Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Mott The Hoople unofficial CD: "Young Ginger and the Stick Insect"

Sleeve and track listing

Hiwatt MTH-002. (3 stars!)

  1. Long Red
  2. Thunderbuck Ram
  3. The Chosen Road
  4. Death May Be Your Santa Claus
  5. Baby's Got a Down On Me
  6. Laugh At Me
  7. Ohio
  8. Downtown
  9. The Debt
  10. Sea Diver
  11. I Can Feel
  12. When My Mind's Gone
  13. Wrath And Wroll
  14. Half Moon Bay


This, the second in the "Guy Stevens" series, is altogether a more mixed bag than its predecessor (Hoopling Furiously). It is culled from various sources and keeps mostly to Island-era material.

Long Red opens the proceedings. Its of better quality than on Very Sticky Fingers, but a tape glitch still mars things somewhat. It has, in any case, since appeared on the Anthology in sterling sound quality. Thunderbuck Ram is next, and is altogether more interesting, it being a different mix from both the official Mad Shadows release and the Two Miles From Heaven recording. Phally's organ is well up in the mix, but another tape glitch again spoils things somewhat. The Chosen Road is next, and quality is pretty good. It is obviously a demo (from the Mad Shadows sessions), as Ian has only a few of the words worked out, but is otherwise complete - its a shame it wasn't on the box set. Death May Be Your Santa Claus is an alternate take from the Brain Capers version, and is of noticeably lower quality than on the Anthology. Ditto Baby's Got A Down On Me (aka Moonbus, also on the Anthology). That said, quality here is still better than on Very Sticky Fingers.

Next is a live version of Laugh At Me, recorded at the Fillmore East in 1970. Considering it is an audience recording, the quality isn't too bad, although obviously not a patch on a commercial recording. A live version of Ohio is next, again taken from an audience recording at the Fillmore East, this time in 1971. The arrangement is pretty much identical to the Croydon version on the Anthology, and the quality isn't too bad considering the age of the recording. Downtown is Mott The Hoople's rare third single and suffers somewhat from being taken from an obviously well worn 45. Ditto The Debt (which was the flip-side to Midnight Lady). Both are, of course, available in A+ quality on the Anthology. Sea Diver is also a live version, recorded at the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia and so is also available in better quality on the Stockholm To Philadelphia set.

I Can Feel is interesting, as it is from a live (audience) recording in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1970. Again it is of average quality. When My Mind's Gone is from a BBC John Peel show, and is very hissy. The poor quality aside, it is none the less priceless in terms of rarity value. The set finishes with a lengthy Half Moon Bay, recorded at the Fillmore West in 1970. For an audience recording the quality is quite good, and the result is eminently listenable. The CD tray liner claims Wrath And Wroll precedes Half Moon Bay, but this is incorrect. A lengthy jam, yes, so you may want to call it Rabbit Foot... (just as on the first album).

To summarise: not as essential a purchase as Hoopling Furiously, but a very worthy purchase none-the-less.