Rebel Yell (song)

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"Rebel Yell"
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Rebel Yell
Released 24 October 1983
Format Vinyl (7" and 12")
Recorded 1983 at Studio A, Electric Lady Studios in New York City
Length 4:47
Label Chrysalis
Producer(s) Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology
"White Wedding"
"Rebel Yell"
"Eyes Without a Face"
Audio sample
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"Rebel Yell" a song by English rock singer-songwriter Billy Idol, featured on the album of the same name (1983). When first released as the lead single, it charted outside the UK Top 40, but a re-issue in 1985 reached No. 6. In the US, it peaked at No. 46. The song was named the 79th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.[1] This song was included in the video games Guitar Hero World Tour, WWE 2K16 and as a downloadable track for the Rock Band series. In addition, "Rebel Yell" appeared in the documentary Warren Miller's Impact. The 1999 digital remastered version appeared in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as an in-game cassette tape.


At a televised performance of VH1 Storytellers Billy Idol said that he had attended an event where Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones were taking swigs from a bottle of "Rebel Yell" bourbon whiskey. He was not familiar with the brand, but he liked the name and decided to write a "Rebel Yell" song.[2]

The song was co-written by guitarist Steve Stevens. The instrumental introduction, which sounds like a combination of electric guitar and electronic keyboard, is performed by Stevens on guitar alone, who intended it to sound this way. Stevens states that he was inspired by acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke's style.[3]

Formats and track listings[edit]

  • UK 7" vinyl single
  1. "Rebel Yell"
  2. "Crank Call"
  • UK 12" vinyl single
  1. "Rebel Yell"
  2. "Crank Call"
  3. "White Wedding"
  • (1985 re-issue) UK 7" vinyl single
  1. "Rebel Yell"
  2. "(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows♱"

♱Recorded live at Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, California, March 1984.

  • (1985 re-issue) UK 12" vinyl single
  1. "Rebel Yell (Extended Version)"
  2. "(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows♱"
  3. "Blue Highway♱"

♱Recorded live at Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, California, March 1984.


Chart (1984) Peak
New Zealand Singles Chart[4] 3
UK Singles Chart 621
US Billboard Hot 100 46
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks 9
Chart (1984/1985) Peak
UK Singles Chart 62


  • 1 – Original release in 1984
  • 2 – Re-release in 1985

Acoustic Version[edit]

In 1994 Idol released the single "Speed", a song from the box office hit movie of the same name, with a live acoustic version of "Rebel Yell" accompanying the lead song on the UK CD single release. This version not only showcases Idol's strong live voice, but Stevens frenetic and intricate guitar playing, thus demonstrating his inspiration and admiration of the aforementioned guitarist Leo Kottke.

Scooter cover[edit]

"Rebel Yell"
Single by Scooter
from the album Our Happy Hardcore
B-side "Euphoria"
Released 9 May 1996[5]
Format CD single, CD maxi, 12" maxi
Recorded 1996
Genre Happy hardcore
Length 3:40
Label Club Tools
Scorpio Music
Writer(s) Billy Idol
Steve Stevens
Producer(s) H. P. Baxxter
Rick J. Jordan
Jens Thele
Ferris Bueller
Scooter singles chronology
"Let Me Be Your Valentine"
"Rebel Yell"
"I'm Raving"

In 1996, the song was covered by German dance band Scooter. It was released in May 1996 as the third single of their second album, Our Happy Hardcore.

On the very famous children's show Sesame Street, the song was also spoofed as "Rebel L", sung by Billy Idle, a parody Muppet of Billy Idol, performed by Kevin Clash. The rebellious letter L, voiced by Christopher Cerf, makes a loud "luh-luh-luh" and protests outside of Billy Idle's house at night, until he is arrested by a policewoman, voiced by Ivy Austin.[6][7]

Track listings[edit]

CD-maxi – Germany[8]
  1. "Rebel Yell" (Radio Edit) (3:40)
  2. "Rebel Yell" (Extended Mix) (4:44)
  3. "Euphoria" (3:57)
12"-maxi – Germany[9]
  1. "Rebel Yell" (Extended Mix) (4:44)
  2. "Stuttgart (4:52)
  3. "Euphoria" (3:57)
CD-single – France[10]
  1. "Rebel Yell" (Radio Edit) (3:40)
  2. "Euphoria" (3:57)
12-maxi – France[11]
  1. "Rebel Yell" (Extended Mix) (4:44)
  2. "Rebel Yell" (Radio Edit) (3:40)
  3. "Euphoria" (3:57)
CD-maxi – Australia[12]
  1. "Rebel Yell" (Radio Edit) (3:40)
  2. "Let Me Be Your Valentine" (Edit) (3:47)
  3. "Rebel Yell" (Extended mix) (4:44)
  4. "Euphoria" (3:57)
  5. "Let Me Be Your Valentine" (The Complete Work) (5:42)
  6. "Eternity" (5:19)
  7. "Silence of T.1210 MKII" (1:31)


Chart (1996) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[13] 7
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[14] 8
Germany (Official German Charts)[15] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 23
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[19] 30

See also[edit]

Rebel yell


  1. ^ " music". Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Warren, Craig A. (7 September 2014). The Rebel Yell: A Cultural History. University Alabama Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0817318482. ... Idol explained that he came to use the title 'Rebel Yell' ... not because of any knowledge of the Confederacy but because of his enthusiasm for Rebel Yell bourbon. 
  3. ^ Reesman, Bryan (1 June 2006). "Classic Tracks: Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"". Mix Magazine. Penton Media, inc. Retrieved 15 March 2007. 
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  5. ^ Scooter Discography – Rebel Yell
  6. ^ "Rebel L"
  7. ^ Sesame Street: "Rebel L"
  8. ^ Scooter – Rebel Yell
  9. ^ Scooter – Rebel Yell
  10. ^ Scooter – Rebel Yell
  11. ^ Rebel Yell
  12. ^ Scooter – Rebel Yell & Let Me Be Your Valentine
  13. ^ " – Scooter – Rebel Yell" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Scooter: Rebel Yell" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  15. ^ " – Scooter Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  16. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group. "The Irish Charts". Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  17. ^ " – Scooter – Rebel Yell". Singles Top 100.
  18. ^ " – Scooter – Rebel Yell". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-05-25" UK Singles Chart.

External links[edit]