Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked Worst to First (The Billy Idol Series)

For the past 8 to 9 months, I have been reviewing the entire Billy Idol catalog from Generation X back in 1978 through his solo years and even a Generation X single released in 2019 on Record Store Day.  It has been such a fun journey and I hate it has come to an end.  To wrap it up, we are going to rank all the studio albums from his very worst (and it is bad) to his very best (which is sensational).

 

THE WORST – HAPPY HOLIDAYS (2006):

 

I am not sure what Billy was thinking, but this should have never been released and probably never recorded.  Hell, it is so bad that even Steve Stevens wasn’t involved with recording it.  That should tell you something right there!!  It is a rehash of classic Christmas songs that we are better off listening to the originals as these do not spark any Christmas cheer.

The original songs Billy wrote throw every cliche in the book out as lyrics and they are sappy, crappy songs.  The best thing about “Happy Holidays” is that it is only 2 minutes.  The only good thing about “Christmas Love” is that it does eventually end. My Christmas gift to you is to avoid this at any cost.

#14 – GENERATION X – VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1979):

 

I thought the production of the album wasn’t good at all as it seemed there was no clear direction and the songs didn’t feel like they were a cohesive package.  It felt like the band didn’t know what they wanted to sound like and were still finding themselves.  Maybe Billy was too busy looking to go solo, who knows, but this was not a good effort.

I did like a handful of songs and they will go nicely in my Billy Idol playlist, but other than that you can skip this album. The songs I did like were “King Rocker”and “Valley of the Dolls” as those were the best.  “Night of the Cadillac”, “Running with The Boss Sound” along with “Fridays Angels” were decent enough tracks, but nothing else.  I haven’t revisited this one in awhile.

#13 – WHIPLASH SMILE (1986):

 

The album lacks the amount of solid songs as ‘Rebel Yell’ and is not one I actually go back to listen.  For me, it is a disappointing album and now knowing about all the drug use, I can feel the lack of clarity and cohesiveness in the album. I hate Billy and Steve had this as their last album together (at the time)…at least they make up for it years later.

Being his heyday, I expected more from this release and it does have some good songs such as “To Be A Lover”, “Sweet Sixteen” and “Don’t Need a Gun”.  You might also enjoy “World’s Forgotten Boy” and “Soul Standing By” but avoid Side B at all cost.  That side is almost unlistenable.

#12 – REVITALIZED (2018):

 

Not all the songs are perfect, but the album is interesting and at times fun.  It isn’t as good as the original ‘Vital Idol’, but has elements that make it worth having.  Billy’s songs are brought into the 21st century with remixes coming from some of the best EDM artist of 2018 including Paul Oakenfold, Moby, The Crystal Method, CRAY and many more.

The remix of “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol & Steve Steven is fun with the “Get Laid, Get Fucked” thrown in.  Any of the mixes that keep the Steve Steven’s guitar are worth listening to as well and I even liked the complete reimagining of “Don’t Need a Gun” and the all instrumental of “Save Me Now”.  Like I said, it is in the ver least, interesting and a fun and a nice change of pace.

#11 – GENERATION X – K.M.D. SWEET REVENGE (1998):

 

The album is really good and a surprise as it is a release of demos and released in 1998 when former Generation X guitarist Derwood Andrews released it due to some contract obligations without the consent of Billy Idol and Tony James.  Billy & Tony were able to block the release in the U.S., but not anywhere else.  The songs were in demo form and not fully realized tracks.

There are some great tracks and some little gems that would go on to be very successful songs for Billy Idol.  I love the name of the album and the resentment behind this release for Derwood and with some great tunes  I enjoyed this release a lot more than I thought. I liked “Modern Boys”, “Triumph”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “Anna Smiles” and “Flash as Hell” along with the demo of “Dancing With Myself (always a great song).  I think this is worth a listen.

#10 – BILLY IDOL (1982):

 

It isn’t my favorite Billy Idol album, but it is still a great debut.  With some classic songs and great deep cuts, you have a solid release that is a pre-cursor to what is to come.  I think Billy was finding himself on this one and turned his punk past into a danceable pop and rock combination that was full of the punk attitude.  He was breaking free at just the right time.  Oh yeah, and now that Steve Stevens was on board, the two together were going on to some great things.

And album that has “White Wedding” and “Hot in the City” must be great.  To be at #10 on his list just tells you how good the rest must be.  I also dug this version of “Dancing With Myself” along with “Come On, Come On” and you can’t forget “Love Calling”.  Really a great set and why is it so low now?

