There was a period in the early '70s when Mott the Hoople were one of the most exciting live tickets in Britain. Although they ultimately released a classic rock anthem or two, Mott's record sales never truly matched the appeal of their stage performances. For that reason, this "Introduction To" Mott is not a "Best Of" — it's a honed-down selection of raw live cuts, a lithe and trim glimpse of the band offering a far more truthful reflection than their only "official" live album.
With recordings taken from different sources, the quality varies, and while it does boast the rousing slow-burn rock jam of "Thunderbuck Ram" and the poignancy of "The Original Mixed Up Kid," the ragged routining of "All the Way from Memphis" and "Roll away the Stone" get by largely on adrenaline and chutzpah.
The key moment of any Mott retrospective comes with the song they'll be forever associated with, and this performance of "All the Young Dudes," recorded live in Philadelphia in November 1972, shines with real personality. David Bowie may have joined the band onstage to provide guest backing vocals to the song that he both wrote and gifted to Mott, but even the presence of such a nascent rock god fails to overshadow the charismatic Ian Hunter and his adlibbed finale.
Much of this material has been made available on collectors'compilations already, but if it's really the most compact burst of live Mott that you're after, then this is a fine introduction.