Billy Idol….. What can you say? The spiked hair Rocker has been around for decades now and is still out there touring and recording! Give it up for him!
Idol took over the video and airwaves here in Canada back in 1984 when the Classic Rebel Yell album was released and it featured of course the songs that have stood the test of time like the title track of course while Eyes Without A Face, Catch My Fall,Blue Highway(My personal fav of Billy’s) made this an instant win for me to purchase. Course it helps when you have a Guitar Motley Looking Dude named Steve Stevens who brought a huge guitar rock sound to Billy’s Punk Edge.
But after that for some reason as quick as I got into the Rebel Yell I also got off of it after I heard 1986’s Whiplash Smile with the single To Be A Lover for some reason never took off with me. I seen the video to To Be A Lover with Billy and Stevie bouncing around in a Boxing ring just was kinda goofy while the drums sounded programmed.
Course shortly after Stevie quit Idol’s band Idol himself almost died in a motorcycle accident and of course Billy was medicated and what not but he somehow managed to pull himself together and reunite with Stevie (Steve’s 1988 solo album Atomic Playboys record stiffed quickly and disappeared)again and back to business with making music and touring.
So once I seen this on iTunes I do love live albums I had to check out how Billy is sounding 33 years later…
The Tunes…. BFI first was released on vinyl so all you collectors out there ….Take Notice!
Postcards From The Past
Cradle Of Love
Can’t Break Me Down
Dancing With Myself
Flesh For Fantasy
Save Me Now
LP DISC 2
Ready Steady Go
Eyes Without A Face
Dementia (Steve Stevens guitar solo)
Whiskey And Pills
LP DISC 3
The album I guess would be a good cross-section of his career. You can see by this track listing that it has a ton of singles even if your not the hardcore Idol fan like myself you have heard these tunes.
Dancing With Myself is a great track live. The only knock I have is there is a steady sampled hand claps triggered to the beat of the drums that gets kinda annoying but Stevens on guitar raunching it up a notch I can live with it.
Billy’s vocals of course have aged but he still sings with sneer and growl so he has that edge. Stevens is the real deal here. They could have cranked him a bit more up in the mix but that’s my deal.
Billy does The Door’s L.A Woman justice but then again I’m not the biggest Doors fan as well but the playing and singing is good on it and of course Billy was in the 1991 Door’s Movie so there may be that connection.
For myself Steve Stevens is wicked on the 6 string as he oozes 80’s cool with the dive bombs/finger taps while adding some crunch to the songs when needed. I recall back in high school (1984-ish)at some point when both Rebel Yell and Motley’s Shout At The Devil were high up on the charts and the conversation at various points was what if Stevens was the Crue’s guitarist? It was a fair point as Stevens had the rock look down whereas Crue Guitarist Mick Mars was sporting the Count Chocula look…. Not knocking Mars playing it was a lot about image as well back in 84!
The album itself is good but the mix sounds too good not to many rough around the edge live moments. Doctored a bit in the studio perhaps? Dunno but if so it still rocks….