9 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The cover of 1970’s Wildlife—Mott the Hoople’s third Atlantic Records album in two years—depicts a kind of glam version of The Band, all woodsy and autumnal in woolen coats, scarves, hats, and shags. And the music itself features organs, pianos, and acoustic and pedal steel guitars. While that might seem strange for one of England’s most exciting rock ’n’ roll bands of the era, Mott was merely revealing its growing admiration for the soul and country music of the American South, especially on “Original Mixed Up Kid,” “It Must Be Love," and “Home Is Where I Want to Be.” Singer Ian Hunter’s drop-dead-lovely “Angel of Eight Avenue” shows deep empathy for its subject (written on Mott’s first visit to New York City), and he documents a painful divorce on the haunting and string-lush “Waterlow.” (It’s easy to hear why Hunter considers the latter his finest composition.) “Whiskey Women” (about Mott’s L.A. debut at the Whiskey a Go Go), “Wrong Side of the River," and a rousing cover of Melanie’s “Lay Down” keep Mott’s original Stones–meets–Jerry Lee Lewis template intact. Nice.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The cover of 1970’s Wildlife—Mott the Hoople’s third Atlantic Records album in two years—depicts a kind of glam version of The Band, all woodsy and autumnal in woolen coats, scarves, hats, and shags. And the music itself features organs, pianos, and acoustic and pedal steel guitars. While that might seem strange for one of England’s most exciting rock ’n’ roll bands of the era, Mott was merely revealing its growing admiration for the soul and country music of the American South, especially on “Original Mixed Up Kid,” “It Must Be Love," and “Home Is Where I Want to Be.” Singer Ian Hunter’s drop-dead-lovely “Angel of Eight Avenue” shows deep empathy for its subject (written on Mott’s first visit to New York City), and he documents a painful divorce on the haunting and string-lush “Waterlow.” (It’s easy to hear why Hunter considers the latter his finest composition.) “Whiskey Women” (about Mott’s L.A. debut at the Whiskey a Go Go), “Wrong Side of the River," and a rousing cover of Melanie’s “Lay Down” keep Mott’s original Stones–meets–Jerry Lee Lewis template intact. Nice.

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