As recently as 2010 Mott the Hoople’s 1972 hit, All The Young Dudes was ranked at #256 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Rock and Roll Hits. It’s also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
two become one
British glam-rock band Mott the Hoople were an amalgam of two bands–The Soulents and The Buddies.
Initially named Silence, the band were noticed by Island record producer, Guy Stevens. While in prison (for a drug offence) Guy had read the Willard Manus novel Mott the Hoople about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show. He loved the name and was determined to use it as a band name. Silence weren’t convinced at all but agreed reluctantly because, as all fledgling bands know, the man with the money calls the shots!
about guy stevens
Guy deserves a special mention here. Not only did he give Mott the Hoople their disctinctive name, he also came up with the name, Procol Harum. During his time in the record industry he produced such acts as; Procol Harum, Mott the Hoople, Free, Spooky Tooth, and The Clash.
Guy died in 1981 from an overdose of prescription medicine he was taking for his alcoholism.
back to mott the hoople
The band’s eponymous 1969 debut album was recorded in a week, and became something of a cult success. The success was short lived; their second album, Mad Shadows, was released a year later and slated by the critics—as was their third album, Wildlife (1971).
The band decided to split…
…but then along came david…
David Bowie, for some reason, was a fan of the band. Hearing they were about to disband he offered them his song, Suffragette City—the band turned it down. So, Dave wrote them the song, All the Young Dudes. The rest is, as they say, history…
- All the Young Dudes was written by David Bowie and originally recorded by Mott the Hoople in July 1972—it has become something of an anthem of the glam-rock era.
- All the Young Dudes peaked at #3 on the UK single chart and #37 on the US charts.
- When first released the lyrics had to be altered for play in the UK. There is a line in verse two that goes: “Wendy’s stealing clothes from Marks and Sparks.” This was clearly a reference to UK store Marks & Spencer who were known by that colloquialism. This breached 70s broadcasting regulations relating to advertising. The line was replaced with: “Wendy’s stealing clothes from unlocked cars”.
- In November 1972, Bowie introduced the band on stage at their concert in Philadelphia and performed the song with the band. By 1973 David was perfroming the song in his shows.
- In 2010, Rolling Stone put All the Young Dudes at #256 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It’s also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
- All the Young Dudes covers include versions by: Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Billy Bragg, Mick Ronson, Travis, The Church, Rolf Harris, Massive Attack, The Smashing Pumpkins (live, with David Bowie), Cyndi Lauper, The Skids, Judas Priest, and Jimmy Barnes.
- The Clash were fans of Mott the Hoople. They paid homage to All the Young Dudes with their song All the Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts).
- All the Young Dudes lyrics.
all the young dudes – mott the hoople – 1972 – video
all the young dudes – david bowie – video
all the young dudes – queen, david bowie, ian hunter, mick ronson @ the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, 1992 – video
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