Elton John vs. the Rolling Stones – Clash of the Titans
The Stones struck first, releasing their 'Bitch' as part of 1971's classic 'Sticky Fingers' LP. Understandably, the track was never released as an official single, instead being relegated to the B-side of 'Brown Sugar' -- but just as understandably, free-form FM stations were quick to latch onto it, and it's enjoyed a long life on rock radio. It's also become a concert staple, surfacing in the set list hundreds of times over the years, and despite a title some might construe to be misogynistic, it's actually an anthem most people can relate to, with lyrics about the difficulties of love (and the unsatisfying experience of eating a horse-meat pie).
Just three years later, Elton John decided to take on the radio censors by releasing 'The Bitch Is Back' as the second single from his chart-topping 'Caribou' LP -- and although some stations refused to play the song, they were clearly outnumbered by program directors who didn't have a problem with the lyrics, because John's 'Bitch' rose all the way to No. 4 in the U.S., continuing a streak of hit singles that would continue for several more years. Like the Stones' song, John's hit has been a persistent live favorite since it was released, reportedly becoming one of his favorite songs to perform.
So which 'Bitch' gets your vote in this Clash of the Titans challenge? Listen to both songs below, and remember: You can cast a ballot once an hour between now and 11:59PM ET on Dec. 22.
Listen to Elton John's 'The Bitch Is Back'
Listen to the Rolling Stones' 'Bitch'