#9 – GENERATION X – KISS ME DEADLY (1981):

 

Overall I liked this a lot more than ‘Valley of the Dolls’, but not quite as much as the debut album.  It is a tale of two halves with the album.  The first half is more danceable and a precursor to what Billy Idol was to become. The second half was more a reminder of the punk days of Generation X.  The two together meld nicely for me.  I am not sure why this album gets such a bad rap, because I actually enjoyed it.  Maybe I have no taste or critics don’t know shit.  I am going with the second one.  And no, I am not a critic, I am blogger, critics get paid and I do not.  I am a fan first and foremost.

This is the album with the original release of “Dancing With Myself” and it is fantastic.  You should also check out “Untouchables”, “Heavens Inside”, “Triumph” and don’t forget “What Do You Want”, “Poison” and “oh Mother”.  It has a lot on here for you to enjoy.

#8 – DON’T STOP E.P. (1981):

 

The Billy Idol debut and if this was your first introduction to Billy, I think you would be excited as these 4 songs are all great.  It is an exciting introduction and would definitely leave me wanting to hear more.  As I think all songs are all good despite the fact 3 songs are covers (2 Gen X covers at that so are they really covers?).

You get “Dancing With Myself” and “Untouchables” from Gen X and then you get “Mony Mony” which Billy made his own song even though it is a cover.  The last song is “Baby Talk” and though not his strongest still great.  A nice start to his career!

#7 – CYBERPUNK (1993):

 

A very underrated album for Billy.  The 90’s were tough as 80’s acts were being killed off in droves thanks to Grunge.  Billy went full on experimental mode and dived down the rabbit hole of the Cyberpunk movement and the use of technology to make music.  He was actually ahead of the times with this and eventually everyone else would catch up.

The songs on here are that are good are great and that is why I like this so much.  I really loved “Wasteland”, “Shock to the System” and “Tomorrow People”.  When you get to “Neuromancer” and “Power Junkie” you are completely bought in to his new sound.  Despite a lackluster back half of of the album, that first half saves the day and I like it each more with every listen.

#6 – GENERATION X – GENERATION X (1978):

 

I really dug this album.  I love to see the beginnings of Billy Idol and knowing where he ends up is great.  I agree that Generation X aren’t as punk as a lot of bands of the time, but I think this album holds up really well and there are some great tracks. They have attitude and the songs are punk, but it is also a little more danceable and less punk preaching which is fine with me.

You get the classic songs of “Ready Steady Go” which he still plays today along with “One Hundred Punks” and “Kleenex”.  Other great tracks include “Promises Promises”, “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Youth Youth Youth”.  If you get any Generation X album, this should be the one, hands down!

#5 – VITAL IDOL (1985/1987):

 

Billy set the bar pretty high for Remix albums after this beauty was released.  The remixes were complete re-imagining of the songs, but they were done in a way to enhance and even improve on the original songs.  It was bloody brilliant.  It actually made me want to dance…and I don’t dance.

The remixes that stood out to me were “Flesh For Fantasy”, which might be favorite version of this song, as well as “Mony Mony”.  And of course “White Wedding” (both Part 1 and 2), “Hot In the City” and “Catch My Fall” are all fantastic.  “Love Calling” stood out to with the woman making all the orgasmic sounds throughout the mix and when you were a teenager listening to this that was quite memorable.

#4 – CHARMED LIFE (1990):

 

Production was fantastic, the songs were top notch and the guitar sound was way more than I expected.  After the disappointing, ‘Whiplash Smile’…well disappointing to me, this album came out with a bang and stayed in heavy rotation for a long time when I originally picked this up back in the day.  And I spun it a ton for this review.  Billy proved that he could do this without Steve Stevens on guitar.

With songs like the cheesy “Cradle of Love” and “Pumping on Steel”, I was hooked from the get go.  The Door’s cover of “LA Woman” was so different and a real rocker as well as songs like “The Loveless” and “Endless Sleep” I couldn’t get enough of this one. In fact, only one song I didn’t like and that is pretty good.

#3 – DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (2005):

 

And yes, the album is a little all over the board with styles, but for me it worked.  It was a solid album.  It rocked out at times more so than he has ever done.  It checked so many boxes for me on what I want from a Billy Idol album.  This was the first album with Steve Stevens back at guitar and to have the whole gang back together, damn it was awesome.  He kept it old and yet modern sounding as well.  Just a fantastic album.

The standout tracks for me were “Super Overdrive”, “World Comin’ Down”, “Rat Race”, “Scream”, “Plastic Jesus”, “Body Snatcher” and “Evil Eye”…I almost named every song so that should tell you something.  Even the Christmas song “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” was awesome.  Easily a Top 3 and could be #2, just depends my mood.

