For a short while, I was a Billy Idol fan. I had the albums, saw him on tour, wore his pinbacks, even listened to stuff from Idol's early days with the UK punk band Generation X. He had the perfect combination of image and "punk rock lite" for early MTV, but faded fast after Rebel Yell by waiting 3 years to release another album and passing on the single Don't You (Forget About Me), co-written by Idol's producer Keith Forsey, which became a huge hit for Simple Minds. I quickly lost interest. This is a fairly strong compilation, mainly because Idol was more of a singles guy than an album artist.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #74
Tracks: The first 8 tracks, spanning the years 1982-84, are all top notch. This batch includes Hot In The City which might be Idol's best song and should have been a much bigger hit. The other 8 tracks are hit or miss. Hit: Cradle Of Love. Misses: Sweet Sixteen, a cover of L.A. Woman. Also included are a live "acoustic" version of Rebel Yell (which uses electric bass) and Billy's "too little, too late" version of Don't You (Forget About Me).
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I still have my cassette of the 1983 EP Don't Stop which featured Dancing With Myself, a cover of Mony Mony, and two throwaway songs on side one and a poorly edited 13 minute "special" interview with Martha Quinn on side two.
I also still have a copy of Idol's debut LP (given to me by my friend Jim). I saved it because my copy has the original cover (left, below) instead of the sneering cover (right) used on later releases. The fact that I'm a record geek who keeps up with such minutiae should surprise no one.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Rebel Yell (1983)