underrated 6th LP "The Hoople" in 1974 (see reviews). Now in 2015 - this remastered Mott The Hoople CD is cheaper than a stick of eyeliner at Boots. Get this nugget into your home right away...

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