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Few bands can be said to have been equally influential on both punk and heavy metal. Mott The Hoople are at the top of that very short list. A tough, hard-rocking yet Dylanesque combo in its original incarnation, Mott The Hoople had released four albums through 1971 without achieving a major commercial breakthrough and was on the verge of breaking up. In stepped fan David Bowie with a new song that he’d written especially for the group: the epochal anthem “All the Young Dudes.” Produced by Bowie, “All the Young Dudes” reinvented Mott The Hoople as glam rockers and set them on the path to success. Guitarist Mick Ralphs left Mott to found Bad Company, and organist Verden Allen also departed. New recruits Ariel Bender (aka Luther Grosvenor, ex-Spooky Tooth) and Morgan Fisher moved the band in a more theatrical direction. Thus it was appropriate that 1974’s Live album was recorded partially on New York’s Broadway. Although this was Mott The Hoople’s last stand, lead singer/songwriter Ian Hunter went on to an acclaimed solo career, often accompanied by guitarist Mick Ronson.

Did you know?

  • The band’s name comes from the Willard Manus novel Mott the Hoople, about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show,
  • David Bowie offered the song “Suffragette City” to Mott The Hoople but they turned it down
  • Former Spooky Tooth guitarist Luther Grosvenor changed his name to Ariel Bender when he joined Mott The Hoople