This documentary is an absolute must-have for any Mott the Hoople fan, or any fan of hard, driving, intelligent rock and roll. Mott were one of the great r 'n r bands of the 1970s, amazing on LP (yeah, remember those?) but simply astounding live. I saw them three times, and can honestly say those were three of the best concerts I ever attended. "Ballad" is an extensive overview of the band's beginnings in the 1960s, a recounting of the personnel changes, interviews, photos, and an elegiac tribute to their inevitable end. But the high point, for me, was the inclusion of concert footage, which shows Mott in all their power and majesty. To once again see Ian Hunter, inscrutable behind those ever-present shades, his hair flying as he howled out their signature anthems, Overend Watts towering over everyone in his 8-inch thigh-high boots and silver-sprayed hair (Mott flirted successfully with a glam look for a while) as he hammered out heavy bass lines, and the changing guitar line-up of Mick Ralphs, Luther Grosvener and finally Mick Ronson layering soaring runs and chords into the mix will get any fan's heart racing and blood pumping. It's impossible to sit still while you watch those scenes, and they bring back the hard rock music scene of the 1970s with stunning precision.
The interviews really delve into the various personalities of the band members; sadly, Overend chose not to participate, and his voice is definitely missed, but Ian Hunter provides a wonderful, thoughtful, and at times laugh-out-loud take on the proceedings. Comments from the famed rock photographer Leee Black Childers show just how important Mott were to their audiences, and the final shot of him with tears in his eyes as he recalls the impact of the band sundering is really a heartbreaker.
Seriously, if you were one of those people who sang along every time "All the Young Dudes" came on the radio, if you ever owned a Mott album, if you were or are a fan of colossal 70's rock, this DVD is a must-have. I know I will watch it on a regular basis, both for the memories and the music. Five-star, and thanks to Chris Hall and Mike Kerry for taking me back to such a wonderful time in my teen years.