“Hot tramp, I love you so”
Though the press adverts proclaimed that it was a Valentine's Day release, Rebel Rebel was actually released on the 15th of February, thirty nine years ago today.
This was because (as with 2013) the 14th fell on a Thursday but singles were issued on a Friday in the UK in 1974.
The release, which had already been put back two weeks, (original printed release date on demo label is Feb 1st) was a slightly edited version of the song from the forthcoming Diamond Dogs album and it was backed with Queen Bitch from Hunky Dory.
An exclusive New York Mix (label illustrated here), which was almost a minute and a half shorter than the regular single mix, was released in North America and Mexico in May 1974 backed with Lady Grinning Soul.
This second version was more urgent than the original, with a backward echo effect on the new la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la backing vocals, castanets and more general excitement all round. More akin to the live version that would be performed shortly on the US Diamond Dogs tour.
At the time, this US version was relatively elusive in the UK and though it's widely available now, it was quite collectable outside of North America back then.
Rebel Rebel became David Bowie's sixth Top Five single in the UK, but similar success in the USA would elude him until the following year.
Go and have a listen to the New York Mix now.