Brain Capers

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Brain Capers
Studio album by Mott the Hoople
Released November 1971 (UK/Canada)
January 1972 (US)
Recorded Island Studios, London
August–September 1971
Genre Hard rock
Length 38:03
Label Island (UK/Canada), Atlantic (US)
Producer Guy Stevens
Mott the Hoople chronology
Brain Capers
All the Young Dudes
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B[2]
Rolling Stone favourable[3]

Brain Capers is the fourth album by the band Mott the Hoople.

It was originally released in November 1971 in the UK by Island Records (catalogue number ILPS 9178) and on Island Records in Canada (cat. no. SW-9178), and was reissued in 2003 (on CD) by Angel Air (cat. no. SJPCD160). It was released January 1972 in the US on Atlantic Records (cat. no. SD 8304).

The album marked a return to the harder, heavier style of Mott's first two albums, with several songs recorded live in the studio. (A close listen to "The Moon Upstairs," for example, will reveal two instances where Dale Griffin's drumsticks clatter to the floor upon his losing them.) The album was not initially a commercial success, and was the only Mott the Hoople album that failed to chart in either the UK or US.

Its working title was "AC/DC" though this was abandoned in favour of either "Brain Damage" or "Bizarre Capers" before a compromise was settled on. Earlier sessions, self-produced by the band, were also abandoned when svengali Guy Stevens was called in to rescue the album but a number of these recordings have resurfaced on All the Young Dudes: The Anthology and as bonus material on Angel Air's re-issues of Mott the Hoople albums.

The covers of the original UK and Canadian LPs do not feature the mask seen on the US version (and some later re-releases). There was an actual mask packaged inside with the UK version of the album, but not with the Canadian LP. The band name and line under it are in the centre of the cover where the mask would be and the title shifted upwards. The US and Canadian LPs do not have the inner sleeve picturing fighter planes that the original UK album had.

The album is dedicated to James Dean, as stated below the band photo on the back cover.

Track listing[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "Death May Be Your Santa Claus" (Ian Hunter, Verden Allen) 4:55
  2. "Your Own Backyard" (Dion DiMucci) 4:13
  3. "Darkness, Darkness" (Jesse Colin Young) 4:33
  4. "The Journey" (Hunter) 9:15

Side B[edit]

  1. "Sweet Angeline" (Hunter) 4:53
  2. "Second Love" (Allen) 3:46
  3. "The Moon Upstairs" (Hunter, Mick Ralphs) 5:07
  4. "The Wheel of the Quivering Meat Conception" (Hunter, Guy Stevens) 1:21

"The Wheel of the Quivering Meat Conception" is essentially part two of "The Journey," beginning with a fade-in at the point where "The Journey" was earlier faded out.

On original Atlantic Records U.S. pressings of Brain Capers, the running time of "The Journey" is incorrectly listed at 8:31, and "The Wheel of the Quivering Meat Conception" is listed at 2:07.

2003 CD bonus tracks[edit]

  • "Midnight Lady" (Hunter, Ralphs) 3:33
  • "The Journey" (Hunter) 9:47



  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Brain Capers". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Robert Christgau. "Mott the Hoople". Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Ed Leimbacher (2 March 1972). Rolling Stone.  Missing or empty |title= (help)