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Monday, January 16, 2017

Mott The Hoople - Two Miles From Heaven (1969-72 uk, tough classic rock with some glam shades, 2003 issue)



After British Lions broke up, Dale Griffin (and Morgan) went in the studios to put together this compilation of rare and unreleased Mott The Hoople material from Island's vaults.  Mott recorded virtually everything they wrote, and just about any day not spent gigging was spent in the studio.  As a result, there is a lot of unreleased (and unfinished) material in there.

What an absolute peach this collection is. Unreleased tracks, rare b-sides and early versions of songs that would be recorded later on... this album has long been sought after by fans,  and is now at long last available on CD.

It starts with a rare vocal version of the Kinks' You Really Got Me.  Next up is Ian's first stab at social commentary, Road To Birmingham which was the b-side to Rock And Roll Queen, Mott's first single.  Then there's the alternate version of Thunderbuck Ram, with Verden's organ featuring much higher in the mix.  The studio version of Keep a Knockin' is fast and furious, and an absolute belter.

Movin' On is next - slated for the original vinyl but withdrawn at the last minute is a medium-paced rocker that Mick Ralphs would eventually re-record with Bad Company.  Ride On The Sun is beautiful - this again would be re-recorded (as Sea Diver) later on - and is possibly one of Ian's best ballads. 

Growin' Man Blues is another fast rocker which I never grow tired of hearing.  Till I'm Gone is another ballad, beautifully sung by Mick Ralphs (for a version of him sharing the vocals with Ian, check out the Anthology).  One Of The Boys is an acoustic version of the song that would be re-recorded later on.  Black Scorpio (Momma's Little Jewel) is faster than the version that would be recorded for the Dudes album.

Two more bonus tracks close the album, The Debt (which was the b-side to Midnight Lady) and the non-LP single Downtown,  with Mick Ralphs again supplying the vocals for this Neil Young/Crazy Horse cover.

As always with Angel Air, packaging is excellent with excellent and informative sleeve notes by Dale Griffin. Sound quality throughout is excellent (a lot better than the original LP).  Strangely, tho' the running order on the Bald At The Station side is different from the original LP.  No matter - this is an important album in Mott's history.


Tracks
1. You Really Got Me (Ray Davies) 3.08
2. The Road to Birmingham (Ian Hunter) 3.30
3. Thunderbuck Ram (Mick Ralphs) 4.41
4. Going Home (Mick Ralphs) 3.00
5. Little Christine (Mick Ralphs) 3.06
6. Keep a Knockin' (Richard Penniman) 3.25
7. Black Hills (Mick Ralphs) 1.32
8. Movin' On (Mick Ralphs) 2.44
9. Ride On the Sun (Ian Hunter) 3.38
10.Growin' Man Blues (Ian Hunter) 2.46
11.Until I'm Gone (Mick Ralphs) 3.14
12.One of the Boys (Mick Ralphs, Ian Hunter) 4.19
13.Surfin' U.K. (Mick Ralphs) 2.37
14.Black Scorpio (Ian Hunter, Peter Overend Watts) 3.36
15.Ill Wind Blowing (Ian Hunter) 3.53
16.The Debt (Ian Hunter) 4.15
17.Downtown (Danny Whitten, Neil Young) 3.03

Mott The Hoople
Ian Hunter - Vocals, Piano, Guitar
Mick Ralphs - Guitar, Vocals
Peter Watts - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Dale Griffin - Drums
Verden Allen - Organ

1966/90  Doc Thomas Group And The Silence - The Italian Job / Shotgun Eyes
1969  Mott The Hoople - Mott The Hoople (2003 bonus tracks remaster)
1970  Mott The Hoople - Mad Shadows (2003 Extra Tracks Remaster)
1971  Mott The Hoople - Wildlife (2003 japan bonus tracks remaster)
1971  Mott The Hoople - Brain Capers (bonus tracks remaster)
1972  Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes (2006 bonus tracks remaster)
1973  Mott The Hoople - Mott (2006 remaster and expanded)
1974  Mott The Hoople - Hoople (2006 remaster and expanded)

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