Mott The Hoople: All The Young Dudes
September 11, 2015
It’s hard to imagine that by 1971 Mott The Hoople were all but washed up. They’d parted ways with Island Records following four solid, but bafflingly overlooked records. Commercial success had eluded them and they were on the verge of breaking up. Thankfully by 1972, with a newly signed deal with CBS in the bag and work under way on a new record, Mott The Hoople were about to hit their platform booted stride with triumphant swagger! The resulting album was All The Young Dudes and the story surrounding it is the stuff of rock legend.
It helps when your biggest fan is none other than glam messiah Ziggy Stardust himself. As the story goes, on hearing the news the group were about to disband, David Bowie stepped in to the producer seat and offered up the self penned title track – the rest, as they say, is history. The heavier sound of the bands previous four albums had been replaced with a subtly different edge – a bit less blues rock heavy, a touch more contemporary, a shade less sixties, shinier, more polished and rolled in dirty glitter!
All The Young Dudes is a perfect slice of seventies magic. A record that effortlessly managed to sound exactly like the weary, agitated, juvenile delinquent wrecks it served as a rally cry directly to. Along with the likes of Bowie, T-Rex and Roxy Music they soundtracked a disaffected youth of seventies Britain trying to shake off the disappointing hangover of the swinging sixties.
While the title track and well known Bowie connection often cast a shadow over the rest of the record, you’d be mistaken for thinking the album isn’t a glorious sum of all its parts. Momma’s Little Jewel, Sucker, One Of The Boys…the whole album stands up together like a solid, strutting, clued-in, glamed-up, better-than-your-gang of, well, dudes.
Lyrically, its razor sharp – mocking and sarcastic but never melancholy or overly sentimental. And never more so than on the anthemic title track – a cautionary tale of impending media saturated apocalyptic doom! But with just enough wink wink/tongue in cheek, quintessentially British humour so you don’t completely forget what a bloody first class rock record it is.
All together now….ALL THE YOUNG DUDES, CARRY THE NEWS…!