Certain Songs #1209: Mott The Hoople – “Violence”

Album: Mott
Year: 1973

Sure, Mott The Hoople always wanted to thread the needle between Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, but the problem was that they were too damn weird. Which meant that many of their greatest songs started off pitting Ian Hunter’s Dylanesque delivery against Mick Ralph’s big Keef riffs, and then went someplace totally unexpected.

Like “Violence,” one of the highlights of Mott, which starts off normal enough — big-ass fuzzy guitar riffs, rolling drums and Hunter screaming his lyrics — but by the chorus goes right off the rails.

With Graham Preskett’s violin trilling insanely behind his best psychotically droogy voice, Hunter calmly eases into first chorus.

Violence
Violence
It’s the only thing that will make you see sense

Violence
Violence
It’s the the only thing that will make you see sense

Then Mick Ralphs comes in, his guitar slowly, ominously playing the melody of the chorus, but before it can escalate, they head into the second chorus, after which no one get out alive. At first, it’s much like the previous chorus, only afterwards, Ralphs takes a wah-wah solo, which links back into the chorus again, at the end of of which Hunter is screaming.

VIOLENCE!
VIOLENCE!
IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE YOU SEE SENSE!

VIOLENCE!
VIOLENCE!
IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE YOU SEE SENSE!!

After that Hunter — and the song itself — are swept into a morass of overdubbed sound effects, lengthy conversations, and the never ending crazy-ass violin was well as another guitar solo peeking around the edges of the song.

“Violence”

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