What a marvellous thing the ”˜random’ button can be. For all the nostalgic memories of rooting through my record collection trying to decide what to play next, or what record fitted a particular mood, there’s no denying that progress in the shape of the MP3, alongside a whim to throw yourself into the hands of fate can sometimes hit paydirt.

Having endured one of ”˜those days’, when the oil drum of your mind is half dreading, half expecting the verbal match that will apply the coup de grace, reaching for the MP3 had the same impact as John Mills’ pint in ”˜Ice Cold in Alex’.

The song of choice was to be ”˜Death and Resurrection Show’ by Killing Joke but an urge to hit random threw up a real beauty ”“ ”˜The Golden Age of Rock and Roll’ by Mott The Hoople. Just what the doctor ordered, or probably would do if he were to prescribe a song for a circumstance.

From the teasing opening piano and Ian Hunter’s introduction, ”˜Ladies and gentlemen, the golden age of rock and roll’, we are propelled straight into 1974 by way of a raucous melody to die for. ‘Everybody hazy, shell shocked and crazy/Screaming for the face at the window’, sometimes nothing says it better. By the chorus lines ”˜it’s good for your body, it’s good for your soul’ and ”˜you gotta stay young, you can never grow old’ any worldly cares are swept and you remember why we reach for music in all moods.

The best lines are apparently a reference to the attempt of politicians at the time to limit the noise level of live music; ”˜So if the going gets tough/Don’t you blame us/You ninety six decibel freaks’.
Brilliant guitars, melody, vocals and attitude, it is a brilliant song. I could have rooted through my records for ages years ago and still missed it. Mood enhancement courtesy of fate’s fickle finger.


  1. Great song, just re reading Diary of a Rock n Roll star, great book. What a great band these were. Still think Honaloochie Boogie was their best tho.

  2. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.


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