Sunday, 3 June 2018

Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes (1972)


Released September 1972

Recorded at Olympic Studios, London

Running time 40:47

Popularly thought to be the album where Mott The Hoople were “saved from oblivion” by David Bowie. Yes, he gave them the monster hit single “All The Young Dudes” and produced the album, but I am sure that a lot of the material was there anyway. What Bowie did was re-unite a rapidly fragmenting band, and give them renewed vigour and confidence.


1. Sweet Jane
2. Momma's Little Jewel
3. All The Young Dudes
4. Sucker
5. Jerkin' Crocus
6. One Of The Boys
7. Soft Ground
8. Ready For Love/After Lights
9. Sea Diver                                                    

Released in 1972, this was the album that catapulted Mott The Hoople to their roller coaster two year period of glam rock majesty. As well as the iconic single, there is some impressive 70s rock on there. The band’s riffy cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” is an absolute delight. It trumps the original, in my view. Check out that great 70s stereo separation too. 

The funky-ish and strangely soulful “Momma’s Little Jewel” is an underrated Mott classic, fading wonderfully straight into the iconic title track and the rhythmic, infectious “Sucker” precedes the Stones-y rock majesty of “Jerkin’ Crocus”, complete with leery seventies lyrics. I have heard the title track hundreds, probably thousands, of times since 1972 but you still can't beat the bit at end where Hunter shouts out "hey you, you with the glasses...".

“One Of The Boys” is a laddish Mott rock anthem, with a great old-style telephone ring intro, but organist Verden Allen’s prog-rock-ish “Soft Ground” is a low point. Basically poor old Verden's voice was positively dreadful. Guitarist Mick Ralph's “Ready For Love” is much better, with a great hook, and was later covered by his new band, Bad Company.

Ian Hunter's stark, heavily orchestrated ballad, “Sea Diver”, concludes what is a satisfying piece of early 70s rock. It was a great improvement on the band’s previous albums and heralded what would be Mott's short lived, but glorious "glam" period. Things would be great for the next two years.


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