Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Mott The Hoople unofficial CD: "The Wild Side of Live"

Sleeve and track listing

Hiwatt MTH-003. (3.5 stars!)

  1. Angel Of Eighth Avenue
  2. It'll Be Me
  3. Walkin' With A Mountain
  4. Whiskey Women
  5. Darkness Darkness
  6. No Wheels To Ride
  7. Rock and Roll Queen
  8. At The Crossroads
  9. Keep a Knockin'/What'd I Say
  10. Thunderbuck Ram
  11. Laugh At Me
  12. You Really Got Me


Some unofficial recordings have it, and some don't. This one has definitely got "it". Two great sets recorded at the legendary Fillmore West venue in San Francisco in 1970 and 1971, showing just what a great live band Mott The Hoople were.

The sound quality varies throughout, from the good (especially the first few tracks) to the poor (Thunderbuck Ram especially), but never mind that, it's the quality of the performance that counts. Angel Of Eighth Avenue is as hauntingly beautiful as It'll Be Me is aggressive. Ian berates the audience for sitting on their hands at the start of Walkin' With a Mountain - maybe they got up after that? The piano on No Wheels To Ride sounds tinny (this was 1970, when electric pianos were in their infancy) - indeed, the sound quality from hereon in is a notch or two down (not that you'd mind, as the performance is brutal).

Rock 'n' Roll Queen is as frantic as always, as is Keep a Knockin. You Really Got Me, which closes this collection, is a lengthy (12 minutes or so) instrumental (I hesitate to say "jam"). The final three tracks could possibly have been taken from a different performance from tracks 5 to 9, judging from the sound, but no matter. This was Mott's first US tour, and Ian admits to being somewhat in awe of some of the acts headlining over them. From a historical standpoint, therefore, these are significant performances and it is good that they've seen the light of day (albeit in "unofficial" form).

The tray liner claims tracks 1-4 were recorded 9th July 1970, with tracks 5-12 10th July 1970. I think this is incorrect - tracks 1-4 are almost certainly 3-6 June 1971. A minor quibble aside, this is a great live set that deserves an official release. Indeed, since this review was written it has indeed been released officially as Live Fillmore West. Recommended.