#2 – KINGS & QUEENS OF THE UNDERGROUND (2014):

 

I found this to be one of his best albums and at this late in his career it is amazing.  I love the retrospective feel to the album, I loved the sonics, I loved almost everything about it.  It is a modern album, that feels like classic Billy Idol.  There is a lot of soul-searching going and it feels like a cathartic exercise in releasing his demons.  It was the perfect companion piece for his book that came out at the same time.

The title should have been based on the song “Postcards from the Past” as it felt like little snapshots of his life.  My all time favorite Billy song is on here with “Save Me Now”…simply the best song.  You also get “Bitter Pill”, “One Breath Away”, “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Whiskey & Pills”.  Just a stellar album from beginning to end.

#1 – REBEL YELL (1983):

 

The album brings New Wave and Rock together and captures that energy and magic in a way that few albums ever would. Billy Idol set himself apart from the other artists at the time and became a bonafide rock star and a huge Video star.  There are so many iconic, classic Billy Idol tracks on here that this is easily one of his best.

The title track alone is reason enough.  “Rebel Yell” is an instant rocker and perfect when he plays it live.  Throw in “Eyes Without a Face”, “Blue Highway” and “Flesh for Fantasy” and most artist would kill to have one of these songs on their album…he has all of them.  With “Catch My Fall” and another personal favorite “(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows”, this one is hard to beat.

And there you have it, the Billy Idol studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best.  Let me know what you think.  Where did we differ and where did we agree.  What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!

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 – Vital Idol
  10. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  11. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  12. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  13. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  14. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  15. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  16. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  17. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  18. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  19. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  20. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  21. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  22. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

 

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Stone Temple Pilots – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

You have the Big Four in Metal…Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  In Grunge, the Big Four were Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.  At the time, the only one I liked was Stone Temple Pilots.  They were the closest to the old Rock & Roll that I grew up with.  The others were too foreign to me to like.  However, I do like Soundgarden now and Pearl Jam I can tolerate…Nirvana still sucks (I still don’t get the hype for them but that is another story for another time).

Today, we are focusing on Stone Temple Pilots and how their albums rank from my least favorite to the very best one.  Despite all the troubles with the band and lead singer Scott Weiland, they were able to capture a magic that set them apart from most other bands.  Hell, Scott was probably one of the best frontmen to come out of that era or any era for that matter.  His stage presence and charisma were unparalleled and he could command a crowd.  After his passing, a couple other singers came on board including the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and now current lead singer Jeff Gutt.

And let’s not forget the band…Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (Drums).  Musically, they are the driving force behind the band. They are the constant.  They are why I still listen to this band no matter who fronts.  Their playing is excpetional and Dean’s guitar is freaking awesome.  Some of the best riffs you will hear!

Enough chit chat, let’s get to the reason we are here.  Here are the Stone Temple Pilots albums I rank from Worst to First!!

THE WORST – SHANGRI-LA-DEE-DA (2001):

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Danger Danger – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

It all started for me back in 1990 when I saw Danger Danger open up for Kiss.  I was really impressed by their stage performance and the songs.  I had to check them out.  They were touring in support of their debut, self-titled album which was released in 1989 and I went out and bought it within that week after the show.  I have followed their career ever since.

The band has had two lead singers (they had another prior to any album coming out, but doesn’t count for this list and since I am not including the “Rare Cuts” compilation).  The first for me was Ted Poley.  He is currently the lead singer again.  From the mid-90’s to early ’00’s, the singer was Paul Laine.  Each have 3 studio album and a cool combo set included in this list for a total of 7 albums ranked.  No live albums or any compilations included.

The classic line-up for me is Bruno Ravel (bass/guitar), Steve West (drums), Andy Timmons (guitar), Kasey Smith (Keyboards) and Ted Poly (vocals).  When they switched out with Paul Laine (vocals) I was perfectly happy as he was a great singer and I loved his debut album ‘Stick It In Your Ear’.  The line-up has change over the years, but Bruno and Steve have been the constants.

The band is a story of two different bands.  The beginning was all having a good time, full of fun and excitement with songs about Sex, Sex, Rock & Roll and more Sex…did I mention sex??  Then they became more serious tone, with a more mature sound and flat out better song writing.  Both bands I liked equally as they each brought something to the table.  I think they are worth checking out, but they might not be everyone’s cup of tea.  I hope you enjoy…

WORST – REVOLVE (2009):

 

 

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Lifehouse – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Lifehouse started in 1996 as the band Blyss.  This was while they were in high school and by 1998, the recorded a bunch of Demos.  In 2000, the band went back and re-recorded 12 of the 15 original demos and those demos became their debut album, ‘No Name Face’.  Apparently, they decided to change the band name for this release to Lifehouse because the songs were about lead singer, Jason Wade’s life and other people’s life.  The name  was believed to be a good fit to encompass all that.

