Angel Air SJPCD158.
This, Mott's second, was their "black" album, and finds the band in a dark and sombre mood. It is perhaps the hardest for the uncommitted listener to digest. Recorded live in the studio, it was (manager/producer) Guy Stevens' intention to make this a warts-and-all recording and if there were a few rough edges, well that's rock 'n' roll!
Opener Thunderbuck Ram is a full-tilt rocker, but merely throws a curve. You Are One Of Us is almost anthemic, although it would never feature in the live set. Walkin' With A Mountain is another rocker that would feature in the live set almost till the end and includes an impromptu segue into the Stones Jumpin' Jack Flash. I Can Feel is almost gospel-like in feel, with drummer Dale Griffin's squeaking foot pedal (which the engineer had assured him wouldn't be audible) embarrassingly audible throughout the song - in a way, I've always liked this track. The original album closed with the stark When My Minds Gone, a spontaneous composition that was made up on the spot.
The remastering allows the overall sound level to be boosted somewhat while enhancing detail. Sound quality is excellent, as are the sleeve notes by Keith Smith. Again, the bonus tracks are an oddity and not in keeping with the rest of the album. Both have previously been available on 1998's Anthology.
This album was released on CD by Atlantic in the USA - no bonus tracks. It was coupled with Mott the Hoople and released as a two-on-one CD by Edsel in the UK in 1993. Sound quality was excellent. No bonus tracks.Adrian Perkins