Mott – Drive On (1975)

FrontCover1After the departure of Ian Hunter, the remaining members of Mott the Hoople were cast adrift. Sadness and frustration were everywhere. The group had to cancel a tour due to Hunter’s departure, and lost considerable money. Bassist Overend Watts once said, “that was the tour where we were going to FINALLY be in to some money.” But despair and adversity were nothing new to Mott the Hoople; they had struggled for fame and (more importantly) artistic recognition for years. They eventually made it, with top 20 singles and worldwide fame and recognition. But it was all so very short-lived. A reformed version of the group seemed like a great idea. Using his publishihg royalties, Overend Watts “floated” the new group until the album was released. The album, “Drive On,” shows the new group with a very different sound-harder, more aggressive. Overend Watts wrote most of the songs, and despite his own misgivings about his songwriting ability, they are good songs.

Booklet01AThe abscence of Hunter made other members of the group more inclined to write songs, and the feel of the album is much different. It didn’t go over well in America. American audiences, five years (at least) behind what was going on in the music world, were expecting more “All the Young Dudes,” and were not interested in a group not fronted by the sunglass-shaded leader. “Drive On” captures styles and sounds totally different from Mott’s “Hoople” days, and shows that the band was totally unique. This too contributed to the relative failure of this album in the American charts. MOTT, as the group renamed itself, acquired the sterling vocals of Nigel Benjamin, and the agile guitar of Ray Major, along with the flawless support of Watts, Dale Griffin (drums) and Morgan Fisher (keyboards). From the CD, I suggest you try “By Tonight,” “Monte Carlo,” and “The Great White Wail” (a stunning example of heavy metal music). Mott was a good, tight, and professional sounding band. They had a lot to offer, and this first album is full of optimism and hope. It is a testament to the group’s abilities to make the best of Ian Hunter’s departure. It illustrates blatantly that Hunter was not the only talented songwriter in Mott. I highly recommend it. (by Eric Hemphill)

And you´ll hear on this album 2 killer songs: “Love Now” and “The Great White Wail”

Nigel Benjamin (vocals, guitar)
Morgan Fisher (keyboards, synthesizer)
Dale “Buffin” Griffin (drums, vocals, percussion)
Ray Major (vocals, guitar, slide guitar)
Pete Overend Watts (vocals, bass)

01. By Tonight (Watts) 3.46
02. Monte Carlo (Watts) 4.35
03. She Does It (Watts) 3.26
04. I’ll Tell You Something (Watts) 4.30
05. Stiff Upper Lip (Watts) 4.30
06. Love Now (Watts) 2.45
07. Apologies (Major) 0.50
08. The Great White Wail (Watts) 5.06
09. Here We Are (Watts) 5.25
10. It Takes One To Know One (Griffin) 4.30
11. I Can Show You How It Is (Watts/Griffin) 2.30