If you remember a couple months back, I bought about 21 7″ Singles and in that were a couple of Billy Idol Singles. The first one is for the single, “Cradle of Love”, which was the first single off his 1990 album, ‘Charmed Life’. The single was released on April 17, 1990 and the album came out 2 weeks later on May 1, 1990. This was the first time Billy had released a song, or an album, without Steve Stevens on guitar (except for his debut E.P.). The song is the highest charting Billy Idol song going all the way to #2 in the U.S. and it went #1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart which is the one and only time he has done that as well. What was the song that kept him from the #1 slot…well, it was Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love” which was her debut and we know what happened to her.
The A-Side, “Cradle of Love”, was for the Andrew Dice Clay movie, ‘The Adventures of Ford Fairlane’. The song is about a whole slew of cradle-robbing rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis. It is a classic Billy Idol song and has everything you know and love about his sound. It showed he could do it without Steve Stevens. The song was written by Billy Idol and David Werner and the song on this single is actually the album version of the song and not a remix which is okay because the B-Side is the treasure here and we will get to that shortly.
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.
Billy Idol’s world was different now after ‘Whiplash Smile’ and ‘Vital Idol’. Steve Stevens was gone, his manager Bill Aucoin was gone and he needed a fresh start. After reconciling with his girlfriend, Perri Lister, they moved from New York City to Los Angeles to give things a go.
Billy and Perri had a baby boy, Billy bought himself a motorcycle, Billy got the acting bug and Billy couldn’t stay faithful to Perri. A lot was going on. Oh yeah, and he continued to use drugs. So, where to begin. I will give a Cliff Notes version as it would be a rather long synopsis if I didn’t.
I guess we will go with the fact that he had a baby and was now a dad, but it didn’t seem to stop his infidelity. He continually cheated on Perri and even fell for a girl 13 years younger than him. Well, he knocked her up and she gave Billy a beautiful baby girl. This of course was the end of Billy & Perri when she found out.
Billy also met a lot of people in the movie business and actually got a big role in the Oliver Stone movie ‘The Doors’ about Jim Morrison and the band. But before he could do that role, Billy went and had himself a little motorcycle accident which nearly cost him one of his legs. As a result, he couldn’t do the role and had to settle for a much lesser role in the movie. In fact, it was so bad he wasn’t able to promote his new album he had been working on called ‘Charmed Life’. He did appear in the video for the first single (more on that later), but not much else.