BILLY IDOL - THE ALBUMS 1982 - 1983



"BILLY IDOL"

1982

COME ON, COME ON -  Billy's debut album since the disbanding of Generation X opens up with an anthemic New Wave track with hints of Punk bravado.  A driving rhythm throughout and crosses over nicely from the old "X" days to the new sound that he would make his own with the next album and beyond.

WHITE WEDDING (Part 1) - The Idol classic song that is one of his best known tracks.  A Classic Rock track with New Wave nuances.  Billy gives his best sneer and snarls the vocals in brilliant fashion.  Absolutely love this track and did from the first time I saw the video on MTV.  Part 2 can be heard the extended versions album, "Vital Idol".  An 80s and Rock gem.

 

HOT IN THE CITY - This is a fabulous experimental track.  It has elements of Rock, Rock N' Roll, New Wave and even a small hint of Motown.  Very cool song.

 

DEAD ON ARRIVAL - A throwback to Billy's Generation X Punk days and this could have been on any of their albums.  A frenetic track and at times gives that "live" sound that make it seem like a demo.  It takes a while to grow on you but its late 70s Punk vibe pulls you in.

NOBODY'S BUSINESS - With its obvious Rock N' Roll influenced backing and 60s "ooh ooh" chants it moves into Classic Rock and New Wave as the track goes on.  Brilliant and one of my favourites.

LOVE CALLING - A real Rock N' Roller with medieval and tribal chants, simple lyrics but its a storming track.  Add a few orchestral instruments in the background and this is a surefire smash.

HOLE IN THE WALL - Another great track, influences of Progressive Rock, Punk and Electronic Rock.  New Wave Rock at its best.  A driving beat and simple catchy chorus with choppy guitars make this a favourite of mine.

SHOOTING STARS - Not a favourite of mine but Billy has made some great songs and the bar is high.  It is a nice enough song but it doesn't seem to lift off for me.  Its the most poppy song on the album and maybe that's why it fails to hit a high.

IT'S SO CRUEL - This is a slow Blues/Folk hybrid which has Billy almost sounding like Elvis Presley at times.  It has emotion and gives a nice respite to the big, brash frantic tracks that came before.  It shows Billy can deliver a slow song with gusto.

CONGO MAN - Almost a minute in length, this is the reprise cut back instrumental backing of "Love Calling".  Basically the Bong Drums with chants.  Still its a nice ending to a fine debut.




"REBEL YELL"
 
1983


REBEL YELL - The title track is a rip roaring fast tempo rocker, full of Rock guitar riffs and a stomping keybaord theme throughout, complete with Billy's snarling Elvis throaty vocal.  Add to that a memorable chorus its just a great song!
 
 

DAYTIME DRAMA -  A mid tempo Pop Rock track, Billy's vocals are toned down more than normal, almost crooner like.  The musical backing is reminiscent of the early 80s bands, such as The Police, The Cars etc.  Really nice song though proving that Billy wasn't just a brash, snarling rocker, he could pull it back a bit and sing a nice ballad.

EYES WITHOUT A FACE -  Billy's first big hit, reaching number 18 here in the UK.  The slower tempo ballad-like song had a lovely melody which disguised the dark tone of the lyrics.
 
 

BLUE HIGHWAY - Back to the Billy we know and love, best to play loud! A rousing Blues Rock song.  Just for reference check out the live version on the later Expanded edition of "Rebel Yell", it is awesome.  This is pure Rock N' Roll, man.

FLESH FOR FANTASY - A very experimental song.  All the Rock elements were there but with some enhanced atmospheric electronic sounds, still a classy record ahead of its time in 1983.

CATCH MY FALL - It was a medium paced rocker with some saxophone and although a great song, the remixed version on the album "Vital Idol" was much more punchier.

CRANK CALL -  Almost classic 80s Pop Rock, akin to the likes of early Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.  Guitar riffs and solos, throbbing drums and Billy's soft vocals building to a crescendo of pure Rock for the chorus.  Another gem for the album.

(DO NOT) STAND IN THE SHADOWS - A weird one but it works.  Starts off almost sweetly then pounds into a Punk rocker going back to Billy's Generation X days.  The relentless beat with its sing-a-long chanted chorus is a class throwback to the late 70s and early 80s.

THE DEAD NEXT DOOR - This is a very eerie, sobering end to the album.  It is beautifully sung and is a very poignant, mysterious and emotive song.  It is just like Billy to experiment with all genres and styles as he has always done.





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