He's a Whore

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"He's a Whore"
Song by Cheap Trick from the album Cheap Trick
Released February 1977
Recorded 1976
Genre Hard rock, power pop
Length 2:43
Label Epic
Writer(s) Rick Nielsen
Producer(s) Jack Douglas
Cheap Trick track listing
"Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace"
"He's a Whore"

"He's a Whore" is a song written by Rick Nielsen that was first released on Cheap Trick's 1977 debut album Cheap Trick.[1] It has also appeared on a number of Cheap Trick compilation albums, including The Essential Cheap Trick.[1] It has also been covered by many artists including Big Black, Neon and Vince Neil. Like many of Cheap Trick's songs, it was played in early midwest concerts starting in 1975.

"He's a Whore" never became a live staple for Cheap Trick, although they began to play the song in concert occasionally in the 1990s and 2000s.[1]


The genesis of the song came from Nielsen coming up with the title and liking the idea and building the song around it.[2] He liked the fact that the phrase "he's a whore" is not as obvious as if the title was "She's a Whore," and that a song about a gigolo involves a sense of role reversal.[2] The lyrics imply that the central character is an unattractive but wealthy woman.[1] However, according to Nielsen, the song is not just about sex.[1][2] Nielsen has stated that "Whoring means so many different things, it doesn’t just mean having sex, but someone who does anything for money."[1][2] Nielsen further noted that the song encompasses radio stations and people who would do anything for money, and indeed the lyrics include the line "I'm a Whore, I'll do anything for money," and this is further emphasized when lead singer Robin Zander sings "I'm a Whore" and Nielsen sings as a reply "He'll do anything for money."[1][2]

Critical reception[edit]

Allmusic critic Greg Prato described the song as one of the "more straightforward compositions, both lyrically and musically" on Cheap Trick's debut album and as one of the band's "most punk-based and energetic" songs.[1] The song begins with Nielsen playing a descending, single note pattern on his guitar, while Tom Petersson plays a similar pattern on bass.[1] Author Mike Hayes describes the opening as "aggressive, amphetamine-charged chords."[2] Critic Robert Christgau praised the song's hook on the phrase "any time at all."[3] Nielsen's lead guitar licks propel the song along.[2]

Music video[edit]

Cheap Trick filmed a promotional video of the song, directed by Chuck Lashon, in which the band performed the song while mugging for the cameras.[2]


Big Black covered "He's a Whore" on their 1986 double A-sided "He's a Whore / The Model" single along with an English cover version of Kraftwerk's song Das Model.[4] The cover of the single was an homage to the cover art of the Cheap Trick album. The song was also included as a bonus track on the CD version of Big Black's album Songs About Fucking.[5][6] Neon covered the song on their 2005 EP Hit Me Again.[7] Allmusic critic Johnny Loftus described the Neon cover, which was originally a demo, as being "crunchy-for-good-measure."[7] Mötley Crüe's vocalist Vince Neil covered the track on his 2010 covers album Tattoos & Tequila.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Prato, G. "He's a Whore". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Hayes, M.; Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. pp. 37–39. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8. 
  3. ^ Christgau, R. "Robert Christgau Cheap Trick". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  4. ^ Strong, M.C. (2003). "Big Black". The Great Indie Discography (2nd ed.). Canongate Books. ISBN 978-1-84195-335-9. 
  5. ^ Kellman, A. "Songs about Fucking". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  6. ^ Taylor, S. (2006). "A to X of Alternative Music". Continuum. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-8264-8217-4. 
  7. ^ a b Loftus, J. "Hit Me Again". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 

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