Mott the Hoople was on the verge of breaking up in 1972 when longtime fan David Bowie volunteered to produce an album for the group and offered them one of his songs. From that moment on, "All the Young Dudes" belonged to Ian Hunter, even if he didn't write it; from the first time he recorded the song with Mott the Hoople, through the countless times he performed it afterward (either with the band or as a solo act), Hunter's blend of rock-star swagger and street-kid heart always shone through, even if the material might have sounded a bit fey in other hands. In Bowie's version, there seems to be a vague, under-the-radar suggestion that the "dudes" in question were rent boys or glammed-out fashion victims, but Hunter's vocals (buoyed by Mick Ralphs' soaring lead guitar and Verden Allen's superbly sympathetic organ swells) turned the song into an anthem for the guys on the corner, sticking by each other through the ups and downs of their lives. Hunter was willing to suggest some of their habits might have been a bit odd, as evidenced by Hunter's strange fade-out dialogue, as he bellows out (among other things), "Bring him down here, because I want him!," "I've wanted to do this for years!," "There you go!," and finally "How do ya feel?" (followed ever-so-faintly by "Sick!"). But the song was a solid hit for Mott the Hoople at a time when they needed one, and no one who's ever seen Hunter perform it for a crowd of loyal fans can doubt that it meant a lot to him -- and to his audience.