I’ll dedicate this one to the memory of Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Buffin Griffin and David Bowie, both of whom passed away earlier this year. Bowie was an early fan of the group and upon hearing of an impending break-up penned their biggest hit, “All The Young Dudes” for them (he also offered them “Suffragette City” which they turned down). Why the album of the same name was selected over this one I’m not sure. If I was going to pick an album from Mott The Hopple that would’ve been my choice. Granted that was based solely on looking forward to hearing “All The Young Dudes” (the song), since it’s really the only thing I knew about Mott The Hoople. However this album has a place in both the book and Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list. It took quite a while to find a copy. Adding to the difficulty in tracking it down was the cover as the one pictured in the book is the UK version while the US version features a photo of the band. I found the 2006 version of the album, with 4 bonus tracks, at Princeton Record Exchange for $4.99. I knew I had the right album; I just wasn’t sure about the artwork. I’m sure the UK version was a die-cut gatefold which featured a different photo of the band in a Roman bust’s outline. Unlike many re-issues this one does not feature that artwork anywhere. It does include a short essay and lyrics for the album tracks but not the bonus tracks. I found the lyric “I changed my name in search of fame to/find the Midas touch/I wish I never wanted then what I want now/twice as much” in “The Ballad of Mott The Hoople (26th March 1972 Zurich)” to be an instant favorite as Ian Hunter examines the group’s fortunes and the nature of fame. He does that repeatedly throughout the album, as the back cover states: “…Mott also showcased the songwriting abilities of Ian Hunter, whose honest lyrical observations on the brutal nature of the record business and the absurdity of fame were fused to sympathetic arrangements and performed wonderfully by the four piece band.” The group is also aided by Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay on saxophone on a pair of tracks. Guitarist Mick Ralphs gets to shine on “I’m A Cadillac/El Camino Dolo Roso” showing off the riffs and style he would take to Bad Company following his departure from Mott after this album. It wasn’t a bad listen but it’s not one I think I’ll be playing often either.