After a seven year absence with new material, Billy has popped back and in a big way. His last album was 2014’s King & Queen of the Underground (which absolutely stellar) and then in 2021, he released an E.P. called ‘The Roadside’ which has one of his best songs ever called “Bitter Taste”. Almost exactly one year later in 2022, Billy released another E.P. and this one was called “The Cage” and is another 4 song set. This leads me to think that Billy might not be up for doing a full album, but if he wants to put out 4 new songs every year and with the caliber of these songs, count me in.
Billy Idol and his longtime partner, Steve Stevens have crafted another batch of great songs with the help of famed producer, Butch Walker along with Tommy English and Zakk Cervini. In an interview recently, I heard Billy talk about the fact that he was happy he somehow survived his drug induced rock & roll lifestyle because it has all been worth it. That worth it he is talk about is his granddaughter. He has seem to have found a new appreciation for life and that is reflected in his music and writing and I’m starting to think Billy is a fine wine because he keeps getting better with age!
The opening track, “The Cage”, is basically about all the pent up energy everyone was feeling coming out of the Covid Lockdown. It felt like we were all in a cage and it was time to bust out. Written by Billy, Steven, Tommy and Joe Janiak. It is a high energy, punk rock song and Billy feels right at home on this track. If there is a Billy Idol sound…this is it and with Steve Stevens on guitar, there is no mistaken that sound. A perfect song to catch your attention and reel you in.
And if you think “The Cage” is the best song on the E.P., you’d be wrong. That belongs to the introspective “Running from the Ghost”. Lyrically, the song seems to be about Billy running from his demons all his life. He has seen some dark things in this life and his alcohol and drug addiction are a battle every day. The song starts off slow and then it explodes and the guitar work by Stevens is some of his best ever. That drum beat with it are powerful and engaging. It is a beast of a track and has such a mature and serious tone. You will be surprised by this one.
Then we get to “Rebel Like You” with its fun motorcycle revving at the start. The electronic drum beat comes blaring in and Billy sings with umph and you can feel that snarl. The song has Billy on stage looking out in the audience and sees another woman dressed like him, but I’m not sure that is the gist of the story. I think the song is a shout out to his grand daughter and that she is a rebel just like him. The lines…
Ain’t nobody gonna love you more
Except your mommy and your daddy, maybe
Looking like you’re on the go, go, go
Guess I’ve got company
I think he just loves her so much he wants to show her the world. She has the wild spirit like he had and he loves her to death. That is what I think. I could be wrong…known to happen.
The last track is called “Miss Nobody” and it is an electronic, dance song. This one was produced by Butch Walker and co-written by Sam Hollander. It is a slick pop track about a down & out woman who still is kicking ass. It is not my favorite track on the album, but it has its merits as it is catchy and contagious and will get you moving. A little less on the guitars, but still feels like a Billy track.
Let’s get this out of the way quick…I love this E.P. and have been playing it non-stop and now these songs are old friends. That is two E.P.s in two years and both are amazing. I hope this continues because I could get spoiled. If you think Billy’s heyday is behind him, you’d be seriously incorrect. This is Billy at his best. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. A must have!!
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 – “Rebel Yell” – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- 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)
- Generation X – ‘Demos 1977’ (Bootleg)
- Billy Idol – The Roadside E.P.
- Billy Idol – The Cage E.P.
- Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First