Mott The Hoople - Mad Shadows

Mott The Hoople - Mad Shadows

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1. Thunderbuck Ram 2. No Wheels To Ride 3. You Are One Of  Us 4. Walkin With A Mountain 5. I Can Feel
6. Threads Of Iron 7. When My Minds Gone


8. It Would Be A Pleasure 9. How Long? (Death May Be Your Santa Claus)

The six month period following the release of ‘Mott The Hoople’ in November 1969 found the band working at a ferocious pace, averaging over twenty gigs a month. Despite their initial lack of confidence in front of an audience, Mott The Hoople were slowly, but surely, building a fearsome reputation as a dynamite live attraction - a ranting, raucous, raving, riotous, rip-roaring, and above all, real, rock’n’roll band. Although sales of ‘Mott The Hoople’ were unremarkable, Island Records were keen to get the band back into the studio to capture the next stage of their development. Mott The Hoople began working on their second album almost as soon as the first was on the streets.

The recording of Mott The Hoople’s second album turned out to be a long, drawn out, tortuous affair. While some recording had been done in November, the band spent December 1969 and January 1970 pretty much on the road in the UK (apart from rehearsals and recording demos). The bulk of the material for the new album was taped intermittently during February, March and April 1970 and Ian Hunter does not have great memories of recording the album. “It was recorded over a period of about six months, although we only had about eight or nine sessions in the studio. We had a very heavy work schedule and just had to fit it in when we could.

“We would have liked to continue in the vein of the first album,” said Ian Hunter at the time. “But Island had seen what happened at live gigs when we did ‘Rock And Roll Queen,’ and they told us we had to get more rock’n’roll.” To try and somehow capture that raw essence of Mott The Hoople on tape, Guy insisted on recording the band live in the studio. With Guy, the sound had to be there. It didn’t matter to him if the resultant track had rough edges; as long as it had the required feel, it was O.K. So the album was recorded totally live - mistakes and all.

With the album now complete, it was time to find a title. ‘Meanwhile Steve Winwood’s long-awaited solo debut was to be ‘Mad Shadows,’ but when Winwood reunited with his old buddies in Traffic, his attention turned to another project, ‘John Barleycorn.’ Mott The Hoople, now seeing Winwood’s original title going free, immediately grabbed it for their own, So ‘Mad Shadows’ it was then and its title could not have been more appropriate. ‘Mad Shadows’ was a dark, unsettling work with a desperate edge which seemed to perfectly sum up a pretty turbulent period of emotional instability in Mott’s life.



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