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Billy Idol

Billy Idol

After slaving for years in Generation X (Gen X), Billy Idol (William Michael Albert Broad) figured it was easy to be a pop star. At least that's what he claimed. Of course, coming from a Punk background there was a 'limit" to how far he'd compromise.

Essentially, he stopped at mainstream Rock (with gothic touches). Aided and abetted by Steve Stevens' "shake 'em loose" guitar, Idol hit the big time. Armed with a growl, bleached white spiked hair and a whiplash smile (with the best sneer since Elvis Presley), he Rocked, even on the ballads - always a good sign. Idol had the look and attitude for the '80s MTV and that's what counted.

With his career still strong, '90's "Charmed Life" with the hit "Cradle Of Love" had peaked at #11 on the Billboard album chart, Idol was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. While still recuperating he appeared in the '91 film The Doors as one of Jim Morrison's cronies. Though his part was reduced due to a broken leg (among other accident related injuries), Idol was seen limping through scenes.

'93's "Cyberpunk" was recorded in a home studio using a Macintosh computer, which was then a novel concept. Also that year, Idol participated in a Generation X reunion show at the Astoria Theatre in London.

Then there was a twelve year gap before Idol unfurled "Devil's Playground." That effort led to a tour.

Idol's self-written memoir, Dancing With Myself - also the title of one of Idol's biggest hits came out in '14. On the heels of the book, Idol's "Kings & Queens Of The Underground" was issued via Idol's own record label BFI Records.
Billy Idol Discography

Studio Albums:

1982 Billy Idol
1983 Rebel Yell
1986 Whiplash Smile
1990 Charmed Life
1993 Cyberpunk
2005 Devil's Playground
2006 Happy Holidays
2014 Kings & Queens Of The Underground

Billy Idol is more a persona than anything else, but his third solo album "Rebel Yell" is his best. There's also Stevens' explosive guitar work. It's full of hits but the title track is Idol's strongest claim to fame. "Vital Idol" puts forth the hits ("White Wedding," "Eyes Without A Face," etc.).

Idol can also be found on Generation X's "Perfect Hits: 1975-81." The set captures the group in all its Punk fury.

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