“Rebel Rebel”.


“Rebel Rebel”
Rebel Rebel by David Bowie UK vinyl pressing.png

A-side label of the original 1974 UK vinyl pressing
   Lyrics                         Video
from the album     Diamond Dogs
B-side “Queen Bitch”
Released February 15, 1974
Format 7-inch single


Length 4:22
Label RCA Victor
Writer(s) David Bowie
Producer(s) David Bowie
ISWC T-900.014.239-2
David Bowie singles
“Rebel Rebel”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”
More from Diamond Dogs album
“Sweet Thing (Reprise)”
“Rebel Rebel”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me”

Rebel Rebel is a song by David Bowie, released in 1974 as a single from the album Diamond Dogs. Cited as his most-covered track, it has been described as being effectively Bowie’s farewell to the glam rock movement.

Originally written for an aborted Ziggy Stardust musical in late 1973, “Rebel Rebel” – completed in January 1974 and released the following month – was Bowie’s last single in the glam rock style that had been his trademark. It was also his first hit since 1969 not to feature lead guitarist Mick Ronson; Bowie himself played guitar on this and almost all other tracks from Diamond Dogs, producing what NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray called “a rocking dirty noise that owed as much to Keith Richards as it did to the departed Ronno”.

The song is notable for its gender-bending lyrics (“You got your mother in a whirl / She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl”) as well as its distinctive riff, which rock journalist Kris Needs has described as “a classic stick-in-the-head like the Stones’ ‘Satisfaction'”. Bowie himself later said, “It’s a fabulous riff! Just fabulous! When I stumbled onto it, it was ‘Oh, thank you

The single quickly became a glam anthem, the female equivalent of Bowie’s earlier hit for Mott the Hoople, “All the Young Dudes”. It reached No. 5 in the UK and No. 64 in the USA.

The US release initially featured a different recording altogether, a radically revised mix that Bowie cut in New York in April 1974. The US single, credited to simply ‘Bowie’, is shorter (2:58) and more uptempo, dense and camp than the UK single, featuring percussion by Geoff MacCormack, an original backing vocal line, and a new arrangement.Within a couple of months it was withdrawn and replaced by the UK single version, but the same arrangement was used on Bowie’s North American tour in 1974, appearing on the concert album David Live.     star2 star2