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MOTT THE HOOPLE ‘Two Miles From Heaven’ (Angel Air SJPCD161) (2003)

Mott The Hoople

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 Next comes "Moving On" a song which was withdrawn at the very last minute.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 music.

I am really happy to have this album in my collection.

Label website

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Review by John Stefanis

Buy this CD

© 2003 All rights reserved.

Wrong Side Of The River
© 2003 Angel Air Records. All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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