Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Crystals - He's A Rebel...

He's A Rebel by The Crystals.  Written by Gene Pitney, produced by Phil Spector.  One of my all-time favourite songs.  My mom used to play this 45 all the time when I was growing up.  Last night I was playing my guitar along to some girl-group greats and I realized one of the things that makes this song Incredibly Brilliant is a half-step modulation up going into the first chorus.  The "No No No"s at the end are Wonderful as well.

As this gets cut off, here's the full version:

I almost wish I hadn't looked up any info on this song as it all seems a little sordid.  It's not actually The Crystals singing it for one thing, it's Darlene Love backed by The Blossoms.  The Crystals themselves were out on tour and Spector was in a hurry to get his own version of this song out, so he brought Love and The Blossoms into the studio.  Vikki Carr had a version out around the same time as well (link to video there but the video is so poor I don't want to post it).  Another video of The Crystals version here with some very interesting information about their career, including the rare Let's Dance The Screw Parts 1 & 2 single.  He's A Rebel was also originally offered to The Shirelles, who turned it down because of the lyrics. Not that any of this takes away from what an Excellent song it is.

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