Cockney Rebel / Steve Harley

Judy Teen

Song Review by

Most glam acts were either arty (like Roxy Music) or purely commercial (like the Sweet), but other groups were able to blend both styles to create singles that were as challenging as they were catchy. Steve Harley was able to straddle this balance and "Judy Teen" is a good example of this skill. The lyrics are a light-hearted tribute to "the queen of the scene" that mix gestures of praise (a recurring refrain is "she made us happy") with lyrical flights of fancy: "Seeking shelter, no helter-skelter's gonna betray you/Judy Teen, the queen of the scene, is coming to slay you." The music matches the lyrics' sense of fun by mixing swinging mid-tempo verses that create a waltz-like beat with a more up-tempo chorus that builds to an effervescent peak. Cockney Rebel's recording of "Judy Teen" wraps the song's plentiful hooks in some unique ear candy, anchoring the song with Stuart Elliott's steady yet inventive drum work from but dressing it up with Milton Reames-James' frilly keyboard riffs and some soaring electric violin riffs from Jean-Paul Crocker. The result was catchy enough for a wide audience but clever enough to snare in ambitious listeners with its wordplay. "Judy Teen" earned the group its first Top Ten hit and set a precedent for equally ambitious future singles like "Mr. Raffles (Man It Was Mean)" and "(I Believe) Love's a Prima Donna."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Best Glam Rock Album in the World Ever 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:42
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Disky Box] 2000
Various Artists
Disky 3:41
The Cream of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel 2001 EMI Music Distribution 3:41
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 3:41
Original Hits: 70s 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 3:42
Massive Hits! Seventies
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:44