"All the Young Dudes" turns 50

The dudes are not so young anymore. This year, "All the Young Dudes," the warhorse glam rock anthem penned by Bowie and made a hit by Mott the Hoople, turned 50. Is it a song about youthful disaffection and suicide? The coming apocalypse first foretold in Bowie's "Five Years"? Glam and gay coming-out pride? Yes. It's art. It's about whatever you want it to be about. The perennial truth is that it simply rocks. It rocked then. It rocks now.

As someone who was there when this Good News was first delivered, I can still vividly remember the personal and cultural power that it and other glam anthems like "Moonage Daydream" and "Ziggy Stardust" engendered. These were anthems for "aliens" of all stripes, for all "others." And, 50 years later, we're still carrying the news.

Here's Ian Hunter doing an acoustic version on The Howard Stern Show in 2020:

And as you might imagine, "Dudes" has been covered by a lot of very different artists:

Thumbnail: Columbia Records trade ad, Public Domain.