Generation X – ‘Generation X’ Deluxe Edition – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

There is nothing like waiting over 40 years to release a deluxe edition of your debut album.  That is exactly what is happened with Generation X whose 1978 self-titled debut album finally received a deluxe edition in 2019.  And was it worth the wait?  That is what we are here to discover.

For those that don’t know and haven’t read the entire Billy Idol series.  Generation X is Billy’s band prior to him going solo in the 80’s.  The band wasn’t just Billy’s, but it also included Tony James, Bob “Derwood” Andrews and Mark Laff.  Generation X was a punk band out of the UK that tended to lean a little towards the Pop/Punk side of things rather than full on punk and they caught a lot of slack for that.  But who cares as here we are 40+ years later celebrating this release.

The Deluxe Edition is a 3 LP set consisting of a remaster of the debut album, an LP of Non-Album singles and B-Sides and a third LP of outtakes and remixes.  The reason to buy if for the 2 extra LPs…at least it was for me as I already had the original LP on vinyl.

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Generation X:

The first LP is a remastered version of the debut album.  The sound is sensational, crips and clear.  However, I prefer the original in all it’s former glory as that was the way it was intended to be heard.  I won’t go through a song-by-song breakdown as I have already done that before on the very first post of the Billy Idol Series.  You can read that here – Generation X – ‘Generation X’.

What you get for the set is a complete replica of that original disk…

And then a nice update on the inner sleeve and LP itself.  It is all very nice quality and high-end material. Very sturdy…

A-Sides and B-Sides:

The second LP is the cool one for me.  This has the a couple of Non-Album singles and all the B-Sides from the album.  I believe you could have gotten all these singles before (or most of them anyway), but I didn’t have them on vinyl so it was a no-brainer for me.  Since I actually have the U.S. version of the debut, I already had a few of these songs, but not all.

“Your Generation” was available on the U.S. version of the debut, but not the UK.  It was released prior to an album and I think displayed fully what the band was about.  It was uptempo, full of wild abandonment, aggression and a total blast.  Their punk roots were on full display and it summed them up nicely.

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The B-Side of the song was “Day by Day” which is on the album.  The album version was a little repetitive at times for me, but still packed full of attitude.  The one thing going for this song is Derwood’s guitar work which seems to be something I focus on more and more with this band.  A bright star that never fully shined.  This mix didn’t leave me feeling like it was too repetitive.  It was a richer and fuller sound.  I really like this version.

“Wild Youth” is another non-album track for the UK release.  It was also released prior to the album. It too made the U.S. version and should have been on both versions as it is awesome.  It is a shining example of punk attitude and youth rising up to be heard.

“Wild Dub” is the B-Side and was also on the U.S. release.  It is a complete remix of “Wild Youth” in the same vein you would get from Billy later with his Vital Idol releases.  It is full on dub and honestly, kind of annoying. I prefer the original song above.

“No No No” is the B-Side to “Ready Steady Go”.  Not on either releases of the album.  Derwood’s guitar riffs kick off the song.  It is 2 minutes full of speed and youth angst.  The cool thing is it ends with a little Elvis shout out and I am sure Billy had the snear going.

Next up is “Trying for Kicks” which was an outtake from 1977.  It actually ended up as a B-Side on the “Friday’s Angel” single from the “Valley of the Dolls’ album. Since I didn’t have this song, this was what I was after.  It is really early Generation X.  For an outtake, it is pretty awesome.  It is in the same vein as all their early stuff so nothing new to add other than it is a great addition to the collection.

The final track on this LP is “This Heat” which is another 1977 outtake and B-Side on “Friday’s Angel”.  A little slower tempo song and Billy sounds so young.  I see why it wasn’t an album track as it does have the same vibe or energy as those other tracks, but still a good song.  A very decent B-Side.

Outtakes and Rough Mixes:

The final LP consists mostly of remixes by both Phil Wainman who produced some songs, but not the album and Alan Winstanley who was the engineer on the album.  I am not a huge fan of remixes especially since most of these don’t stray too far from the originals. You get a some different arrangements, some added bits and difference in song lengths, but overall nothing better than the originals…in my opinion anyway.

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For me, this disk was great for 3 tracks.  The first is “Gimme Some Truth” which was an outtake and released on the U.S. version of the album. A punk cover of the John Lennon song.  It was a strange choice to be the song to kick off that album.  It captures the band’s essence so it works for Generation X.  A good choice of a cover.  They make it their own.

