The Light & Dark of Mott
PHILIP S WOLF | SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA. USA | 10/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mott the Hoople had gone through some changes since Forming in June 1969. They recorded the 1st Album, were introduced to their Producer-To-Be: Guy Stevens. And played ton's of Live Gigs in England and Europe to live out the Rock 'N Roll Dream to ever increasing Crowds. The Recording sessions for "Mad Shadows" began in Feb 1970. Well, the First MTH Record was quite good, and Mott The Hoople showed the promise of greater things to come, and one of the Greater things that happened was this Second Album: "Mad Shadows".
Things begin with "Thunderbuck Ram" one of the best songs ever written by Guitarist Mick Ralphs. This opener sets the tone for the album as an whole, as they had already shown on stage Mott came to Rock and they Rock hard here with a million electric guitars, in a word POWER...Next up Ian Hunter's Ballad "No Wheels To Ride" with that BIG organ of Verden Allen and Punchy Bass Guitar of one Mr. Pete Overend Watts and the Fade-Out Solo by the Ralpher is KILLER...Track No. 3 is the uplifting Hunter Ditty "You Are One Of Us" and Great Piano & a bit of Acoustic Guitar are heard as well as are those Power Guitars...Nice. To End the first side comes "Walkin' With A Mountian" the Best known tune on "Shadows" it's just a Rock 'N Roll song, and was a Highlight of MTH Concerts for the next four years...Classic, Mott the Hoople...Classic.
"I Can Feel" a Mick Ralphs tune gently opens side two, with Ian singing at his best here, this is holds up well after all these years. This is CHURCH kids...real pretty, and has some real sweet Guitar by the Ralpher thrown in to Boot. For just a Second Record this Band was Really on Top Of Their Game! Then comes "Threads Of Iron" a haunting number featuring Ian & Mick sharing Vocal Duties, it goes and goes and gets crazy towards the end and then we are left to: "When My Minds Gone" . Welcome to Stoner's Hell, Ian sounds like he is having a nervious breakdown on this one, and I believe HE DID... This Great Song STILL gives me Shivers....Great Closer to a Great Record, Now Remastered and sounding Bigger & Clearer. As a Bonus to this Re-Issue of this Classic, Two Extra Tracks have been added: "It Would Be A Pleasure" a Country Romp from Mick Ralphs that would've sounded good on the Third Album "Wildlife". "How Long" is an early take of "Death May Be Your Santa Claus" that turns up on "Brain Capers" the Fantastic Fourth Release: "Brain Capers".
Mott the Hoople was one of the best in an era of Greats, (1969-1974) and this little CD called "Mad Shadows" is Evidence of that in Spades...Four Stars."
Greg N | Sewell, NJ | 11/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mott The Hoople have always been one of the best rock bands out there, despite being overlooked and this album proves it. Mott's debut album was very good, but had dissappointing album sales unlike that of their live shows, which gave then producer Guy Stevens the idea to record a "live in the studio" album. The result is this, the very dark, yet powerful Mad Shadows. It gets off to a great rocking start with Thunderbuck Ram, one of the best songs Mick Ralphs has ever written (He also sings lead here). From there we move into another powerful song, No Wheels To Ride, featuring some great organ from Verden Allen, which is then followed nicely by You Are One Of Us. The album then moves into the live concert staple and other out and out rocker Walkin With A Mountain. From there we have I Can Feel, a bit of a slower song, but still excellent, and then into Threads Of Iron, another Ralphs penned song that shines among his best work. The album closes out with When My Mind's Gone, a stream of consciousness song Ian Hunter was prompted by Guy Stevens to make up on the spot, the result is a great closer. Overall, the album features some excellent playing from all members here, whether it be Mick's beautiful guitar playing, Overend's crunchy bass, Buffins thundering drums, Verden's harmonic organ, or Hunters pounding piano, and raw powerful vocals. Despite what many think, I love the feel this album has to it and I think Hunters vocals here are great. My only complaint would have to be Stevens letting a few songs fade out to early, after all its not like this album is very long, for instance on No Wheels To Ride, they sound like there really getting into a jam, and it cuts off, makes me wonder what the rest of it sounded like. Another thing that makes this great is that all the songs are originals by the band themselves, no covers here, and it makes it flow great (although, every cover Mott did always came out excellent). If you don't have it, go out and get this album!"
One of the best
Jim Z | 11/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off , I'll tell you Mott / Ian Hunter are one of my personal faves. That being said , note for note , this is my fave MTH disc. Frantic , manic , schizophrenic and VERY dark , "Mad Shadows: , the sophomore recording from MTH holds up 37+ years after release. For people just discovering MTH , chose "Mott" or "All The Young Dudes" first , then you will be able to truly appreciate what a GREAT work this is."