Children of the Revolution (song)

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"Children of the Revolution"
Children of the Revolution.jpg
Single by T. Rex
  • "Jitterbug Love"
  • "Sunken Rags"
Released 8 September 1972
Genre Glam rock[1][2]
Length 2:29
Songwriter(s) Marc Bolan
Producer(s) Tony Visconti
T. Rex singles chronology
"Metal Guru"
"Children of the Revolution"
"Solid Gold Easy Action"

"Metal Guru"
"Children of the Revolution"
"Solid Gold Easy Action"

"Children of the Revolution" is a song by T. Rex, written by Marc Bolan. It was a No. 2 hit single in September 1972. The song broke their sequence of four official single releases all reaching No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart ("Hot Love", "Get It On", "Telegram Sam", "Metal Guru"). It did not receive a regular album release.


"Children of the Revolution"[edit]

"Children of the Revolution" was first recorded at Ascot Sound Studios for the film Born to Boogie, and featured Elton John on piano and Ringo Starr on a second drum kit.[3]

A longer version of the song, at over twelve minutes in length, was recorded on 31 March 1972 at Copenhagen's Rosenberg Studios during sessions for the band's third album The Slider.[3] Flo & Eddie, formerly of the Turtles, contribute backing vocals to this version of the release. The tape box contained the note that the jam was "for the attention of Ringo".

The recording of the single version of the song began during the sessions for the Tanx album in August 1972. The track was mixed at Air Studios in mid August before being release on 8 September.[3]

"Jitterbug Love"[edit]

"Jitterbug Love" was initially recorded on the 2 August 1972 at the Château d'Hérouville in France, however only the drum track recorded at this session made it to the final release. Additional instrumentation was added at Air Studios on 11 August 1972.[3]

"Sunken Rags"[edit]

"Sunken Rags" was recorded during the last of the sessions for The Slider at Rosenberg Studios, Copenhagen in March 1972.[3]


Appearances in other media[edit]

  • The film Children of the Revolution is named for the song and features it over the closing credits.
  • It was also included in the film Billy Elliot in the scene after Billy's father confronts him about learning ballet.[4]
  • In the film Breakfast on Pluto, the song is used during a dance scene.[5]
  • In Dogtown and Z-Boys, a documentary on the origins of skateboarding in the 1970s, the song plays during a montage of skateboarding.
  • The song is also played in the Norwegian movie Den Siste Revejakta (The Last Joint Venture).
  • The song is heavily sampled in the film Moulin Rouge!.
  • The song is used in the trailer for the 2010 game Fable III.
  • The song plays over the end credits of the first-season finale of Legion.

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • American band Violent Femmes covered the song on their 1986 album, The Blind Leading the Naked.[18]
  • British dance act Baby Ford also covered the song in 1989.[16]
  • A cover is also found on the B-side of the Swedish indie band The Wannadies's second single (Heaven 1990, MNW).
  • Belgian electro-rock band Soulwax performed a version on a Belgian compilation album Glittering 2000.
  • A cover performed by Gavin Friday and singer Bono of U2 appears on the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. In the film itself, it is used as part of a flourishing medley at the climax of the show-within-the-movie as sung by the Bohemian characters led by John Leguizamo.
  • It was also covered by Elton John and Pete Doherty during the Live 8 concerts (2005), but it was poorly received, as Doherty forgot many of the words and was apparently drunk during the performance.
  • German songstress Nena included a version in her 2007 album Cover Me.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 822. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. Bolan (...) started writing manic chant-along glam-rock hits such as "Metal Guru," "20th Century Boy," "Solid Gold Easy Action," and "Children of the Revolution." 
  2. ^ Hawkins, Stan (2009). The British Pop Dandy: Masculinity, Popular Music and Culture. Ashgate Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-7546-5858-0. Take 'Children of the Revolution' by T. Rex, from 1972. Credited for representing glam-rock at its best, this song is a landmark in British popular music and performed by one of the legendary idols, Marc Bolan. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Campbell, Irving (2007). A Guide to the Outtakes of Marc Bolan (1964–1977). Wellington, New Zealand: Great Horse Productions. ISBN 978-0-473-12076-4. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Original Soundtrack – Billy Elliot". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Original Soundtrack – Breakfast on Pluto". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts – 10 March 1973". Go-Set. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Chart Positions Pre 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  8. ^ " – T. Rex – Children Of The Revolution" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Le Détail par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "T. Rex" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  10. ^ " – T. Rex – Children Of The Revolution". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Children Of The Revolution". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Indice per Interprete: T" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1970s". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  16. ^ a b " – Baby Ford – Children Of The Revolution" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  18. ^ Woodstra, Chris. "Violent Femmes – The Blind Leading the Naked". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  19. ^ Severa, Alan. "Nena – Cover Me". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 18 July 2013.