I wasn’t going to do any greatest hits, but with this one I changed my mind. Billy has only had a handful of official greatest hits packages and although they cover the hits, none are really that great. So, I thought I would help your search and give you what I think might the best of the greatest hits albums he has released.
The one I think is the best is the 2008 release, ‘The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself’. It isn’t that much different than the 2001 release simply titled ‘Greatest Hits’. In fact, there are 14 songs that are the same and almost the exact track list order. With the “Greatest Hits’ package from 2001, you get a live version of “Rebel Yell” and the Simple Minds cover of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which is a really good cover. Those two are great to have, no doubt. However, I do prefer the ‘Idolize Yourself’ version better.
Why do I like this version better than the prior release? There are actually 5 reasons.
First: It is the most current, so you get a song from “Devil’s Playground called “World Comin’ Down”. The song is an uptempo rocker about the troubles in the world and the pressures you feel as a result. It is a song that gets you moving and with Steve Stephen’s speedy guitar riffs and Brian Tichy’s heart-pounding drums you never catch your breath.
Second: The album features the song “Speed” that was previously only available on the Speed Movie Soundtrack. This is one of the biggest reasons I like this release as this is a total kick ass rock & roll song that will have you “speed”ing down the road at 100 mph without even noticing it (thus the name of the song).
Third: One of three new exclusive tracks (two of which are on the CD). The first being “John Wayne”. This is a modern rock song with that borders on a power ballad with a great guitar build-up from Steve Stevens and then an awesome solo thrown in for good measure. It sounds like it would have fit nicely on ‘Devil’s Playground’.
Fourth: The second exclusive track is “New Future Weapon”. This is in the classic Billy Idol style thing along the lines of “Rebel Yell”, but yet still a modern rock song at the same time. It is uptempo and full of bombastic performances by Brian and Steve as well as Billy with all the attitude you love in his vocals. This is a beast of a song.
Before I go in to the fifth reason, a cool thing about “John Wayne” and “New Future Weapon” is that my brother-in-law, Ryan Williams, recorded and mixed both songs (see credit from the CD booklet below). For me, that is a totally awesome connection now to Billy!!!
Fifth: The final reason is an exclusive track you can only get on the digital version of the album called “Fractured”. Billy keeps that modern sound and rocks out another one. I love on how the tempo and style are so different with the first verse and last one from the rest of the song. This one has one nasty bass line from Brian Tichy (I am guessing), heck the bass is killer through out and seems to be the focus of the groove. Billy is 3 for 3 on the new songs.
Now, I won’t do my typical Track Score as it is a greatest hits collection and all are critical for the listening pleasure. I will do an overall score only this go round.
The overall track score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars. It doesn’t get any higher as it still isn’t the greatest hits collection I would put together. Mine would be a 2 CD set with Generation X songs and more songs from Cyberpunk & Devil’s Playground…plus you have his latest album to throw in there as well. I would also want some different mixes, live versions and other nice surprises thrown in. However, if you are looking for an introduction in to Billy, go with this one over all the rest. It has the most to offer.
If you want to check out the other reviews I have done so far for the Billy Idol Series, click the links below:
- Generation X – ‘Generation X’
- Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
- Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
- Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’
- Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
- Billy Idol – Billy Idol
- Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
- Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
- Billy Idol – Vital Idol
- Billy Idol – Charmed Life
- Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
- Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
- Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
- Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
- Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
- Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
- Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
- Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
- Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
- Billy Idol – Revitalized
- Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
- Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First
Up next will be Billy Idol’s ‘Kings & Queens of the Underground’.