Hoopling: Best of Live

by: Mott the Hoople

The idea behind this collection was a bit odd: to take material from three Mott the Hoople live albums that have been released on the Angel Air label. Those albums, known mostly only to Mott the Hoople fans, are All the Way From Stockholm to Philadelphia: Live 71/72, Two Miles From Live Heaven (a two-CD set), and Rock 'n' Roll Circus: Live 6th April 1972. What this disc does is draw material from these, all recorded between 1971 and 1974, to create a 12-song set lasting a generous 74 minutes. Considering that those live albums are kind of marginal anyway, it's not a bad idea for someone who might want a live Mott the Hoople album or two from this era, but isn't determined to have five CDs' worth. The song selection makes sure to include the principal big favorites, namely "All the Young Dudes," "All the Way From Memphis," "Golden Age of Rock & Roll," "Sweet Jane," and "Ready for Love." The drawbacks? Well, there's nothing from their 1974 Columbia release Mott the Hoople Live, and the fidelity, while quite listenable for the most part, isn't absolutely top of the line. What's far less excusable is that there are absolutely no dates provided to indicate when the individual tracks were recorded (or even what other Angel Air releases the individual tracks were taken from), although there are pretty thorough liner notes detailing each song, with comments by bandmembers. ~ Richie Unterberger

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