Mott The Hoople - Wildlife

Mott The Hoople - Wildlife

Follow the angel...


1. Whisky Woman 2. Angel Of Eighth 3. Wrong Side Of  4. Waterlow 5. Lay Down 6. It Must Be Love
7. Original Mixed 8. Home Is Where 9. Keep ’A’ Knockin


10. It’ll Be Me 11. Long Red

Work on Mott’s third album began in earnest at Island’s Basing Street Studios on the 16th November 1969 where they recorded two tracks; Mick Ralphs’ ‘Home Is Where I Want To Be’ and the Ian Hunter-penned ‘Growing Man Blues.’ “‘Home’ is my favourite track on ‘Wildlife,’ Ian Hunter told ZigZag magazine at the time of the album’s release. “We all had our own little parts on it - like Phally’s organ is beautiful. Mick writes some great songs. It was written about Bromyard (where Mick comes from). I think that Mick would sometimes really love to just go home, but he’s a musician and so it’s a question of ambition against environment.

Mott The Hoople’s experiences on their first US Tour in the Spring of 1970 resulted in a number of songs being written including Mick Ralphs’ ‘Whisky Women,’ the haunting ‘Angel of Eighth Avenue.’ Talking to ZigZag at the time, Ian Hunter recalls the inspiration behind the song. “The first time we went to the States, I met this chick who weighed 6 stone 2 and was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life. She came from the Bronx; her old man was a swine, her mother was a drunk and her sister was a whore and she was working in a bank and was determined to pull through - and it was taking all the strength in her little body. I had to go away for three days, and then it worked out that we had to come back to New York for just one hour before flying off to Georgia for the Atlanta Pop Festival, and in that one hour she came across to see me. Well, there was this amazing chemistry between us.”

‘Wildlife’ was released by Island Records on 19th March, 1971 in a gatefold sleeve. (At an early stage, the album was to have been titled ‘Original Mixed Up Mott.’) It entered the UK album charts on the 17th April, where it stayed for two weeks, peaking at number 44. The album’s inner gatefold was a live colour photo of Mott The Hoople from the Croydon show, while the front and back of the album was another colour photo of the band looking windswept and interesting in woodland up in County Durham. I guess the concept, if there was one, was that both photos showed ‘wildlife’ in its natural habitat.’

Following the release of the album, the band quickly returned to what they knew best - the road. Although a couple of the quieter songs from ‘Wildlife’ were included in the set, they were very soon replaced by newer, harder edged material. Again, there was that strange paradox; live, the band were a huge success, playing to sell-out venues all over the country. The stage was set for the recording of what was to become Mott The Hoople’s swansong for Island Records, the flawed but essential ‘Brain Capers.’



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