Song of the Day #2,871: ‘Rebel Rebel’ – David Bowie

david_bowie_diamond_dogsDavid Bowie followed Aladdin Sane with the disappointing Pin Ups, a covers album released the same year (1973). But six months later he returned with a proper album, Diamond Dogs.

This is a quick record with several throwaway connective tracks. The second half features songs from a proposed musical based on George Orwell’s 1984 that Bowie never got to write. The first side features two hits (the title track and today’s SOTD) along with a three-song suite bookended by a song called ‘Sweet Thing.’

All of this works because Bowie’s knack for great guitar riffs and melodies was still at its peak. Thematically, the album is a little fuzzy, but as the last of Bowie’s glam rock records, it holds up well against its predecessors.

‘Rebel Rebel’ is another classic, and a clear homage to The Rolling Stones. The opening lyrics made the song a rallying cry for the LGBT community, years before they called themselves that.

Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo

You’ve got your mother in a whirl
She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
Hey babe, your hair’s alright
Hey babe, let’s go out tonight
You like me, and I like it all
We like dancing and we look divine
You love bands when they’re playing hard
You want more and you want it fast
They put you down, they say I’m wrong
You tacky thing, you put them on

Rebel Rebel, you’ve torn your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Hot tramp, I love you so!

{Bridge}

Don’t ya?
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo

You’ve got your mother in a whirl cause she’s
Not sure if you’re a boy or a girl
Hey babe, your hair’s alright
Hey babe, let’s stay out tonight
You like me, and I like it all
We like dancing and we look divine
You love bands when they’re playing hard
You want more and you want it fast
They put you down, they say I’m wrong
You tacky thing, you put them on

Rebel Rebel, you’ve torn your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Hot tramp, I love you so!

Don’t ya?
Oh?
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo-doo doo doo doo doo

Rebel Rebel, you’ve torn your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Hot tramp, I love you so!

{Bridge}

You’ve torn your dress, your face is a mess
You can’t get enough, but enough ain’t the test
You’ve got your transmission and your live wire
You got your cue line and a handful of ludes
You wanna be there when they count up the dudes
And I love your dress
You’re a juvenile success
Because your face is a mess
So how could they know?
I said, how could they know?

So what you wanna know
Calamity’s child, chi-chi, chi-chi
Where’d you wanna go?
What can I do for you? Looks like you’ve been there too
Cause you’ve torn your dress
And your face is a mess
Ooo, your face is a mess
Ooo, ooo, so how could they know?
Eh, eh, how could they know?
Eh, eh

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,871: ‘Rebel Rebel’ – David Bowie

  1. Dana says:

    Great classic guitar riff on this one. Here again, before your blog, I never really connected this to the Stones, but the homage is inescapable.

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