Another song is “Rock on Dub” which is an outtake and not on any album.  It is a rocking song that seems to be unbridled and out of control.  The dub style is obvious as it is in the title.  Another example of a great song, but not quite right for the album.  This is my favorite on this disk as I didn’t have this one either and plus it’s a lot of fun.

The last song on here I wanted was the Single version of “Promises Promises”.  The original is over 5 minutes.  This was streamlined down to 3:42, over 1 1/2 minutes chopped off.  Here’s what I said on the original version…“Promises, Promises” is more of a 70’s glam rock song than punk. At over 5 minutes it is not your typical length.  The song was inspired by Mott the Hoople both musically and lyrically.  I liked Derwood’s guitar work on this one as well.  It is a nice change of pace from the rest of the album.  The album had some really great moments on it and this was one of them.  I still stand by that.  This version just packs all the greatness into a smaller more manageable package.  I like this shorter version a little more.

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Overall, if you don’t have the original album on vinyl, then skip getting that and go after this box set.  It isn’t over-priced and all the little extras will add to the experience.  It captures the essence of the band and you will get a good education in to the roots of Billy Idol.  And that was the joy for me.  Like I said earlier, I could do without the remixes.  If the 2nd LP would have added the 3 songs from the 3rd LP and made the set two disks, I would give it a higher score.  For now, it is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars.  The original album got a 3.5 score, but having this overall great package, it gets a higher score.

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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…

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’
  5. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  6. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  7. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  8. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  9. Billy Idol – To Be A Lover – Single Review
  10. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  11. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  12. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  13. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  14. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  15. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  16. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  17. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  18. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  19. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  20. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  21. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  22. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  23. Generation X – Generation X Deluxe Edition
  24. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

Friday New Releases – April 3rd

April is here!  And as I write this, who knows how crazy it has become.  I am sure we are still at home, I am sure the kids still aren’t back to school and the world is probably closed down…for the most part.  But, there is still new music coming out and hopefully that hasn’t completely stopped otherwise this whole post will be for naught.  What I am interested in are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know what you are digging and what I might have missed.  Stay safe and I hope you have a great weekend.

  • 91zVuVV8yvL._SX522_  Ratt – Atlantic Years 1984-1990 – (Hne): I don’t really need this set as I do have all 5 albums on vinyl.  I am really interested in the bonus material.  If you haven’t gotten into Ratt, then this set is them in their prime and worth grabbing at a decent price.  If you want to know how I rank their albums….check it out HERE!!!  Now here is a little Round and Round for you.

  • 719DQGNyV4L._SS500_  Billy Raffoul – A Few More Hours a YYZ E.P. – (Interscope Records): I came across Billy Raffoul at the Needtobreathe concert.  He was the opening act.  I got to meet him, a horribly bad selfie with him and I bought his debut vinyl E.P. which he was kind enough to sign. So, naturally, I am going to be listening to this one.  Hoping for a little something different, but either way, he is awesome.

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Friday New Releases – March 27th

What a crazy month March has been and thank good it is almost over.  If you are still home cooped up from this whole virus thing, then here are some new releases you can get to help pass the time as I am sure you will need it.  Some good stuff for me this week, but don’t know about you.  Hopefully and if so, let me know what you want to hear, buy or don’t care about.  Also, let me know what I might have missed that people should know about.  My choices are in blue.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

  • 815RjVdY3AL._AC_UL115_  Pearl Jam – Gigaton – (Monkeywrench/Republic/UMG):  I was never a huge Pearl Jam fan, I’m not afraid to admit it.  But it doesn’t mean I don’t like them.  I heard the first song off this and I have to say it is pretty great.  I think I will try out the whole thing.  It is nice to see one of those 90’s Grunge bands still be kicking and Eddie is the only singer left and we are thankful for that.

