A's, B's and Rarities

A's, B's and Rarities

As obscure as it was (and still is) in America, the London-based bubble-glam quartet Mud was a household name in England for a few years. The compilation A’s, B’s and Rarities is proof that Mud released some bona fide gems in the early '70s. Recorded in 1972 but not released until 1975, the opening tune, “Last Tango in London,” immediately lets you know what kind of glitter rock lies ahead. With searing guitar leads, flawless androgynous vocal harmonies, and a boogie-centric rhythm section, Mud took to glam like the offspring of Sweet and T. Rex. Both “Crazy” and its 1973 b-side, “Do You Love Me,” throw down Slade-esque grooves (most noticeably the latter, with a bouncing boogie-woogie piano and heavy bellbottomed strut). “Hypnosis” is another early ear-grabber that stomps with handclap percussion, while “Last Tango in London” sounds like an unearthed nugget from Roy Wood’s side of The Move. The buttery pedal steel notes melting over the Elvis Presley–inspired “Hula Love” stand out like the most beautiful of sore thumbs.

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