CD / DVD / Film / Music

MOTT THE HOOPLE – The Whole Story

reviewed by Craig Gilbert | Friday, January 8th, 2010

The Whole StoryMott The Hoople is one of those bands that people hear the name, know the name, and recognize them for the tune “All The Young Dudes” and maybe, just maybe the rockin’ song “All The Way From Memphis.” This DVD may get you to actually search the interweb or go on the YouTube to look for stuff by these totally underrated rock pioneers. Hell. That’s where I’m headed right now to find deeper tracks and whatever video I can find on ’em.

Label ’em “classic rock,” label ’em “old,” label ’em “pub rock,” label ’em “proto-punk” (but don’t label ’em “glam” or “glitter”), pffft…whatever. These dudes just flat-out rocked. Pint-raising, straight up rock and roll for the working yobs. This disc gives you the all-out history of the band from day one to the end and beyond.

Mott were swagger, no frills rock and roll. Period. They could get all hard-edged, Chuck Berry chord-based punchy rock on your ass one minute, making you smile and drink and bob your head with your mates — and then slowly pull out your guts with a ballad of unmasked emotion and not come off as a group of total simps. Just real and true working class guys who played in a “your level” band.

The DVD has lots of memories and recollections from interviews with those closest to the band like, well, the band themselves, engineers and producers of albums by the band, and fans of the band including Mick Jones of Clash fame, and many music journalists.

Lots of video and film of the band from their very start, up through their acquiring Ian Hunter as their singer, through the burnout of constant touring and putting out four full-lengths in two years, their resurgence and rebirth after recording the David Bowie (a big fan) song “All The Young Dudes,” and the eventual stardom and break-up. Although, for as much video interviews there are and dudes chatting up about Mott, their greatness and the history and personal Mott moments (and all that shit is really cool), there wasn’t anywhere near enough footage of the freakin’ band.

I mean, these guys were known in the day for their adrenaline-fueled stage show with them just rocking the fuck out, and there are only snippets of any live Mott. How can a band that did tunes like “All The Way From Memphis” or “Walkin’ With a Mountain” (songs that are 40 years old and still kick you in the yam bag) get only bits and pieces of eye-time? How can a band that reportedly did 20-minute covers of “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks and added a whole new dimension to that tune have 20 seconds of their take on that Davies Brothers song in a disc about them?

I dunno, man.

The disc s fine overall; a solid little documentary bit. It was released prior to this version as Mott The Hoople: Under Review. But this version has a second CD disc of about an hour of audio interviews with the band. Disc two makes this awesome for those of us folks who belong to the Mott Lot…mildly interesting or downright boring for us folks with minor, little, or no fucking clue about the band. A fine watch, but man, if there were more live footage? It totally would have killed.

(Music Video Distributors, PO Box 280, Oaks, PA 19456)