Monday, May 19, 2008
No. 491: All the Young Dudes
Band: Mott the Hoople
Album: All the Young Dudes
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: At the brink of breaking up due to shiftless sales, Mott the Hoople decided to take a decent cover and a David Bowie song and build an album around them. This is the result.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Save for those two songs, the album is forgettable.
Best song: Title track. No question.
Worst song: "One of the Boys" stinks.
Is it awesome?: Nope.
Is Mott the Hoople the worst band on the RS 500 list? My first thought is yes, but upon further reflection, Mott isn't the worst thing in the world. The worst artists on the list remain Meat Loaf or Quicksilver Messenger Service (of course, outside of U2 and Springsteen).
Still, "All the Young Dudes" is the second album on this list from the band, on top of six Bowie albums. Mott the Hoople were, essentially, Bowie proteges, and this album has the band's biggest hit. Written originally by Bowie for Mott, the album's title track wasn't even Bowie's first choice to give to the band. In fact, the band rejected the original choice, "Suffragette City" and opted for "All the Young Dudes" instead. Bowie, of course, sang backup on the record and the rest is sorta history.
The song is often misinterpreted as a positive song, though it's mostly about things like suicide, teenage rebellion and the apocalypse. The song dismisses the Beatles and Rolling Stones as, essentially, old people's music while lauding T. Rex. Certainly, an odd choice.
Still, like "Cherub Rock," the song's message is not what makes it fun. Bowie's skill at crafting a melody is evident by the singalong chorus. The song makes for a wonderful singalong -- it's easy to see 30 people crooning along to "carry the news."
But, you know, one song does not an album make. End of the list or not, this record shouldn't really be here.