All the Young Dudes is regarded as one of glam rock's anthems, the song originated after David Bowie met with Mott the Hoople's bassist Peter Watts and learned that the band was ready to split due to continued lack of commercial success (their four album releases at the time had only got into the lower 40's in the chart, though the first one it was #66 and what they thought might be their last album in 1971, Brain Capers didn't even make the chart). Bowie was a fan of the band and encouraged them to keep going and even offered a song to them that wasn't released yet by him - 'Suffragette City'.
Mott the Hoople rejected this song, so Bowie wrote 'All the Young Dudes' specially for them, allegedly sitting cross-legged on the floor of a room in Regent Street, London, in front of the band's lead singer, Ian Hunter.
David Bowie would go on to produce the single and album of the same name. The album (released in September 1972) peaked at #21 in the UK and #89 in the US, their highest position and the single (released in July 1972) went to #3 (#37 in the US).
Oh, and for the record David Bowie had said in an interview back in 1973 that the song wasn't written as an anthem. According the interview in Rolling Stone magazine, the boys (Mott the Hoople) are carrying the same news that the newscaster was carrying in the song "Five Years" from Ziggy Stardust; the news being the fact that the Earth had only five years left to live. Bowie explains: "All the Young Dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth, as people thought. It is completely the opposite."
But we didn't listen to him on that and for years it's been regarded as an Anthem.
The song was ranked #256 in the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame it is part of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
A Few Cover Versions of All The Young Dudes
Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!