"Queen Bitch" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory. Bowie was a great Velvet Underground fan and wrote the song in tribute to the band and Lou Reed. He recorded a cover of "I'm Waiting for the Man" in 1967 (which remains unissued), as well as live versions on Bowie at the Beeb and the radio-recording of the live at Nassau Coliseum concert that follow "Queen Bitch".
It 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 which 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).
A part of the songs lyrics are mentioned in The Killers song "Mr Brightside".
- Bowie played the song at the BBC show Sounds of the 70s 18 January 1972. This was broadcast at 7 February 1972 and in 2000 released on the album Bowie at the Beeb.
- A version recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 20 October 1972 was released on Santa Monica '72.
- Another version recorded at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale 23 March 1976 was released on RarestOneBowie and later on the deluxe re-issue 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.