Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes

Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes

‘All the Young Dudes’ is a song written by English singer-songwriter David Bowie, originally recorded and released as a single by the English rock band Mott the Hoople in 1972 by Columbia Records. Bowie produced the song, which he had given to the band after they rejected his ‘Suffragette City’. Bowie would subsequently record the song himself. Regarded as an anthem of glam rock, the song has received acclaim and was a commercial success. In 2021, Rolling Stone ranked "All the Young Dudes" number 166 in its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is also one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

By 1972, Mott the Hoople were on the verge of splitting up. Having been together for three years, the band had released four well-received albums and developed a small loyal following but had failed to garner commercial success. On 4 February 1972, David Bowie sent the band a demo of ‘Suffragette City’ in hopes they would record it. The band played it and believed it did not fit their style. Bassist Pete Watts contacted Bowie in late March 1972 and politely rejected it, stating the band broke up. Upon learning this, Bowie contacted Watts back two hours later and said, "I've written a song for you since we spoke, which could be great."

Mott The Hoople

Bowie met with Watts a few days later and played "All the Young Dudes" on acoustic guitar. Watts recalled: "He hadn't got all the words but the song just blew me away, especially when he hit the chorus." Watts then introduced Bowie to the rest of the band at an office located at Regent Street in London, where Bowie sat cross-legged on the floor and played the band the song. The band were ecstatic. Ian Hunter recalled: "He just played it on an acoustic guitar. I knew straight away it was a hit. There were chills going down my spine. It's only happened to me a few times in my life, when you know that this is a biggie".

Mott The Hoople didn't know this when they recorded it, but Bowie intended this song for his The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars concept album. The, "All the young dudes carry the news" line refers to part of Bowie's story where there is no electricity, and Ziggy Stardust uses songs to spread the news. Said Bowie: "'All the Young Dudes' is a song about this news. It's not a hymn to the youth, as people thought. It is completely the opposite."

Mott the Hoople recorded ‘All the Young Dudes’ at Olympic Studios in London on 14 May 1972, with Bowie producing. The song was released in the UK on 28 July 1972. It was a commercial success, peaking at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (in November), and No. 31 in Canada.

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Labels – CBS (UK), Columbia (US)
Songwriter – David Bowie
Producer – David Bowie


[Verse 1]
Well, Billy rapped all night about his suicide
How he'd kick it in the head when he was twenty-five
Speed jive, don't want to stay alive
When you're twenty-five
And Wendy's stealing clothes from Marks & Sparks
And Freddy's got spots from ripping off the stars from his face
Funky little boat race
Television man is crazy saying we're juvenile delinquent wrecks
Oh, Man, I need TV when I've got T.Rex
Oh brother, you guessed
I'm a dude, dad
All the young dudes (Hey dudes!)
Carry the news (Where are you?)
Boogaloo dudes (Stand up, c'mon)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (I want to hear you)
Carry the news (I want to see you)
Boogaloo dudes (I want to talk to you, all of you)
Carry the news (Nowwww)
[Verse 2]
Now Lucy looks sweet cause he dresses like a queen
But he can kick like a mule, it's a real mean team
But we can love
Oh yes, we can love
And my brother's back at home with his Beatles and his Stones
We never got it off on that revolution stuff
What a drag, too many snags
Now I've drunk a lot of wine and I'm feeling fine
Got to race some cat to bed
Oh is that concrete all around
Or is it in my head?
I'm a dude, dad
All the young dudes (Hey dudes)
Carry the news (Where are you?)
Boogaloo dudes (Stand up)
Carry the news (ha ha)
All the young dudes (I want to hear you)
Carry the news (I want to see you)
Boogaloo dudes (I want to relate to you)
Carry the news
All the young dudes (What dudes?)
Carry the news (Let's hear the news, c'mon)
Boogaloo dudes (I want to kick you, ha ha ha ha)
Carry the news
(Hey, you there)
All the young dudes
(With the glasses)
Carry the news (I want you)
Boogaloo dudes (I want you in the front)
Carry the news (Now)
(Now, you're his friends)
All the young dudes (Now you bring him down)
('Cause I want him)
Carry the news (Ha, ha, ha)
Boogaloo dudes (I want him right here)
(Bring him, c'mon)
Carry the news (Bring him)
(Ha, ha)
(Here you go)
All the young dudes
(I’ve wanted to do this for years)
Carry the news
(There you go!)
Boogaloo dudes
(How’d it feel?)
Carry the news
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