David Bowie

Queen Bitch

Song Review by

One thing not well-known about David Bowie is that he's probably the original British Velvet Underground fan, thanks to his manager getting a hold of acetates back in 1966 and sharing them with his young charge. He went on to actually record a cover of "Waiting for the Man" back then that's still remained unissued, but five years later he finally got his love for Lou Reed fully out in the open with the snarling, snappy glam classic "Queen Bitch." Even his friend and rival Marc Bolan hadn't come up with something so literally bitchy quite yet, as Bowie fused (to quote the Hunky Dory album sleeve) "some V.U. white light" with his own pop senses. Counted off and led into first Bowie's acoustic guitar, then a wonderfully recorded Mick Ronson riff that couldn't be any more gloriously trashy if it tried, "Queen Bitch" out-Reeds Reed, hard as that may be to believe. Or at least, if Reed could write the lines, it's doubtful he could sing them with such gleeful squeals as Bowie does when he goes "She's so swishy in her satin and tat" or "For she's a queen, and such are queens." Energy mixed with seediness and just the right amount of star power -- one couldn't ask for more.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hunky Dory 1971 Atlantic / Elektra / Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 3:20
Station to Station 1976 Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 0:00
Rarest One Bowie 1995 Trident Music International 3:15
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou 2004
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 5:47
101 Driving Songs 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 3:14
Milk [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2008 Decca 0:00
Five Years (1969-1973) 2015 Parlophone / Warner Music 3:20
Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) 2016 Parlophone 3:11
The Lost Sessions 2018 Left Field Media 4:37