All The Young Dudes – Mott the Hoople – 1972

Mott the Hoople - all the young dudes - 1972As 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…

Mott+the+Hoople 3all the young dudes fax

  • 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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4 Responses to All The Young Dudes – Mott the Hoople – 1972

  1. Wozza says:

    Arr1972 GK. The video has some fab footage of 1972 dudes. Fashion! Turn to the left, fashion! not MTH’s finest moment for me, too Bowiesque, but very evocative of an era. Roll away the stone my fav Mott moment and Once bitten twice shy by Hunter is a better song than ATYD for me. Great memories of buying this stuff in the seventies tho Gregarious

    • Greg.K. says:

      True all that… but did you ever hear their albums before Bowie?? Oh dear!?!
      And, you’re right, not my fav MTH song either; but their greatest hit which meant we got to hear All The Way to Memphis et al.

  2. Wozza says:

    You drove me back to the collection with your post – just been listening to Mott on the iPod and made me feel sorry for today’s youth that they have nothing comparable to this great music. No one writes, releases songs like All the way to Memphis anymore. And no one sounds as real as Ian Hunter anymore. What a shame or am I just stuck in a parallel world?

    • Greg.K. says:

      I was going to mention All the Way to Memphis, but thought no one would remember it. I loved Ian Hunter and the band. And I wished I had a name like Peter Overend Watts or Aerial Bender (who played with the band for a short while).

      Are you stuck in a parallel universe? Not sure, I guess today’s teens will see these as the good old days with the best music… I just can get past a great 70s or 80s guitar solo though…

      And, BTW – coincidentally, I’m just writing a script for a short video of a current “star” who bungy’d off the Harbour Bridge – Justin Bieber! I guess, in today’s world, he’s one of the young dudes… oh dear!

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