Billboard #1 Hits:-#80:” He’s A Rebel”- The Crystals. November 3, 1962. 2 weeks at #1. Released on Philles Records. Written by Gene Pitney. Genre: Rock and Roll. Time: 2:31. B-side:”I Love You Eddie.” Grade: A
“He’s A Rebel” Gene Pitney wrote “He’s A Rebel” for The Shirelles but they weren’t interested. When producer Phil Spector heard that Vicki Carr was going to record it he wanted to get a version of it out first. The problem was the group he wanted to record it with The Crystals were touring on the east coast. Spector got The Blossoms to come in and record it . The Crystals were surprised to hear on the radio that the new single from The Crystals was going to be played- and hearing it- and knowing they didn’t record it. The Blossoms singer Darlene Love sang “He’s A Rebel.” To Spector the singers were all interchangeable he viewed himself the producer as the star. It didn’t bother him that he was giving credit to The Crystals and everyone thought it was The Crystals when in fact it was The Blossoms.
For the record The Blossoms under their name only had one Hot 100 hit which peaked at #79- but they did over the years get steady work as back up singers- backing the likes of Elvis, Paul Anka, Duane Eddy, Bobby Darin, The Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick. The Mamas and The Papas among others. The Blossom’s did have another hit though under the name The Crystals- “He’s Sure The Boy I Love” #11 the follow up to “He’s A Rebel.”
“He’s A Rebel” was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine at #267 on their 500 “Songs Ever list. Officially The Crystals had 8 Hot 100 hits and 6 Top 40 hits from 1961-64. Not counting “He’s A Rebel” their biggest it was “Da Do Ron Ron” #3 in 1963.