There was (when this set appeared) a lot of unreleased Mott The Hoople recordings in the vaults. Especially in the Island days, Mott recorded virtually everything they wrote, and seemed to spend any day they weren't gigging in the studio. Hence this CD which was a rag-tag collection of outtakes and demos from both the Island and CBS years.
Some of this material has, of course, been released commercially. Henry And The H-Bomb and Lounge Lizard were both included on Columbia's 1993 Ballad Of Mott: A Retrospective 2-CD set, so why include them here? And of course, Long Red, It'll Be Me, Baby's Got a Down and It Would Be A Pleasure have recently been released on Sony's Anthology. So too has All The Young Dudes in a sense, although the David Bowie guide vocal version is presented here complete, instead of being "morphed" with the final (single) version. The rest, however, are truly rare, but don't expect the sound quality (or, in some cases, the playing) to bowl you over.
Sunset Summer Nights is a complete mix of the song Buffin wrote to scare Ian into writing a "proper" farewell single. Buff's guide vocal, of course, contains nonsense lyrics (This is the third verse of the song/but I've got no words to go on... so I'll just mumble things instead). The Chosen Road is another complete mix, possibly an outtake from the first album. Sweet Jane is another demo from the Dudes sessions, this time with Lou Reed on vocals.
Whole Lotta Shaking, Your Cheating Heart, Another Country Song and What'd I Say are outtakes from the Hoople sessions. It is a jam, fuelled by drink, and the playing is most definitely not Mott at their best.
The three different versions of Saturday Gigs are interesting, and show the progression of Mott's final single from initial demo (with radically different lyrics) to a near-finished product. The third take has Bender on guitar, and was his last recording with the band.
The sound quality varies from OK to poor. Half the material here is available commercially, and half of what's left is almost unlistenable. The CD has been issued with minimal packaging; tape hiss abounds with no effort spent cleaning up the sound.
The sleeve notes are also poor, with no research whatsoever being done on the songs. Henry And The H-Bomb is a 1972 outtake (not 69!), I'll Tell You Something is actually Brian Parrish's (failed) audition for Mott (and not Ian on vocals!), It Would Be A Pleasure is a Mick Ralphs demo (not Ian!) and Baby's Got A Down is Ian on vocals (not Mick Ralphs).
Much of the material here has now been released commercially. Buy the official product and support the artist!