“I’d like to introduce you to Ariel Bendaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!”
As I have testified to Morgan Fisher over cocktails, pizza and Katz’s Deli pastrami; to Ian Hunter in our numerous interviews, to the late Pete Watts over bottled H20 previous to Mott’s finale at the 02, and Luther Grosvenor: with all due respect to Verden Allen and Ralpher, to my ears and to many of my generation who started bands upon hearing this slab in its truncated eight song format in 1974; the “Ariel Bender,” Morgan Fisher line-up of Mott the Hoople was simply the best – and this record proves it.
Morgan’s signature harmonic and melodic expertise which draws from jazz, classical, and theater combined with Luther’s sonic reinvention of the Hoople canon remains matchless. Overend is magnificent throughout, plying his perfectly timed glissandos and his understated pocket grooves as you would expect from a bona fide rock and roll star. We waited three decades for the expanded Legacy edition – and it was worth it. If you had to explain rock and roll to a celestial being – say nothing and cue up “Walking with a Mountain.” I understand “politics” kept Luther and Morgan off the Mott 2009 /2013 bandstands, so when folks ask if I saw the Mott the Hoople reunions I respond “well, kind of…”