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Mott the Hoople
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Mott the Hoople

Mott the Hoople were a popular 1970s rock and roll band that maintained a large audience without ever achieving mainstream success. Mick Ralphs, Verden Allen, Overend Pete Watts and Dale Griffin formed a band called Silence in 1968, playing near Hereford, England. After adding Stan Tippens in 1969, the band signed with Island Records and moved to London, England to record with Guy Stevens as producer.

Steven's changed the band's name to Mott the Hoople (taken from a Willard Manus novel). Tippens was soon fired, eventually becoming the road manager for the band; he was replaced by Ian Hunter. Mott the Hoople (1969) was a cult success that included memorable covers of "Laugh at Me" (Sonny Bono) and "You Really Got Me" (the Kinks). The second album, Mad Shadows (1970), sold poorly and received generally negative reviews, as did Wildlife (1971). Even with a large following, Brain Capers (1971) also did not do well and the band was close to breaking up. David Bowie managed to keep them together. He offered the band "Suffragette City" (off his then massively popular Ziggy Stardust), but Mott the Hoople refused and asked for "Drive-In Saturday" and eventually received "All the Young Dudes", an explicit homosexual anthem. The song was a major success in the United Kingdom. Allen left the band after All the Young Dudes and before the release of a concept album, Mott, which was quite successful.

Mott the Hoople's popularity helped lead to the band's break-up. Ralphs left in 1973 to form Bad Company; he was replaced by Ariel Bender. Morgan Fisher also joined as keyboardist. After The Hoople, a few live albums were released and Mick Ronson replaced Bender in 1974. Ronson and Hunter soon left the group to form a duo, while Ray Major and Nigel Benjamin were added to continue the group, which soon changed its name to Mott. After releasing a few failed albums, Mott added John Fiddler and became British Lions, soon to split up without any major success. Hunter and Ronson worked together until 1993, when Ronson died, after which Hunter began a solo career.

Mott The Hoople discography: Mott The Hoople (1969); Mad Shadows (1970); Wildlife (1971); Brain Capers (1971); All The Young Dudes (1972); Mott (1973); The Hoople (1974); Live (1974)

Mott discography: Shouting And Pointing; Drive On