  • 81RpqUX-rZL._SS500_  Tesla – Five Man London Jam (Live at Abbey Road Studios 6/12/19) – (Universal Music): Okay, Tesla had huge success with an acoustic album like 30 years ago.  Are they hoping to recapture that magic?  Who knows, but I will give it a listen like I do everything they put out.  Buying it?  We will have to wait and see.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Rod Stewart

Welcome to another edition of memes from around the internet. This week we are going to highlight the great Rod Stewart.  This guy was huge in the 70’s and early 80’s and then turned in to basically a lounge singer as he only sang the standards.  I miss the old Rod…now it is just old Rod.  But he’s never too old to make fun of and celebrate, heck no one is off limits in my book. So, I hope you enjoy…

The Songs…

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Friday New Releases – March 20th

Happy Friday and hope everyone is hanging in there with all the craziness in the world.  Despite the world’s events, there are some pretty decent releases.  I think there is something here you will find. I have a few I am interested in, but for those that love pop you’ve got The Weeknd, Conan Gray (my kids are thrilled) and Kelsea Ballerini.  But those aren’t for me even though I am sure that I will hear Conan without having a choice.  My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you see that you like or what I might have missed.  As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

  • 91aBQXDZjQL._AC_UL115_  Def Leppard – The Early Years – (Virgin EMI / Mercury Records):  If you follow the site, you know I have no choice in buying this.  Why?  Because they are my favorite.  It is already bought and will be delivered this fine day.  It is a remaster of their first two albums, B-Sides & rarities, but the gem of this are the live shows from the early 80’s.  Pete Willis anyone!!!  Steve Clark!!!  Enough said!!  These are going to be AWESOME!!!  I guess that wasn’t enough said.

  • 91VspBjh2nL._SX522_  Adam Lambert – Velvet – (More is More LLC / Empire):  Adam’s vocals keep getting stronger.  With Queen, he is amazing.  His solo stuff a little hit and miss, but with that voice, I am willing to give it a listen.  It is very different from Queen so don’t expect anything like that except maybe the theatrics and drama.

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Friday New Releases – March 13th

Oh Crap!! It is Friday the 13th.  Lock your doors and don’t go outside as there are a lot of crazies this day.  And we are crazy with new releases. Actually, there are a bunch, but not much of interest to me as has been the case a lot this year.  I hope the year picks up.  I don’t have any that I am dying to hear…nothing highlighted in Blue this week.  I might try a couple, but if I get to them.  I hope there is something for you.  Let me know what there is you want to hear or what I missed as I always do since I generally only list bands/artist that I have actually heard about.  Have a great weekend.

  • 91+0PkqLz+L._SS500_  Gotthard – #13 – (Nuclear Blast)

  • 71oUwxUkIqL._SX522_  Stitched Up Heart – Darkness – (Stitched Up Heart)

  • 71aNmqEhwBL._SS500_  Code Orange – Underneath – (Roadrunner Records)

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Friday New Releases – March 6th

Welcome to March and the new releases are heating up.  We have a ton this week so there has to be something you like in there, I am sure.  If not, I guarantee nothing!!  There is rock, metal, pop, country, rap, classic rock…what else could you need?  Seriously, what else??  Let me know what I missed and what floats your boat.  For me, the two are highlighted in Blue.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 71DB-YKACJL._AC_UL115_  Harem Scarem – Change the World – (Frontiers Records):  Yes, Harem Scarem are still going strong with a new release.  This is their 16th studio album…wow!!  If you know the band, you know what you are getting.  Solid, melodic rock and only the way they know how.  That is all you want from these guys.  Give it a try.

  • 913OhGTguhL._SX522_  Allen / Olzon – Worlds Apart – (Frontiers Records):  You get Symphony X’s and Adrenaline Mob’s Russel Allen and Nightwish’s Anette Olzon teaming up for an album.  Does it get much better than that?  Probably, but for now, I will give it a try as it is two great voices of metal together.  Deserves a listen.

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Friday New Releases – February 28th

Another month has come to a close and another Friday of not a lot of releases.  It has been an incredibly slow start for me this year.  There has only been a few I have liked so far and have had any interest in.  This week is no different.  There are a couple I will try (highlighted in Blue), but nothing I am super excited about, hopefully that will change once I hear it.  So, sit back and go through the list and let me know if there is anything interesting for you. Also, let me know what I missed on the list so everybody can know.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 71G4t4GFyeL._SS500_  Five Finger Death Punch – F8 – (Better Noise Music):  I am not overly excited about this one.  They are kind of like the Nickelback of heavy metal music and my interest has waned over the years.  However, I will give it a try as usually I get a couple songs worth keeping and adding to a playlist.  I like to think of them as tough sounding music to make you feel like a badass even though you are not…that is me in a nutshell!!

