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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Mott - 1976 Shouting And Pointing
Mott - 1976 Shouting And Pointing

ALBUM: Shouting And Pointing
LABEL: Columbia
SERIAL: KC 34236
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2009, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU-4236


LINEUP: Overend Watts - bass guitar, vocals * Nigel Benjamin - vocals * Morgan Fisher - keyboards, vocals * Ray Major - lead guitar, vocals * Dale Griffin (Buffin) - distant drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shouting And Pointing * 02 Collision Course * 03 Storm * 04 Career (No Such Thing As Rock N Roll) * 05 Hold On, Your Crazy * 06 See You Again * 07 Too Short Arms (I Don't Care) * 08 Broadside Outcasts * 09 Good Times * 10 Too Short Arms (I Don't Care) (Eddie Kramer/Electric Lady Mix) [bonus]

Greatest Hits albums? Never liked them, always found them to be a poor introduction to a band, which is one reason that I have only brought one Mott The Hoople album, being of course the hits compilation. These albums have the effect of stunting growth at an earlier age. So why, 30 years later am I writing about the group, yes minus Ian Hunter, the reshaped Mott. Well that's due to another bane of my life, free cover mount CD's from magazines, which I rarely listen to, maybe only the odd track. Classic Rock magazine recently did an excellent tribute to Ronnie James Dio, which I brought a copy of, I'm not a regular purchaser of the said magazine by any means but inside was a free CD, of Joe Elliott's side project Down 'N' Outz. One Sunday morning I played it, and was bowled over by the songs and the performances. Elliott as always being a self confessed nut on Hunter, The Hoople, etc , but what I found particularly appealing is the tunes he choose to cover - all being (as far as I am concerned) lesser known tracks, which pricked my interest to invest in the originals. A couple days later, a 5 CD pack arrived, just above a tenner which included a trio from Mott The Hoople and a couple of Mott albums, the latter, soon became essential listening.

The main shift to Mott was the departure of Ian Hunter, who was replaced by then unknown Nigel Benjamin. In fact our Nige, was nearly pipped to the post by Terry Wilson Slesser, who decided to join Back Street Crawler, (coincidently their album '2nd Street' was released at the same time). Music wise, well of course the piano plays a role, but the album has more of a rock feel. The songs don't run along the same old lines and have more twists and turns than another 70's favourite, the Rubik's Cube! So, for anyone thinking they know what to expect from a group with so much of a Mott The Hoople history then remember, what my old bubble face tutor used to say: 'for by doubting we come to inquiry, by inquiry we perceive the truth' (Abelard)

The Songs
The title track could have been a Biff Byford calling card, lots of pointing and shouting, with the piano keys rushing in like the sea hitting the beach, becoming like the Godfathers of sleeze rock, pouts and pushes its way through the misconceptions of expected outputs, saddled with a Mike Monroe saxophone solo. Magnificent.

'Collision Course' continues the sensational opening, this time mixing the piano with a hefty dose of gritty rock guitar, together with a great vocal hook.

'Storm' has something very interesting about it and I'm sure someone else went on to pick the meat off its bones and represented it in a different format in later years, but before you get to that part, check out the great chorus, just makes you curl up your lip and join in with backing vocals. Done that? listen to the jugging and steam train, to me this is the part that seems to have found its way into Motley Crue's 'Kickstart My Heart', any connection? Yep but I'll explain in the summary. Definitely inspirational in more one ways than one, it contains lots of adrenaline shots to become one of the top picks of the album.

With 'Career', I have got to say, this has been one of the best songs I have heard all year. I have always read that in the early days how Queen would blow Mott The Hoople off stage and here I find that Queen connection on this track. I'm finding that this is similar to what Avantasia is currently producing, not in blaring guitars more the over the top nature it has, it's planned mayhem. It's multi-layered, with a very strong performance from Nigel and Morgan Fisher both have a major presence on this recording.

'Hold On, You're Crazy', has a real 70's feel, love the high pitched cat calls, you can see how they influenced the likes of Hanoi Rocks. The song has a dash of Pete Townsend's guitar frenzy and even a touch of punk. Strength, depth this is not just one bloke on the old joanna in the corner of a pub. Some of the vocals have been spat out and it's probably the heaviest song they ever created.

'See You Again' is much more laid back and becomes a gentlemanly sortie in the park on a Sunday afternoon. It provides and creates another strand, Rolling Stones, even a southern rock feel, listen to 'drank a lot of wine and saw a lot of early light', compare that to the Pilot song 'Magic', with its line 'never been awake, never seen a daybreak', similar subjects but different views but they do cross the same path once in a while, especially with this and 'Broadside Outcasts' tagged on towards the end.

'Too Short Arms' probably has the most classic Hoople sound, treading a similar early 70's trail, it's OK, even Black Crowes, it's that I just prefer the more 'classic rock' sound of the earlier tracks on the album. This slick party continues with 'Broadside Outcasts', which is real pop, has quirky characteristics, and though it tries hard it can't damage the overall positive and vitality contained on this recording.

To finish off, it's a cover of The Easybeats tune, 'Good Times', and a fine version it is too, it has Nigel sounding like an earlier version of Axl Rose. It works so well, that I even thought it was an original Mott song, really only being aware of the Jimmy Barnes and INXS version and not realising it was a bit of Australian history, (ignorant Pom!, I hear you shout (and point)!). Just goes to show how good The Easybeats where, it's a great song.

In Summary
With the absence of Hunter, Mott popularity and sales totally dropped through the floor, this album never even reached the Top 40. After the tour, the group fell apart, and some members went on to form British Lions. Benjamin probably has the most intriguing story; he left the UK shores to pursue his career in America, only to appear in early formations of London, remember Lizzie Grey ('Non Stop Rock' 1985 and 'Don't Cry Wolf' 1986), which at the time included one Nikki Sixx, later of Motley Crue, hence the connection I picked up discussing 'Storm', I wonder?. After that, not much has been heard of Nigel, I would be interested to what happen next, very much an underrated singer. With the likes of 'Storm', 'Career' and 'Hold On', this album is well worth re-appraising and probably is more influential to many groups not just in the UK, but especially the ones in America that would dominate the rock scene in the 80's. Excellent.

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#1 | Eric on July 19 2010 12:58:53
Wonderful to see this here. Mott The Hoople are one of my favorite bands. I was turned on to them by a friend in High School in 1975 who used to play all their stuff during art class. He was a huge fan and even saw Mott with Queen at the Uris Theater in NY and taped/ booted both shows although most of the Queen show was lost due to his taping over for the sake of Mott. I remember he said Queen were good, but of course Mott were better lol.

'Mott' from 1973 and 'The Hoople' from '74 are their best imo.
#2 | rkbluez on July 20 2010 11:15:14
I actually like 'Drive On' and 'Shouting and Pointing' better than the Hunter stuff...great hard rock with a quirky sense of fun...but boy could they rock...and Ray Majors Mick Ralphs replacement could rip up a storm and was an excellent lead player.
#3 | Nick C on July 23 2010 16:39:21
I like MtH a lot, I remember when I was a kid thinking Overend Watts was the coolest person on the planet! He was!
#4 | Explorer on April 15 2014 12:45:23
This (and the Drive on) album were better than expected after the departure of Mr `unter...very underated. The "Mott" album is one of the great albums of the 70`s.I`ve been to the reunion concerts and the first reunion was wonderful but last years was somewhat dissapointing, time to put the great name of MtH to bed methinks.
#5 | gdazegod on December 13 2014 06:53:23
Both now reissued on Rock Candy Records. I'm writing a piece on the 1975 lp 'Drive On' to compliment this article.
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