Archive for Billy Idol

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Billy Idol- Rebel Yell

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2017 by 80smetalman


Not sure if history would agree with me but thirty years ago, I thought that 1983 was Billy Idol’s year. After all, he made my Spring and my final weeks in the service bearable with “White Wedding” from his first album, which was cool in itself. Then, at the end of the same year, he released the follow up, “Rebel Yell.” While I thought, actually I still do think it, that the first single and title track wasn’t quite as good as “White Wedding” or even “Dancing with Myself,” I still thought it was an all right song.

“Rebel Yell” is more of a new wave album than its predecessor. Billy uses more keyboards on the songs although unlike the emerging synth pop that was manifesting itself at the time, they don’t dominate them. On the title track, the keyboards help to usher in the start of the song but it goes more traditional hard rock for the rest of it. The same sort of thing happens with the tracks “Crank Call” and “(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows” and both songs are enjoyable. In fact, the hardest song on the album for me is “Blue Highway” and probably why it’s my favourite.

There are some more slower songs on here like “Eyes Without a Face” which did score as a big hit for him in the singles charts. That song marked a move away from punk to a more new wave sound. The same can be said for “Flesh For Fantasy,” but I like that one a little more. It did take me a few careful listens before I fully appreciated “Daytime Drama.” That’s because if you listen closely, there is some good guitar work in support. However, unlike hardcore punk or metal, it doesn’t come out and hit you in the face. I have to now concur with 1537’s assertion that Steve Stevens is a really good guitar player. Therefore, while I still don’t think that “Rebel Yell” quite hits the level of Idol’s self titled album, it’s still a good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Rebel Yell
  2. Daytime Drama
  3. Eyes Without a Face
  4. Blue Highway
  5. Flesh for Fantasy
  6. Catch My Fall
  7. Crank Call
  8. (Do Not) Stand in the Shadows
  9. The Dead Next Door
Billy Idol

Billy Idol

Billy Idol- guitar, vocals

Steve Stevens- guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer

Phil Feit- bass on Rebel Yell

Sal Cuevas- bass on Eyes Without a Face

Steve Webster- bass

Judi Dozier- keyboards

Jack Waldman- keyboards

Thommy Price- drums

Greg Gerson- drums on Rebel Yell and Do Not Stand in the Shadows

Mars Williams- saxophone on Catch My Fall

Perri Lister- backing vocals on Eyes Without a Face

The more I think back, the more convinced I become that 1983 was Billy Idol’s year. Two albums and four big singles prove that point. It is also why I thought that “Rebel Yell” would be the best way to end the tour of 1983.

Next post: Great Albums Killed by the Cassette Player

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Billy Idol

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2016 by 80smetalman


I didn’t think I was ever going to post about this album. Twice it was up for next post but other things beyond my control meant that I needed to post about other albums. At least because of the delay, no one either picked up on my mistake or was too diplomatic to bust my chops over it. When I first announced that the 1983 album from “Billy Idol” was going to be visited, I put the album down as “White Wedding.” Ah, duh, I should have known better. The album is actually self titled with “White Wedding” being the song Billy is best known for. My mistake now takes away any right of mine to bust those who call Boston’s classic self titled album, “More Than a Feeling.” Okay, I now will stop feeling dumb.

“White Wedding” was the song that got my attention. When I first heard the song in May of 1983, I thought this song was really cool. There was that catchy riff with the guitar that made the song for me. Unfortunately, I can’t recreate it in print but those who’ve heard the song will know what I am talking about. I also liked this punk image, which was something the Marine Corps really hated and with less than two months to go in my enlistment, it was one way I could stick the finger up at them.

The already mentioned song turned my head to Idol but I have to say that I was and still am rather impressed with the debut album. “Hot in the City” is the other single and its not bad but I much prefer “White Wedding,” although both songs show that he does have a rather unique voice. Oh yes and I apologise for going off track for a moment but the version of this album I am speaking about is the 1983 re-issue and not the 1982 version. The reason why is so I can include the additional track on the album, which was released as a single later that year, “Dancing With Myself.” I do like that song too.

“Billy Idol” is a good hard rock album and it’s no surprise that, with his image, so many people branded it punk. I don’t give a flying fart (I’m going to use that expression a lot now because it impressed mikeledano) if it is punk, it’s a good album. Other tracks that definitely impressed me are “Dead on Arrival” and “Hole in the Wall” and “Nobody’s Business” is pretty good too.

Track Listing

  1. Come On, Come On
  2. White Wedding
  3. Hot in the City
  4. Dead on Arrival
  5. Nobody’s Business
  6. Love Calling
  7. Hole in the Wall
  8. Shooting Stars
  9. It’s So Cruel
  10. Congo Man
  11. Dancing With Myself
Billy Idol

Billy Idol

Billy Idol- vocals, guitar

Steve Stevens- guitar

Phil Feit- bass

Steve Missal- drums

In 1983, Billy Idol gave me the different thing I was looking for because with only a few weeks left in the service, I was looking forward to becoming an individual again. This album helped provide that for me.

Next post: Thomas Dolby- The Golden Age of the Wireless

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London