  • A1qlo33DesL._SX522_  The Classic Crime – Patterns in the Static – (Criminal Records):  An alternative rock band that gets lumped in to the Christian label because they were signed to Tooth & Nail label which is mostly Christian acts.  They are more a pop/rock band than anything…no real label.  Always some solid stuff so this will get a spin…or two!!

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February 2020 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Two months in to the year and already some great purchases.  If you are new to the site, this is my monthly wrap-up of my vinyl and CD purchases since not everything I buy makes it on to the site.  Some of it does or already has or will in the future, but whose to say how long that will be.  So, I thought why not share the love of music and let you see what I have been adding to the collection.

The first set of purchases started with a run of vinyl diving when my daughter wanted to go out and pick up a certain album.  We hit two stores…Repo Records and Lunchbox, both in Charlotte, NC.  First stop was Repo Records and my daughter didn’t find anything she wanted, but I found one.  It is the 1980 debut album of Canadian rock star Bryan Adams. Honestly, I have never seen this one and for $5 bucks, why not add to it my ever growing Adams collection. I have at least 6 or 7 of his so this fits in nicely.

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Then we are off to Lunchbox and my daughter found the album she wanted which was Lorde’s album “Pure Heroine” which is actually a really good album.  And don’t worry, I found a couple as well.  I love the UK band The Alarm.  I have about 4 or 5 in the collection and now I have one more.  It is Electric Folklore Live from 1988 that I was missing.

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And then one more to add to the ever growing Aerosmith collection. I finally found ‘Permanent Vacation’ at what I thought was a good price of $10. I’ll take it.

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And then a week later, my wife and I had an afternoon to ourselves and we spent it going to 2nd & Charles as my wife wanted to look at some books and they have a great selection of new and a ton of used books. They also have a vinyl and CD section as well. They have bootlegs on vinyl which is cool and I might have to go back and get some.  I didn’t buy any vinyl, but picked up some cheap CDs which I always like.  First up was a from a band called Audiovent.  Their only album ‘Dirty Sexy Knights in Paris’ came out in 2002 and I had it at one time on CD and loved it, so I re-bought it.

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And since I have been on a Robbie Williams kick lately, I decided I needed all his albums. I didn’t get all, but I picked up 3.  I grabbed ‘The Ego Has Landed’ and ‘Intensive Care’ both studio albums and then a really cool Live album called “Live Summer 2003” recorded at Knebworth.

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I also picked up the new album from Stone Temple Pilots called ‘Perdida’ and I already have shown you that when I did a review.  It wasn’t pleasant.  But I bought it mostly due to my brother-in-law being the engineer and mixer on the album.  Go Check out the Review.

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If that wasn’t enough, when my kids and I were out to dinner on Saturday, February 15th, we were driving by Noble Records and I had to stop in.  As usual, I found a few more things.  First up is another Stone Temple Pilots album. This one is Shangri-La Dee Da and since I am buying albums that their uncle worked on, this falls in that category as he was working with Brendan O’Brien back then and he was the engineer on this album.

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And then there were two 80’s albums I didn’t have.  First one was Dokken’s “Under Lock And Key”…

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and the next one was one of the covers I am after for Stryper’s “To Hell With the Devil”…now I need to find the alternate more controversial cover…

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And that is all.  Well, there was one more, but it didn’t arrive in time for this month’s post so it will kick off next months.  Here is everything in one bundle and yes, I have a problem…

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See you next month…

The Original vs. The Cover – “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”

For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are going to talk about the Brinsley Schwarz song “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”.  The song was written by Nick Lowe and was recorded by his band Brinsley Schwarz.  It was released in 1974 album called ‘The New Favorites of…Brinsley Schwarz.

How Elvis Costello got a hold of it is the fact that Nick Lowe was the producer of his 1979 album ‘Armed Forces’.  Nick introduced him to the song and the band recorded it for the B-Side of Nick Lowe’s single “American Squirm”.  The song did so well, the slapped it on as the last track of the album for the North American release of the album.

Nick wrote the song in 1973 and it was supposed to be a joke song making fun of the hippie generation coming out of their dream like state and becoming a more cynical bunch.  What he realized later was there actually is a bit of truth and wisdom in the song.

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