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.
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After ‘Charmed Life’, Billy wanted to do something different. He didn’t want to keep repeating his previous work over and over again. Let me tell you he completely succeeded. The album is nothing like his previous work and I think was way ahead of its time. ‘Cyberpunk’ delivered Billy’s most experimental and most controversial album.
Billy became fascinated with technology and the cyberpunk movement of the early 90’s. He saw how the advancement could be used to make music and in fact, this was one of the first albums to use ProTools for almost the entire recording of the album. He felt the use of the computers allowed him to do things faster and he felt it gave the whole feel of a garage band. I don’t know about that last part, but it was the very early stages of how albums and music would be recorded down the road.
When he released the single for “Shock to the System” he released it with a 3 1/2″ Floppy Disc. MP’s eat your heart out. The disc housed pictures, bios and all the things you now see issued in todays electronic press kits (EPK). He was also was one of the first albums to actually have an email address in the booklet that came with the album (don’t try it, it no longer works).
Continue reading “Billy Idol – ‘Cyberpunk’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)”