Mott the Hoople appeared to be on top of the world on March 29, 1974, as they followed the unqualified triumph of the previous year Mott with their inevitably named seventh album, The hoop. But, sadly, beneath the quintet’s shimmering glam surface, things weren’t quite as sparkling as they looked.
While David Bowie’s gifted hit “All the Young Dudes” had effectively saved the band from oblivion two years ago, a subsequent fall-out with their fan and benefactor revealed that some of the band weren’t quite right. comfortable with the attributes of celebrity, which turned out to be almost as taxing as the starvation required to get there. Indeed, this contradiction is so deep in the identity of Mott the Hoople that not even a Top 10 Mott could cover up the fact that this was a group living on borrowed time.
Sure enough, by the end of the year, growing disillusion had driven organist Verden Allen and guitarist Mick Ralphs from the band (the latter of course enjoyed even greater success with Bad Company), forcing frontman Ian Hunter, bassist Peter âOverendâ Watts and drummer Dale âBuffinâ Griffin will look to replace keyboardist Morgan Fisher and former Spooky Tooth guitarist Ariel Bender (aka Luther Grosvenor).
Such was Mott’s momentum, however, that the years 1974 The hoop Immediately rose to No. 11 on the UK charts and fared even better than its predecessor in the US (No.28 vs. No.35), perfectly masking the problems looming.
But then good music will do that, right? And one would have to be perceptive enough to note the subtle signs of split personality separating uniformly stellar offerings like “The Golden Age of Rock and Roll“, “Crash Street Kids” and “Pearl ‘n’ Roy” (who tried to extend Mott’s adopted the glam rock combinations) of “Marionette”, “Born Late ’58” and “Roll Away the Stone” (which reflected the group’s hard rock and blue collar origins).
This creative split was already well underway, as by the end of the year the leader of the Hunter group was gone, first to work with former Mars Spider Mick Ronson (who had briefly deputized for Mott for the already departed Bender. ), then to launch a solo career. This state of affairs convinced the mess now happening for Mott the Hoople to shorten their name to simply Mott, and to try in vain to continue with replacements, but it goes without saying that they were never taken again. completely seriously.
Who leaves everything The hoop as their last burst of fame and, if they represent the last laugh of the band, there’s no doubt that they came out on a high.