My brother Wes knows good music. Since he was a child, he has had the innate ability to hear something and know it was good before the artists themselves. Bands he has introduced me to before they became mainstream included Radiohead, Pixies, Massive Attack, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sublime. His first discovery was Billy Idol. Mom is the reason for any of us loving music. She let us watch MTV back when they actually played music, and it shaped our lives. Billy Idol was synonymous with the rise of the channel, as his career skyrocketed being the networks darling from the start. My brother had it all. The blonde, spiked hair. The snarl. The attitude. At 5 years old.
Billy Idol is the definition of a rock-star. He is talented, unique, fearless, and simply iconic in nature. His mannerisms, charisma and stage presence were as rare as his ability to fuse punk with pop. The decade of artists that predominantly dominated the airwaves were as shallow as kiddie pools lyrically, until Billy Idol. He was the master and commander of the second British invasion during the 1980’s. He released “Vital Idol” an epic, complete album that did not exist in that time period except in myth or Michael Jackson. Girls, drugs and money were all part of being big in the 80’s, but Idol separated himself from the hair-bands and bad taste of the decade by staying true to his punk roots and somehow fusing it with pop into a perfect cocktail for the era. He wasn’t just singing pop songs. He was singing good pop songs. He went from gimmick to rock-god in two seconds.
Billy Idol gets it. He combined deep lyrics, punk, pop, and rock into a blonde, sneering madness that was great to dance to as well, and still is. He even asks at a certain point during the song “Flesh for Fantasy” Do you like good music? Do you like to dance? Yes, we certainly do. He is played religiously at every good wedding with an open bar. If you look up “bad-ass” in the dictionary, there is a picture of Billy Idol chugging a magnum of champagne. In 1989 after trashing 3 hotel rooms in Thailand he was sedated by the military and forcibly removed from the country. His grade school teacher described young Billy as being “Idol” during class, and the rebel-yell was born. Thank god. Below are songs that my brother, mom and I love…you should too.
For Wes, in no particular order:
- Eyes Without A Face
- Flesh For Fantasy
- Mony Mony
- Rebel Yell
- Cradle Of Love
- Hot In The City
- Dancing With Myself
- White Wedding
- L.A. Woman
You must be logged in to post a comment.