|Billy Idol – Billy Idol (1982)|
We’ve featured some fairly innovative and cutting edge albums lately, this is not one of them, but I’ll go ahead and tell you that despite what ever preconceived notions you may have, this album is worth listening to. The debut solo album from the frontman of Generation X, Billy Idol’s self-titled debut is pure 80s pop goodness with a little bit of angst that’s rocking’ good fun. No it doesn’t have much credibility when it comes to depth or great songwriting but it’s light listening of the best kind.
Despite his image, Billy’s debut is closer to new wave or pop/rock than punk. It’s an album that’s all about big hooks, catchy choruses and fantastic guitar work by Bill’s longtime guitarist Steve Stevens. Billy may present himself as a punk but unlike most punks he can actually sing. Vocally Billy is more reminiscent of Mick Jagger than someone like Johnny Rotten, with kind of a charismatic swagger and “Do ya think I’m sexy? Roughness.” It opens with a bang with the three best songs on the album and never slows down. Some classics include “White Wedding” and “Hot in the City” as featured in Big though any of these songs were good enough to be singles. Got to give it to Billy, the man knows melody and has fun doing it.
I like to think of Billy Idol as like the Jason Statham of rock and roll. He acts like a tough guy (which is entertaining) and has some talent, but he’s not really respected for his craft. Billy Idol delivered a handful of hits back in the day but there’s not much more than what’s on the surface. Though perhaps I’m digging a little too deep, really shouldn’t the only requirement for a song to be good is for one to like how it sounds? So in that simplified sense I like this album and I like Billy Idol, with all the cheesy artists that came out of the 80s he’s one that’s still kind of cool.
Favorite Tracks: “Come On, Come On”, “Hot in the City”, “White Wedding”