Well, actually the recording is of The Blossoms. The music business can be heartbreaking. This golden oldie was written by Gene Pitney for another girl group, The Shirelles , who turned it down. Phil Spector wanted to record it with The Crystals, but they were on tour — and he heard that Vikki Carr was going to record the song. So, to get it out quickly, Spector decided to record it with The Blossoms. The recording included Darlene Love (then Darlene Wright) on lead, with backing vocals by Edna Wright, Fanita James, Gracia Nitzsche, Gloria Jones, Jean King, and Bobby Sheen. Instrumentation was provided by The Wrecking Crew, who were session musicians. Spector gave the credit to The Crystals, though. DJ Murray the K broke the story on the air.
Anyway, the single is a fine example of the Phil Spector “wall of sound,” featuring a wailing saxophone section, slapback echo, 4-handed piano, and plenty of handclaps. The amazing sound, Darlene Love’s delivery, plus Pitney’s wonderful song all combined to put “He’s a Rebel” at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962.