Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

MOTT LP/CD: "Drive On"

Sleeve and track listing

Rock Candy CANDY245. (3 stars!)

  1. By Tonight (3:46)
  2. Monte Carlo (4:42)
  3. She Does It (3:29)
  4. I'll Tell You Something (4:26)
  5. Stiff Upper Lip (4:39)
  6. Love Now (2:50)
  7. Apologies (0:50)
  8. The Great White Wail (5:11)
  9. Here We Are (5:30)
  10. It Takes One To Know One (4:32)
  11. I Can Show You How It Is (2:52)
  12. Shout It All Out (4:06)1

1 Bonus track on the 2014 reissue


This, the first Mott album after Ian Hunter's departure, is a difficult one. Mott had to find a replacement guitarist (again!) and, more importantly, a replacement vocalist/front-man. After listening to some 150 hopefuls, they chose the then-unknown Nigel Benjamin.

This is, in many ways then, a new band. If I reviewed it in this light, then I would give it a very positive thumbs-up. However, Mott with Hunter had recorded some seven studio albums (plus a killer live album). On that basis, this album is somewhat lacking.

Ian Hunter had, along with Mick Ralphs, written most of Mott's songs. With both now gone the song-writing duties were taken on by Overend. He does his best, but the remaining Motts weren't (yet) contributing, and the songs lack Hunter's incisive perception and style.

Oh, this album certainly has its moments. By Tonight is a tight opener and Monte Carlo (the first single) rocks. But there is too much filler, and Love Now is just peurile cock-rock at its most banal. Latter-day Mott The Hoople were recording five-star smashes, but this one rates no more than a three.

The 2014 reissue (on Rock Candy) saw the addition of the non-LP B-side Shout It All Out. It's a shame really it wasn't an A-side as it features a good melody and strong chorus (everything a single should be, really).

The 2014 reissue also saw comprehensive sleeve notes (by Campbell Devine) and an afterword by Joe Elliott.