Bowie was a great Velvet Underground fan and wrote the song in tribute to the band and Lou Reed. He recorded a studio cover of Reed's "I'm Waiting for the Man" in 1967 (which remains unissued), as well as live versions, which may be heard on Bowie at the Beeb and on Live Nassau Coliseum '76 (in the 2010 special edition and deluxe edition re-issues of Station to Station).
"Queen Bitch" starts with Bowie counting down to his acoustic guitar before Mick Ronson's thrashy guitar riff enters. The song's arrangement, featuring a melodic bass line, a tight drum pattern, choppy distorted guitar chords, and an understated vocal performance by Bowie, provided the template for the glam rock style that features prominently on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, his seminal 1972 follow-up to Hunky Dory. While the main riff is similar to The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane", it is actually lifted from Eddie Cochran's "Three Steps to Heaven". (a posthumous #1 hit single in the UK in 1960).
Live versions[edit | edit source]
- Bowie played the song on the BBC radio show Sounds of the 70s on 18 January 1972. This was broadcast on 7 February 1972 and in 2000 released on the album Bowie at the Beeb.
- Bowie performed the song on Old Grey Whistle Test on 8 February 1972. This performance, broadcast on television later the same day, is included on the DVD version of Best of Bowie.
- A performance recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on 20 October 1972 has been released on Santa Monica '72 and Live Santa Monica '72.
- Another version recorded at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale 23 March 1976 was released on RarestOneBowie and on the 2010 special edition and deluxe edition re-issues of Station To Station.
- Lou Reed performed the song together with Bowie at his 50th Birthday Bash in New York City, New York in January 1997.
- Arcade Fire have played this song with Bowie in New York City as well.
Other releases[edit | edit source]
- B-side of the UK release of the single "Rebel Rebel" in February 1974.
- B-side of the US release of the single "1984" in April 1974.
- It was released as a picture disc in the Fashion Picture Disc Set.
- It was played over the closing credits of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and featured on the soundtrack to the film.
- Appears in the music video game series Rock Band as downloadable content in a 3-song pack along with other David Bowie songs "Moonage Daydream" and "Heroes".
- Is featured in the soundtrack of skateboarding video game Skate.
- Is featured in the soundtrack of PS3 racing game MotorStorm: Pacific Rift
- Featured in the 2007 film Run Fatboy Run
- Featured in promotional material for the 2008 film Milk and is also in a scene from the film.
- Featured in the films 'The Damned United' and Neighbors.
- Featured in the trailer for the 2011 film Young Adult
Cover versions[edit | edit source]
- Birdbrain - Let's Be Nice (1997)
- Eater - The Album (1977)
- Green River - Rehab Doll (1988)
- The Hotrats - Turn Ons (2010)
- Seu Jorge recorded a Portuguese version for the film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
- Lou Reed - Live recording (with Bowie)
- Spiral Jetty - Band of Gold
- The Tragically Hip - Played live several times on the World Container Tour
- Elf Power - Live in Ann Arbor, MI
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- David Bowie – vocals, acoustic guitar
- Mick Ronson – electric guitars, backing vocals
- Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
- Mick Woodmansey – drums
References[edit | edit source]
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