All the Young Dudes

Here’s my third and final instalment in observance of David Bowie’s birth and death.

Bowie was a longtime fan of the English rock band Mott the Hoople and encouraged them to stay together when there was talk of a break-up. He wrote “All the Young Dudes” for them and produced their 1972 album of the same name. Bowie’s lead guitarist Mick Ronson (1946-1993), from the Spiders from Mars band during Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust period, arranged strings and brass on one of the album’s songs.

“All the Young Dudes” was Mott the Hoople’s biggest hit single. Mott lead singer and frontman Ian Hunter went on to do solo works with Ronson for many years. (The session musician Ronson also worked with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison and many other acts, and was instrumental in arranging American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp’s hugely successful “Jack and Diane,” in 1982.)

Mott the Hoople was active from 1969 to 1980 and had a few reunions over the years. Then, in early 2019, the 1974 lineup of the band reformed for brief tours of the United Kingdom and the United States. Another tour planned for the autumn was cancelled due to a medical diagnosis of tinnitus for Hunter (by then, aged 80).

Among Hunter’s many solo projects was his 1979 album, You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic. I remember being drawn to that album since it too was co-produced and co-played with Ronson. It includes the hard-rock, anger anthem, “Bastard,” which features Ronson’s rocking guitar solos. At the time, it was a popular song among my friends as we gathered to “pre-game” before a night at The Norlander pub listening to local bands.

In 2016, Hunter released his 22nd album, Fingers Crossed, which includes the song “Dandy,” written in dedication to the late David Bowie.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the song from Mott the Hoople’s official YouTube/VEVO channel:

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