Mott's famous Hammersmith Odeon gig from 1973 has gone down in rock legend as one of the all-time great gigs. Recorded for a possible live album, initial plans for an early 1974 release came to naught (record company politics) and it ended up being chopped to bits when a single-LP Live album was finally released in late 1974. Fans had to wait thirty years for that to finally be rectified with the 2-CD release of that live album.
So here it is, in (nearly) all its glory, that Hammersmith show finally released as a 2-LP set. Yes, it's vinyl and yes, it is already on CD as part of that expanded Live album set. Never mind that two tracks have been "lost" (Hymn For The Dudes to the organ going out of tune, and All The Way From Memphis to a tape-change blunder), what's presented here is fabulous. This is Mott right at the top of their game. The band are on a high and know it.
As Jupiter segues in to Drivin' Sister this is one long celebration, and Mott take no prisoners. Sweet Angeline is glorious and the Medley that closes side three is one of the finest slices of live rock you'll hear anywhere. But stand by for side 4 and Walkin' With a Mountain which closes in a trademark Mott "riot" as the safety curtain comes down, fans sieze the stage all while Ian Hunter and Ariel Bender continue playing. Fabulous.
If only they'd released this in early 1974. Who knows, they could even have rescued the "lost" tracks. Then this really would have been a true contender for 'best live album'. Better than Live At Leeds? You bet...