Mott The Hoople DVD: "Under Review"

Sleeve and track listing

Chrome Dreams SIDVD519 (3 stars!)

  • 80-minute documentary
  • Kris Needs talks about his first Mott gigs in 1969
  • Morgan Fisher talks about the short on-the-road film he made in 1974
  • Mott The Hoople quiz

4:3 PAL DVD (region-free)

Review

When fans first heard about this DVD there was a certain amount of excitement. After all, we've waited for a long time for anything Mott-related to appear on DVD. Then it was realised this was a documentary, and not a proper (concert) DVD and the excitement cooled a little.

Notwithstanding the fact this DVD is unauthorised it is actually quite a reasonable documentary. The story of Mott is told, warts and all from beginning to end in a quite honest way (not all the Island albums were brilliant, and they didn't all garner great reviews either, a fact you wouldn't have picked up reading the Mott Biography).

There are major contributions from Kris Needs (Mott fan club president in the 70's) and MIck Jones (of The Clash, and a major fan), and live clips (all too short) of what little is known to survive. Tantalisingly, during the first few seconds there is a live clip accompanied by narration (not music) of Mott circa 73/74 which this reviewer hasn't seen before.

The major criticism I would have is that there is too much talk and not enough music. All too often a contributor would say what great moments there are on a certain album but with no evidence (such as audio of the track in question) to back it up. Several years ago Carlton TV (in the UK) broadcast a Mott biog (parts of which are included here) which was packed with both music and comment, showing it can be done.

What audio there is is only in 'excerpt' form. No track is heard all the way through so if you're new to Mott do not expect this to be an introduction to their music. The live clips are also infuriatingly short, so this is by no means the compilation/live DVD fans have been waiting years for. But as a documentary that tells the story honestly (warts and all) it is quite reasonable. At some 80 minutes it may be over long for the casual rock fan, but it is a good effort none the less.

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