Billy Idol – ‘Whiplash Smile’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

After the tour for Rebel Yell, Billy Idol continued to live like he was on tour.  The drug use was getting worse, his relationship with Perri Lister was over and even his manager, Bill Aucoin was absent due to his own drug issues.  Billy’s world was slowly spiraling out of control.  And so was his ego.

When work was started on his next album ‘Whiplash Smile’, Billy’s ego started to get in the way.  He wanted control.  He wanted to write all the songs.  He wanted to add more synthesizers, more sounds, more stuff that wasn’t Steve Stevens.  And it is noticeable in the music.

What is also noticeable, is that with everyone leaving his life, the loneliness found its way into the music.  And an album that found about as much success as its predecessor, it wasn’t not quite the Billy Idol album people wanted or critics even liked.  It was an album that would lead to the end of a relationship between musicians that really needed each other.

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The Original Vs. The Cover – “Respect”

For this installment of The Original Vs. The Cover, we are discussing the classic Aretha Franklin song “Respect” which is actually a cover of the song originally written and performed by Otis Redding just two years earlier.  The Otis Redding song was written for Speedo Sims and his band the Singing Demons, but they were unable to find the sound they liked and so Otis decided to sing the song.

The song came out in 1965 and went to the Top 5 on the Black Charts, but actually crossed-over to the pop charts where it reached #35.  It was one of a couple songs that crossed-over for Otis.  The Redding version is about a man’s plea to his woman to show him some respect for bringing home the bacon.  He could care less if she does him wrong, but just wants his due from her.

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In looking through his roster of musicians, he had a couple that stood out for me.  There were two keyboard players on the song, one goes by the name Booker T. Jones and the other is Isaac Hayes.  The rest of the band were all Booker T. & the MG’s band members except for the horn section, they were not part of Booker’s band.

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