Tag Archives: Billy Idol

Billy Idol: Rebel Yell (1983)

I enjoy going into a used shop on the hunt for vinyl as when you go in through those doors you don’t know what waits for you in those bins.

“Rebel Yell” is one of those albums I have been on the hunt now for a while and look what I finally scored for $5!

For some reason in Thunder Bay there are always used copies of “Whiplash Smile” (the album that followed the 5 Times Platinum Rebel Yell record here in Canada) yet I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the  Whiplash record has no actual drummer on it!

C’mon Billy what was that about? A friggin drum machine for the whole damn album!


“Rebel Yell” in 83 came storming out of the gates thanks to the  albums title track and whoa listen that guitar on track. Stevie Stevens laid down some serious action on the six string not only on this track but the whole album.

Like many I bought this I think it wasn’t until ’84 and I bought it on cassette for the good old  Walkman.

So now in 2022 “Rebel Yell” is now added to my vinyl pile and I’m all the better for it.

I love this record as you have Idol’s sneer and snarl vocals though out and when you have a wizard on the 6 string by the last name of Stevens that is only going to help your cause.

Hey Snowman! Look below Billy signed my back cover while Stevie typed his name! Bahahaha…..

“Eyes Without A Face” is a well crafted tune. I love that eery creepy vibe, almost cold like during the verses until Stevens kicks in with a ton of riffing.

One of my favs from Rebel Yell is” Blue Highway”. Great number and super catchy chorus as Billy brings home the goods on this tune, What is the “Blue Highway?” Smack? If anyone out there knows please fill me in…

“Flesh For Fantasy” has all those trimmings of 80’s technology and as a hard rock/metal fan in ’83 you think I would have scoffed at this kind of track but nope and that’s thanks to the guitar. Loud guitar!

Full props to the sax driven “Catch My Fall” which is another killer track and goes to show you that Punker Billy could drop the attitude and ease of the gas and write catchy hard pop tunes.

As I mentioned this is a great addition to my collection which is way overdue.

Funny as I was typing this I had a flashback to around this time or perhaps ’84 -85 when I was still in highschool and during our lunch break I remember someone had a copy of Circus Magazine with Motley Crue on the cover.

We were talking about how Crue Guitarist Mick Mars looked way older than the other guys in Motley (which was true as Rolling Stone did a story on how old Mick was yet Crue’s management said he was like the other guys ages.)

The discussion became about who would be a good fit for Motley Crue back than and some of the names floated out there was Jake E Lee and Idols right hand man Stevie Stevens.

We weren’t too far off as by 1993 Stevens was brought into to play on Vince Neils solo album….

Gotta love those old high school rock talks!

Billy Idol/ BFI-Live(2016)



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!

Side 1:
Postcards From The Past
Cradle Of Love
Can’t Break Me Down
Side 2:
Dancing With Myself
Flesh For Fantasy
Save Me Now
Side 1:
Ready Steady Go
Sweet Sixteen
Eyes Without A Face
Side 2:
L.A. Woman
Dementia (Steve Stevens guitar solo)
Whiskey And Pills
Side 1:
Blue Highway
Rebel Yell
Side 2:
White Wedding
Mony Mony

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….