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Posted: 2009 10-05


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From show #3 at London's Hammersmith Apollo. Shot from the first row of the balcony...

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
All the Way from Memphis on Wikipedia
"All the Way from Memphis"
Single by Mott the Hoople
from the album Mott
B-side"Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26th March 1972, Zürich)"
Format7" single
GenreGlam rock
  • CBS Records
  • Columbia Records
Writer(s)Ian Hunter
Producer(s)Mott the Hoople
Mott the Hoople singles chronology

"All the Way from Memphis" is a single released by Mott the Hoople as the lead track from the album Mott in 1973. The song tells a story about a rock and roller whose guitar is shipped to "Oriole" (Baltimore) instead of Memphis. The musician gets half-way there before he realizes his instrument is missing and takes a month to track it down. When he gets the guitar back, he is scolded by a stranger for being neglectful and self-centered. In the original version of the song, the stranger is referred to as a "spade", in later versions the word "dude" is substituted.

The song reflects a weariness with the rock and roll life-style, including the strain of constant touring and the low public opinion of rock 'n' roll singers. This theme appears in the chorus, which is repeated with minor variations: "you look like a star, but you're still on the dole," "you look like a star, but you're really out on parole."

The track peaked at No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] Although it did not chart directly in the United States, it did receive considerable airplay on album-oriented rock stations, as the Mott album on which it was released reached the top 40 of the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 35.

It was covered by Brian May on his 1998 album Another World; Hunter guested on this cover. The event was one of the many times Queen have connected with Mott the Hoople. It was also covered by supergroup Contraband on their only album from 1991. The British rock band Thunder also performed a live version appearing on multiple compilation albums. The British punk band Abdoujaparov cover the track on their 2002 album Air Odeon Disco Pub.

The song was probably based on an actual event involving guitarist Mick Ralphs. This loss of Ralph's guitar is also mentioned on "The Ballad of Mott".

The song was used in the films Breaking the Waves and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The song was also featured on the 16 October 2008 broadcast of the ABC series Life On Mars.

Swedish artist Magnus Uggla has stated that he was inspired by the song when he wrote his first hit single "Varning på stan" (later recorded in English as "Hit the Girls on the Run") in 1977.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 381. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics


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