The song ‘He’s a Rebel’ was written by Gene Pitney in 1963, specifically for The Crystals, a girl group whose previous song, ‘Uptown,’ was produced by Phil Spector. Spector heard Pitney’s demo of the song and resigned from his job at Liberty Records to produce the song himself. However, as The Crystals were unavailable, Spector hired The Blossoms – Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Gracia Nitzsche – to sing the song. The resulting version by The Crystals became a massive hit and reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #19 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song is a big part of Darlene Love’s story, as she was the lead singer on the track but was not credited and remained unknown. She claimed she was paid $5,000 for her work but expected a solo release from Spector that never materialized. Instead, Phil Spector used the royalties from this song to buy out his partners, stipulating that his ex-partners would share in the profits of the next two Crystals singles.
The audience was blown away by the unique and catchy tune when it was first performed in 1963, and it remains a classic. Phil Spector was known to be a bit eccentric, but he was a musical genius, as his production of the song showcased. The song’s upbeat tempo and catchy melody make it a timeless classic that resonates with audiences today.
Interestingly, Pitney wrote the song after hearing The Crystals’ ‘Uptown,’ which had a funky sting section contrived by Spector. Pitney was determined to write something similar and thus created the song. Many artists have covered the song over the years, but The Crystals’ version remains the most iconic.
Watching the video of the song’s original performance is a great way to take a trip down memory lane and experience the energy and excitement of the era. It is incredible how music can bring back the good old days and make us nostalgic for a time long gone. The upbeat tempo and catchy melody of ‘He’s a Rebel’ will surely get you tapping your feet and humming.
If you have not yet enjoyed this classic tune, do yourself a favor and check it out. You will not be disappointed. Then, share this video with your friends and family because it’s the perfect reminder of how music can unite and make us feel young again.