The British follow-up to the breakthrough hit "All the Young Dudes" was, of course, also Mott the Hoople's chance to prove that they could exist beyond the shadow of mentor David Bowie. In fact, the transition was a little tougher than history remembers -- although it was well-known that Hunter changed a few of the song's lyrics at Bowie's suggestion, the appearance of his original version on the All the Young Dudes box set proves that it needed more than a helping hand back then.
Still, the power of the song rings through loud and clear, and it is immediately apparent why "Honaloochie Boogie," slight though it may seem when compared to some of Mott's other available material, was chosen for such an all-important single. Proud and anthemic, led by scintillating guitar and a dramatic cello chorale, "Honaloochie Boogie" documents a young dude's conversion to rock & roll in language which any young acolyte could understand. "I wanna tell Chuck Berry the news," cries Hunter, and the retro sax blown by Roxy Music's Andy Mackay suggests that he understood every word.