|Mott the Hoople|
Years: 1969 - 1976
Styles: Country, Folk, Glam Rock, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Mick Ralphs - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1973)
Verden Allen - Backing vocals, Keyboards, Organ (in band: 1969-1972)
Ian Hunter - Guitar, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1969-1974)
Pete "Overend" Watts - Backing vocals, Bass Guitar, Guitar (in band: 1969-1976)
Dale "Buffin" Griffin - Backing vocals, Drums (in band: 1969-1976)
Mick Bolton - Backing vocals, Hammond organ, Yamaha organ (in band: 1973)
Luther Grosvenor - Backing vocals, Guitar, Slide guitar (in band: 1973-1974)
Morgan Fisher - Backing vocals, Keyboards (in band: 1973-1976)
Mick Ronson - Backing vocals, Guitar (in band: 1974)
Mott the Hoople formed in Hereford, England, Jun ’69 by Overend Watts, Dale Griffin, Verden Allen and Mick Ralphs, who were part of The Shakedown Sound with singer Stan Tippoins. With new manager and producer Guy Stevens placing an ad in a music paper, the group found a replacement frontman in Ian Hunter (he had once guest on a 45 by Charlie Wolfe).
Naming themselves Mott the Hoople (after a novel by Willard Manus), they signed to Chris Bleckwell’s burgeoning Island label. Their eponymous debut gained a minor chart placing, the record introducing Hunter’s bluesy Dylan-esque delivery over a tentative set of earthy rock’n’roll. Although three more lacklustre albums were completed in quick succession, the group split in 1972 after the last of them, „Brain Capers” failed to match its predecessors’Top 50 status.
Fortunately for them, a young David Bowie was re-establishing himself in the songwriting stakles, the ascending glamster offering the band a lifeline in the form „All the Young Dudes”. Securing a new contract with C.B.S., Mott the Houple roared into the UK Top 3 with a new lease of life, although Verden had departed soon after the recording of the similarily-titled hit parent album. Using the glam rock craze as their launch pad, the band straddled the widening gap between the teen-pop marked and the college circut. A trio of Top 20 hits in 1973, „Honaloochie Boogie”, „All the Way From Memphis” and „Roll Away The Stone” proved that the group were no overnight sensations, although the last of these had been recorded without Ralphs who joined Bad Company.
Together with Verden’s deputy Mick Bolton, he was replaced by Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher, two veterans of the British music scene. Releasing „The Hoople” album as follow-up to 1973’s „Mott”, the band once again hit the UK and US charts, although the critical tide was turning against glam and everyone connected with it (i.e. Sweet, Slade, Glitter, Quatro, etc). With Bender (aka Luther Grosvenor) opting to join heavyweights Widowmaker, the band (with ex-Bowie sidekick, Mick Ronson, now taking on guitar duties) also opted for a harder-edged direction after a single, „Saturday Gigs”, failed to scrape into the Top 40.
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