Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It's Sweet Jane Week (Part III): Special "I've Wanted to Do This for Years and Years" Edition

From 1972, please enjoy Mott the Hoople (featuring the great Ian Hunter) and their David Bowie-produced rendition of that song we've been celebrating this week.

I was surprised to realize that I hadn't listened to that version -- or that entire album, actually -- in decades.

I was even more surprised to realize that I wasn't sure it holds up. And I say that as a long time Mott/Hunter fan.

Seriously — I’m not crazy about this at all. Sounds like a bar band.


Anonymous said...

Some of my all time favorite music comes from "bar bands"...

But I digress.

I will state without reservation that Mott (the album) holds up today and remains in my desert island collection for all time. I might even remember your review back in the day...



ps; Ian Hunter has aged well and remains one of rock's great songwriters.

Gummo said...

Having reviewed all 3:

The Liz Phair version kicks all kinds of ass.

The Mott the Hoople definitely lives up to my memory of it, especially that great guitar riff. A close second to Ms. Phair.

The one that sounds like a forgettable bar band is the Willie Nile. Sorry, steve-o.

Sal Nunziato said...

The Mott version and that Mott album are my absolute faves. The last minute of "One Of The Boys" is some of the most exciting rock and roll ever put to wax!

MJConroy said...

Ever heard this interesting mashup?
Sweet Jane / Wichi Tai To by Michael Stanley

Mark said...


A big YES to Michael Stanley's version, and the album (Farrago Sessions, by Stanley and his Resonators, which was recorded after the live version) is a great covers album.

Billy B said...

I part company with you here, Steve. Stellar version of the tune.

I also agree with Sal N. on "One of the Boys". That's one of my favorite tunes by any band.

steve simels said...

The All the Young Dudes album is terrific. I love Ian Hunter; saw him a couple of years ago and he was better than ever.

The "Sweet Jane" cover is, however, lame. Sorry.

Sal Nunziato said...

"The "Sweet Jane" cover is, however, lame. Sorry."

No. No it isn't. Sorry.

pete said...

This is the bitterest controversy I have seen since I started visiting the place. My opinion shouldn't really count for reasons Steve knows all too well, but I prefer the Willie Nile. Hunter's vocal sounds like a guide track.

Blue Ash Fan said...

I was 11 when I bought this album in 1972. I had never even heard the song Sweet Jane done by anybody. I had nothing to compare this version to and I loved it. I now I have many other versions to compare it to and I still love it.

The solo at the end is fun to play, too, for all you guitarists.

P.S. I love a good bar band. Sadly, where I live now, most of the bar bands sound like Dave Matthews.

MarginAlt said...

mth version gets my vote as the best one.
liz phair the worst one - on the verse of the song she sounds like she is doing a voiceover on a second rate nature documentary.
check out cowboy junkies version as well it is interesting.

MJConroy said...

Not in a bar:
Sweet Jane (Live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK - December 1973)

steve simels said...

Way too fast, the cowbell is embarrassing, and Hunter's vocal is totally faceless (seriously, if you didn't know this was him, would you even recognize it?)

I'll grant you Mick Ralphs (I'm a fan) guitar at the end is nice, but the rest? Yuk.

I'm sorry -- this is what you have heard at a schlocky rock club in Ronkonkoma in 1974. If you were lucky. :-)