The band would go on to release 7 studio albums between 2000 and 2015.  They have had their ups and downs as a band, they have had hits, been popular and not so popular and have taken the typical roller coaster of success.  I have followed the band from the debut album all the way to today and still one of my favorites even if I haven’t liked everything they have done.  But there is more that I like than I don’t like and that is what matters.

I am going to go through all 7 albums and tell you what I like and don’t like about each as well as rank them from the Worst album to their #1 album in my book.  If you are not familiar with them, I hope this will spark an interest and you will give them a try.

WORST – STANLEY CLIMBFALL (2002)

After the success of the band’s debut, their sophomore release was a rather big disappointment for me.  It wasn’t all bad as there were some great songs such as “Spin”, “Wash” and “Take Me Away”.  Heck, the album sold 2 million copies so people liked it. It was a heavier rock sound then the first album and normally that is a good thing for me.

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White Lion – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

When Danish musician, Mike Tramp moved to New York in 1983, he met this guitar whiz by the name of Vito Bratta and a little band was formed by the name of White Lion (I am sure I over simplified things).  A bass player and drummer were added, a record label was signed and the debut album was ready.  The debut, ‘Fight to Survive’, was finished and the record company hated it and refused to release it.  Oh yeah, they dropped the band as well.  The album eventually was released and then the bass player and drummer were added, labels went bankrupt and it all started all over again.  Not the most auspicious start.

The band’s classic line-up was set with Mike, Vito, James LoMenzo (bass) and Greg D’Angelo (drums).  A record deal was in place with Atlantic and in 1987, the band released ‘Pride’ and success was finally had…at least for a few years.  One thing the makes the band a little different than other bands of the era is that every album has at least one (usually more) song that is political in nature or at least some social commentary to it.  Where this worked on some albums, it totally didn’t work on others.  As a kid, I could care less about political or socially conscious songs, give me Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.

I was a fan of White LIon’s in the late 80’s and early 90’s so I thought I would rank their albums as I have some familiarity with all their stuff and felt I could judge them properly.  With only 5 studio releases, this one isn’t as long as some of the others I have done which is a nice change of pace for me.

Sit back and see how the albums are ranked and maybe it will spark an interest to go listen to some White Lion.

WORST – RETURN OF THE PRIDE (2008):

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Motley Crue – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Motley Crue called it quits  back in 2016 with The End Farewell Tour. I have The End Deluxe Edition Tombstone set which I love and I have all their CDs (only missing a couple that will be remedied shortly.  I was listening to them the other day and thought it was time to rank their Albums from Worst to First.  As usual, I will keep it to strictly the Studio albums and will exclude greatest hits and live albums.  However, I am going to include the Supersonic And Demonic Relics album which was a collection of rare songs and unreleased tracks.  It isn’t a greatest hits collection and I think it stands out nicely on its own.

With all that being said, let’s get started…

10 – THE WORST ‘THEATRE OF PAIN’ (1985):

The album was an utter disappointment after the first two.  There was so much filler and not enough memorable songs.  Yes, you have “Home Sweet Home” and “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” but the album felt lost.  The band lost it’s edge of the last two albums and overall it was just lacking.  There were a couple other good songs as I really liked “Tonight (We Need a Love)” and “Louder than Hell”.  Outside of that it wasn’t the same band.  Luckily, the regained that edge for the next release.

The album did well and sold over 4 million copies and went to #6 on Billboard.  The success of the ballad “Home Sweet Home” was good enough to keep the momentum going and drive further success, but it is one of the albums I revisit the least.

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Night Ranger – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

I haven’t done one of these in awhile so I figured it was time to do another.  I have been listening to a lot of Night Ranger lately so why not do one on them.  Night Ranger have released 12 studio albums and numerous Live and Collection albums and they have been together off and on since 1979.  They have had quite a long career.

The have released three albums since 2011 and their latest release is why I have gone back and listened to everything as I hadn’t done that in a very long time.  In doing so, I remembered what albums I really loved, which ones were so-so and which ones I do not like.  I might as well tackle the daunting task of ranking the albums from Worst to First.  Without any further delay, lets get to it.

12- “The Worst!!” – HOLE IN THE SUN (2007):

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