This is one of those video reviews where I look at a box set you might have missed when it first appeared. If you hurry you can still find this for a reasonable price and it is a beauty!
I’m taking a nostalgic trip back to the late ’60s and early ’70s with the iconic band Mott The Hoople. I’m unboxing and exploring their “Mental Train: The Island Years” box set, which covers the years 1969 to 1971. This box set, released in 2018, is a treasure trove for fans and is quickly becoming a collector’s item.
The Box Set
“Mental Train” is a comprehensive collection that encapsulates Mott The Hoople’s early years. It’s a mighty box set, both in size and content, featuring six CDs packed with music from just a three-year period. The set includes:
- Mott The Hoople + Bonus Tracks
- Mad Shadows + Bonus Tracks
- Wildlife + Bonus Tracks
- Brain Capers + Bonus Tracks
- The Ballads of Mott The Hoople
- It’s Live and Live Only
From the live energy of ‘It’s Live and Live Only’ to the studio mastery in ‘Brain Capers’, each album is a testament to the band’s versatility.
Extra Tracks and Rarities: Each album is accompanied by a plethora of extra tracks, many of which were previously unreleased or rare mixes.
Memorabilia: A poster showcasing the band in their glory days and a hardback book filled with images, track listings, and stories.
It is interesting listening to the band in this period, they were a really heavy rock band and almost a template for Punk and the Sex Pistols on Brain Capers. But they could also make you weep with the most beautiful ballads you can imagine.
The accompanying book is a gem in itself. Written with enthusiasm, it narrates the story of the band and the musicians, bringing to life their journey. It’s filled with fantastic pictures and could easily stand alone as a significant piece of rock history.
My Personal Reflections
As someone who fell in love with Mott The Hoople through their greatest hits and later albums, discovering their early work was a revelation. These albums were hard to find in the ’70s, often only available in battered secondhand copies. This box set, with its extensive collection of studio outtakes, live recordings, B-sides, and more, offers a comprehensive look at the band’s varied and progressive hard rock journey.
Why This Box Set Matters
“Mental Train” is more than just a collection of songs; it’s a portal into a time when rock music was experimental and unbounded. The set captures the essence of Mott The Hoople’s music – raw, real, and filled with a sense of exploration and authenticity.
“Mental Train: The Island Years” is a must-have for fans of Mott The Hoople, Ian Hunter, or anyone interested in the rich tapestry of ’70s rock. It’s a set that invites you to dive deep into the band’s history and emerge with a greater appreciation for their contribution to rock music. If you’re intrigued by this era of experimental and barrier-free music, this box set is a journey worth taking.
Thank you for joining me on this journey through Mott The Hoople’s early years. If you enjoyed this unboxing and review, please follow Now Spinning Magazine for more insights into the world of music. Remember, music is a journey that transcends time and place, and with sets like “Mental Train,” we get to relive those incredible moments.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine