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Mott the Hoople – Mott (1973)

December 30, 2018

[Album 625/1001]

A few years ago, I introduced the idea of the Uptown Funk 70/30 Principle.

I argued that the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars track worked so well because it was 70% familiar to me & 30% completely unprecedented.

But why 70/30?

According to 2015 me:

“Although equal parts old & new might seem reasonable, the 50/50 split would inevitably sound like a compromise, it would sound middle-of-the-road and thus, sound forgettable.

Instead, a 70/30 split provides the optimal balance in 2 ways:

1. By giving the dial-switchers the instant pleasure (something familiar) that they seek, you’ve got their attention.

2. Once hooked, new ideas can be added to the existing framework.  These original ideas are what will eventually boost the song’s longevity.”

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Slide1

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I have really been enjoying Mott The Hoople’s Mott.

I suspect it’s because they’ve mastered the 70/30 principle.

70% of the time, I feel like I’ve heard something like them elsewhere.

30% of the time, I have no prior reference points.

For example, what would you get if you mixed:

.  20% Bowie (Watch that Man)
+ 20% The Dictators (Cars and Girls)
+ 15% Stones (Rocks Off)
+ 15% Springsteen (Born to Run)
+ 30% completely unfamiliar?

You’d have All the Way from Memphis.

And you’d have one killer opening track!

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Slide2

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Alternatively, should you decide to combine:

.  20% Bob Dylan (Like a Rolling Stone)
+ 20% Jakob Dylan (The Wallflowers’ See You When I Get There)
+ 15% Blue Rodeo (Til I am Myself Again)
+ 15% The Pogues (Sick Bed of Cuchulainn)
+ 30% completely unfamiliar…

…You’d have the terrific closing track, I Wish I Was Your Mother.

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Slide3

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Perhaps most impressively, as with the two examples above, it’s not necessarily that they sound like artists that came before them.220px-Mott_album

Instead, it’s that they remind me of other artists that I was familiar with before becoming acquainted with Mott the Hoople.

More often than not, they remind me of their contemporaries or even artists that they’ve eventually influenced.

And far more often than not, I was really impressed with what I heard.

As a result, I recommend becoming 100% familiar with Mott.

…..

Verbalize the Positive

An early contender for favourite new-to-me album of blogging year #8!

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From → 1970s

13 Comments
  1. I think you’ve nailed the key to Mott’s (modest) success, here Geoff!

    • My thanks Bruce – it feels like a new influence/influencee might be revealed on each subsequent listen!

  2. You’re definitely on to something here. This is why Mott works.

  3. Wow! That is it. I have been wondering I like Mott so much and now I know.

    • They manage to sound like many others yet sound like themselves, probably not an easy feat, probably why we are fans!

  4. Brilliant Stuff Geoff! First time I heard the name Ian Hunter was on the Brilliant Hanoi Rocks album “Two Steps From The Move’ as Ian had 3 co writes on that album…

  5. Oh yes, it’s more than a feeling, it’s math and that’s why we love Mott. Never have equations made so much sense to my math challenged brain.

  6. I never heard much about Mott the Hoople other than “All the Young Dudes”. Then this year they keep popping up everywhere. Old movies, new movies, commercials, random on Spotify. The universe is trying to tell me something.

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