On the brink of breaking up, this classic David Bowie song, written specifically for this struggling band, rescued Mott The Hoople’s career and set them on the Glam train to stardom. The song reached No.3 in the UK charts and No.37 in the USA. This led to four UK Top 20 singles from the following two albums Mott 1973 and The Hoople 1974.
This post has nothing to do with Luther Grosvenor aka Ariel Bender except that the last post (Spooky Tooth) was the band he had left and this post (Mott The Hoople) is the that band he would join in 1974. But the post does have a lot to do with the role of a guitarist in the writing of the song when for example he adds a striking line to a supposed finished composition – that is, a song with a verse, a chorus, the lyric, the vocal melody and perhaps a third part (a middle 8).
All The Young Dudes is one of the great seventies songs, the guitarist was Mick Ralphs and I wonder did Bowie also write the classic guitar riff at the beginning of the song? It only appears once in the song, more as an introductory solo rather than a riff, but for me it is one of the memorable musical moments of the seventies. Without this guitar part the song wouldn’t have the been so special and this raises the question that songwriters and the musicians that perform their songs have had to deal with since songwriting began – if Ralphs wrote the riff did he co-write the song? Because in this case the riff, the solo, whatever you want to call this musical part is integral to the song’s magic.