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 second one was “Eyes Without a Face” which was off the 1983 album ‘Rebel Yell’ and was one we did not too long ago with the 12″ Picture Disc. This time around it is the 7″ Single. The song “Eyes Without A Face” was released in 1984 and went all the way to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 giving Billy one of his highest charting songs. It also helped boost the album to over 2,000,000 sold giving it a double platinum certification.
My Copy isn’t in the best of shape as someone scribbled a little over Billy’s face and there is the “30” written in on the back cover which explains why this one was so cheap. I went with it anyway until I can find a better copy down the road.
When I am out digging through rows and rows of vinyl, I love it when I can find things I don’t have that are little out of the ordinary. For me I love to find 12″ Picture Discs as they are usually beautiful and this one was no exception. While at a record show here in Charlotte, I came across this Billy Idol Picture Disc which was released in the U.S. back in 1984. The packing was strictly a clear plastic covering with a little white sticker in the upper right hand corner. That is exactly what I found except my little white sticker was now a more faded tan to yellowish colored sticker as it has faded a little with time. Even the clear plastic covering was starting to tint a little as well.
Musically, the single has only three songs and they are “Eyes Without a Face”, “Blue Highway” and “(Do Not Stand in the Shadows”. All are album cuts and not special remixes or anything like that. So the only reason to own this is because it is pretty and it is. But if you are looking for only rare mixes or demos, this isn’t for you. This is for the completist in you that has to have everything. Let’s go through the songs a little then.
THIS SIDE: (Picture is up top)
“Eyes Without A Face” is one of my favorite Idol songs. The hand clap, the groove, the slow ballady feel all worked gloriously against a darker feel from the lyrics. The song builds up in tempo and you get a fantastic little riff from Stevens and then some beautiful backing vocals by Billy’s girlfriend, at the time, Perri Lister. She is singing in french “Les yeux sans visage” which means eyes with a face. The phrase was also the title of a movie directed by Georges Franju which was the inspiration for the song.
For the last half of the 90’s, Billy didn’t release anything. After the failure of the ‘Cyberpunk’ album (which was awesome) and the issues with the label, Billy sort of vanished from the music scene. He did have the single for the movie “Speed”, he made a memorable cameo in the movie ‘The Wedding Singer’, but outside of that, there wasn’t much else.
In 2001, that started to change. VH1 aired a ‘Behind the Music’ on Billy and a greatest hits compilation was released that had a cover of Simple Mind’s song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” which had moderate success. Heck, the greatest hits album sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. alone. VH1 also decided to film a VH1 Storytellers with Billy and along for ride was Steve Stevens which was a reunion that was long overdue.
I am not going to critique the VH1 Storytellers show, but the CD that was released. The CD came out on February 22, 2002 and is only the songs that were played and not any of the stories. For that, you need the DVD.
After the success of his self-titled debut album, Billy Idol, teamed back up with producer Keith Forsey and guitarist Steve Stevens. And in late 1983, we were treated to his second album, ‘Rebel Yell’. The collaboration with Steve Stevens grew immensely with this album. On the first, Steve only had his hand in writing two songs. On ‘Rebel Yell’, he contributed to all but one song that was only written by Idol. The bond had grown so much, that Steve even made the back cover of the album.
The duo of Billy and Steve was complete and you couldn’t have one without the other, at least for a long while anyway. If you notice on the back cover, the songs are broken out into Sides 3 and Sides 4. This was because the debut was 1 and 2, so these naturally would be 3 and 4, he would do this at least one more time for the next studio album. I liked the concept.