Angel Air SJPCD159.
1 - bonus track on Angel Air reissue
A much lighter album than Mad Shadows, Mott recorded this over a relatively long period (September to November 1970). Self-produced, it is the only Mott album where Mick Ralphs songs predominate. It shows his Neil Young country influences on tracks like Wrong Side Of The River and It Must Be Love. It is also the first album to demonstrate Ian Hunter's ability to write killer ballads in Angel Of Eighth Avenue and Waterlow.
The original album closed with a live recording of the Little Richard standard Keep A Knockin', the sole (at the time) remnant of an attempted live album. Mott are in full flow here, and by all accounts blew headliners Free off the stage that night.
The remastering has given Mick Ralphs' guitar extra bite in Whiskey Women, as well as giving an increased sense of urgency to the Melanie cover Lay Down. Sound quality is excellent, and the bonus tracks (previously available on 1998's Anthology) don't seem out of place. Sleeve notes by Keith Smith are excellent.
There are slight differences in the sleeves, both between the original LP and the original (US) CD, and the latest (UK) CD. On the original LP, the title and band name are in white letters; this has changed to yellow letters for the US CD. For the reissue, the letters are again white, but the order is now band name and then title.Adrian Perkins