MOTT THE HOOPLE Two Miles From Heaven (Angel Air SJPCD161) (2003)
After the release of "Brain Capers" Mott The Hoople decided (for many
different reasons) to split for the first time. It's not a secret
that they were one of the most hard-working bands in the history of
Rock music, which of course meant that there was plenty of unreleased
material lying around. Island records was aware of that and decided,
right after the band broke up, to release this collection called "Two
Miles From Heaven". If the question is "why should i buy this
collection?" the answer is simply because it contains plenty of
previous unreleased material with a great sound quality.
The first track of the album is a nice cover of the Kinks "You Really
Got Me". Then comes "The Road To Birmingham" which was a b-side from
their first ever single 'Rock N'Roll Queen'. "Thunderbuck Ram" is one
of my favourite MTH songs and i was happy to see that, in this
alternate version, Verden's Organ takes the lead. "Going Home" is a
classic Rock N' Roll track with an unusual riff and nice band
vocals. Things will slow down with "Little Christine", but only until
Penniman's rock n' roll anthem "Keep-A Knockin'" will shake your feet
for good (really love the piano on that song).
One thing I have to hand to Mick Ralphs is that he writes really nice melodies even for a
short song such as "Black Hills". Next comes "Moving On" a song which
was withdrawn at the very last minute. Ralphs later on re-recorded
the song with Bad Company.
One thing I really love about Mott TheHoople is their Piano tunes, so it wasn't so difficult to fall in
love with "Ride On The Sun", the best ballad Ian Hunter ever wrote!
After that it's time for another fast Rocker called "Growin' Man
Blues". Ian was not the only capable singer in the band and the
living proof is "Until I'm Gone" which is another great ballad. "One
of the Boys" is a song which was originally released many years after
this collection, but here an early acoustic version of the
song. "Surfin'UK" is another typical MTH song which didn't impress me
at all, something which didn't apply for "Black Scorpio" a song which
was later recorded for the Dudes album. The last song which belonged
in the original album is "(There's an) Ill Wind Blowing", another one
of Ian Hunter's great compositions.
There are also two bonus tracks in this CD: "The Debt" which was the
b-side to the single 'Midnight Lady' and a cover to "Downtown" which
was originally performed by Neil Young and the Crazy Horse.
This is another good release from Angel Air Records that not only the
Mott The Hoople fans must possess, but all of you who appreciate good
I am really happy to have this album in my collection.