You are here

Number 244

Mott the Hoople - Mad Shadows (Island Records ILPS 9119)

Mott the Hoople's 'difficult' second LP turned out to be possibly the band's best album in retrospect. Legend has it that its original title was Sticky Fingers but messers Jagger and Richards beat them to it with their own album release, which the Stones were working on in the studio next door. Mad Shadows was their second choice of title, a term borrowed from a poem by Baudelaire, which was perfectly matched by the monochrome artwork. Like most albums discovered around this time, it was through the sampler format that I first became aware of both the album and the band, in this case the double Island compilation Bumpers. When I saw the band at Doncaster Top Rank in the early 1970s, the band were currently riding on the success of All the Young Dudes, and I distinctly recall Ian Hunter's on-stage proclamation "There's only two rock and roll bands in the world; The Rolling Stones and us!" which was probably not the case. However, I was moved to call out for Thunderbuck Ram, the opening song from the album, to which an older fan standing next to me said "I don't think they'll be doing that one anymore." The band had already adopted the Glam Rock tenets and the Mad Shadows era had passed.