Billy Idol has taken a cover song and made it his own. “Mony Mony” is the song that I think more people related to Billy Idol rather than the original singer Tommy James and the Shondells who had a hit with it back in 1968. Billy first released it on his E.P. ‘Don’t Stop’ back in 1981. But it was the live recording of the song that became a hit while he was promoting his album ‘Vital Idol’ in 1987. The song was massive and live gave rise to the additional chant of “Get Laid..Get Fucked” following the line… “Hey, say what…”. It became such a popular chant, that high schools at the time banned the song from school dances.
When I was out crate digging, I came across this 12″ Maxi-Single a couple years ago, but it was in such bad shape, I passed as I knew I could find a better copy. And a couple months ago, I did. So, I grabbed it this time around. I keep saying I am not a fan of 12″ Maxi-Singles because you usually get several unnecessary re-mixes of the same song over and over again and this one is no different. But, I am a collector and I find something from an artist I like and I collect it. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. This 12″ Single is the U.S. version from 1987 and has 4 versions of “Mony Mony” so let’s get to it, shall we.
The first version is called the “Hung like a Pony Remix”...I thought you want to be hung like a horse, but okay, his aspirations are a little smaller with pony. His prerogative. I know, it is based off the pony line in the song, I’m trying to be funny and it isn’t working…get over it. This mix is just under 7 minutes long and would be played at clubs so people could dance to it otherwise, it is a hard listen. It starts off with a constant drum beat and keyboards hit the basic notes of the song. This goes on for a little while before Billy comes in with the verses. The song does feel like it was pieced together as it doesn’t have a great flow. They do repeat the line “Ride Your Pony” a lot. I could go on and on for 7 minutes about the differences, but what’s the point.
If you know Billy’s history, you know he likes Dub music so a lot of his remixes have a little dub in them and this one is called “Steel Toe Cat Dub” remix. This is another long almost 7 minute track. Being a dub mix, you get more drums and a groovier beat. This one has less keyboards and more a cappella singing with Billy and his great female background vocalists. The music goes in and out a lot and there is a lot of echo. It is another tough listen as it is tough to stay in the groove with that on and off again music.
I think the B-Side is where you will spend your time as you get the releases you are used to hearing. First is the “Mony Mony” Live version that made the song famous. Compared to the first half it is short and sweet at 4 minutes. Now that is more like it. The live version went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This version is fun, upbeat, danceable and Steve Stevens rips on the guitar. There is no extra remix crap it is a straight-up pop/rock song that you can move to. And I want to scream “Get Laid, Get Fucked” every time I hear it.
Lastly, we get the “Single Edit”, but that is actually wrong I believe. I believe this is the version we get on the ‘Don’t Stop’ E.P. from 1981. The song was a really good cover, but it didn’t really do much on the radio. Compared to what was later to come from this song when he released the live version years later, this version is a little flat and doesn’t have the sonics and feel of that version. It is missing a little of that charm and energy. And too much synths.
And there you have it. Now, there was something my version had that I like and that was the album sleeve. It was a the original clear version with the Chrysalis logo. Simple and sweet.
Now, if you want to check out the full reviews and the entire Billy Idol Series, click on any and all of the links below…
THE BILLY IDOL SERIES:
- Generation X – ‘Generation X’
- Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
- Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
- Gen X – “Dancing With Myself” 12″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’ (Bootleg)
- Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
- Billy Idol – Billy Idol
- Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
- Billy Idol – “Eyes Without A Face” – 12″ Picture Disc (Bonus Edition)
- Billy Idol – “Eyes Without A Face” – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
- Billy Idol – “Sweet Sixteen” – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- Billy Idol – To Be A Lover – Single Review
- Billy Idol – Vital Idol
- Billy Idol – “Hot In the City” – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- Billy Idol – “Mony Mony Live” – 12″ Maxi-Single (Bonus Edition)
- Billy Idol – Charmed Life
- Billy Idol – “Cradle of Love” – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- 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)
- Generation X – Generation X Deluxe Edition
- Billy Idol – Rebel Waltz: Live (Bootleg)
- Billy Idol – Rebel Calling: Live (Bootleg)
- Billy Idol – The Roadside E.P.
- Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First