The biggest disappointment in the musical career of Mott the Hoople was that they disintegrated right at the moment when they found success. Overall, the English rock band created a legacy that would influence many bands that followed for decades. From the onset, Mott Hoople’s prospects never seemed to be bright at all. In fact, the band had already broken up even before signing their first recording contract. The group first attracted the attention of Guy Stevens of Island Records in 1968 when they were known as Silence. During that time, Stan Tippens was their lead singer, something that Guy Stevens didn’t like. Tippins would later assume the role of road manager after being replaced by Ian Hunter. Guy Stevens also suggested that the band change their name to Mott the Hoople — a contemporary novel written by Willard Manus. The band released their debut album in 1969 titled Mott the Hoople.
With Ian Hunter as the songwriter and on the vocals, the band’s sound attracted attention from hard rockers for its blend of Bob Dylan and Ian Hunter’s nasal vocals. In September 1970, the band released their second album Mad Shadows, which received average commercial and critical ratings. The band had to change their style to a country-rock style in their next album, Wildlife, released in 1971. With their record label unhappy with the commercial performance of the first three albums, the band decided to go back to their hard-rocking musical style with the release of Brain Capers. Although the album had an edge similar to England’s first huge punk band, “Sex Pistols,” the band had already started to disband.
However, David Bowie requested them not to separate and even gave them a song he had written and even offering to produce their next album. Working with Bowie helped the band to find a new level of success. Despite the success, the band would witness several lineup changes, and by 1978, the band had disintegrated entirely. Although the band’s success was spread over a short period, they have influenced numerous performers and bands nearly two decades after their break up. Therefore, it is safe to say that Mott the Hoople’s legacy outlasted their brief moment in the spotlight. In this article, we will look at some of Mott Hoople’s greatest songs of all time.
10. Drivin Sister
Starting us off in our list of top Mott the Hoople songs is the perfect car song, “Drivin Sister.” The track is contained in the band’s sixth studio album, which was released in 1973. The lyrics of the song prove that it is a car song with it referencing the in-car-8-track machine. Ian Hunter and Mick Ralph wrote the song.
9. I Wish I Was Your Mother
The last song in the band’s 1973 album Mott contained the classic song, “I Wish I Was Your Mother.” The song displayed the incredible talent of Mick Ralph on multiple stringed instruments, and Ian Hunter held Bob Dylan in high esteem. While this song has not been as popular as other songs, such as “All The Young Dudes,” it has proved to be quite indelible with covers by Dramarama and Alejandro Escovedo.
8. Hymn for the Dudes
“Hymn for the Dudes” was a song similar to “All The Young Dudes,” released right after their breakthrough album, written and produced by David Bowie. This song is considered a timeless classic by many Mott the Hoople fans. It’s a pity that the band split too early.
7. The Golden Age of Rock n Roll
“The Golden Age of Rock n Roll” was written by Ian Hunter, and the track was released in 1974 from the album The Hoople. The song peaked at position 64 in Canada and was one of only three songs released by the band to hit the Billboard Hot 100.
6. All the Way From Memphis
Many people believe that this song could have been based on actual circumstances that surrounded Mick Ralphs. It is about a musician who walks halfway to Memphis before realizing that he doesn’t have his guitar. Once he gets it back after a month, he is scolded by a stranger for not taking good care of his guitar. The song has been featured in movies such as “Breaking The Waves” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here.”
5. Roll Away The Stone
“Roll Away The Stone” signified the peak of Mott the Hoople’s era of commercial success. The track sounded like a celebration of the band’s achievements after linking up with Bowie. While many people pointed out that the main riff resembled The Beatles in their song “ While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Mick Ralphs, the band’s guitarist, said that any similarity was accidental. The track was featured in the film “The Diary of A Teenage Girl” and was also used as background music for the BBC TV Series, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years.
4. Crash Street Kids
Mott the Hoople’s 1974 hit album had several classics. However, “Crash Street Kids” happens to be a favorite for many fans of the band. Listening to this track helps you appreciate the role of Mott the Hoople in punk. The song contains an aggressive hardcore style with lyrics that have so much depth.
3. Saturday Gigs
Ian Hunter was not only a great vocalist, but he was also a great songwriter. Unfortunately, “Saturday Gigs” was one of the last few singles Ian Hunter recorded with the band before leaving. The song reached position 41 on the UK Singles Chart and was often played towards the end of the band’s reunion concerts.
2. One of the Boys
The collaboration between Bowie and Mott the Hoople came when the band was on the verge of breaking up. When Bowie stepped in, the band unlocked a new level of success. With the song running for close to seven minutes, it is one of the longest songs on the album.
1. All The Young Dudes
The top song in our list of the best Mott the Hoople songs is the hit song “All The Young Dudes.” The song was written by David Bowie and given to Mott the Hoople after they had rejected “Suffragette City,” the initial track given to them. The song took position 253 in the list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time produced by Rolling Stone. The glam-rock song, which contains suicide references that talk to an imaginary audience, peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and position 37 on The US Billboard Hot 100.