If you remember my discussions last week, while at a record show here in Charlotte, I came across that Billy Idol Picture Disc for “Eyes Without A Face”, but that wasn’t all I found. I also found a couple 7″ Singles from Billy Idol as well. First up was this release of “Hot in the City” with the B-Side “Catch My Fall”. The release was actually done in 1987 to promote the release of the classic Idol album ‘Vital Idol’. This version is the U.S. version of the single and nothing overly special, I like collecting all of Billy’s singles and if you get one with a half way decent picture slip cover, it is worth grabbing…in my opinion.
“Hot in the City” is about Billy’s time in New York and his love for the city. It is a slower dance track with some lovely ladies assisting with background vocals. He uses some synthesizers on top of the fantastic bass and drum rhythm section. It is really a stellar track and his scream of “New York” towards the end is epic. The version on this single is straight off the debut album, ‘Billy Idol’ from 1982. This is not a remix and it is not on the album ‘Vital Idol’ so a little strange. It is the same front cover as the original single back in the day, but the cover has the ‘Vital Idol’ album and not the debut, plus a different B-Side.
As I mentioned in the post last week on the Billy Idol bootleg “Rebel Waltz”, A few weeks back, Lunchbox records posted on Facebook that they got in a bunch of bootlegs from Duran Duran and Billy Idol. I will be honest, I don’t care about the Duran Duran bootlegs, but the Billy Idol peaked my interest. It was around 6:30pm on a Saturday night and I mentioned to my kids we should go to Lunchbox, but we didn’t go. We did go the next day on Sunday. We left a little after 12pm and arrived just before 1pm and they were closed (Duh Duh Duh – dramatic music insert).
We forgot to check if they would be open and with the virus going around, I wasn’t sure now if they would open at all. Lo and behold, they were going to open and that was going to be at 1pm which was in a couple minutes. We were the first ones in and those Billy Idol bootlegs were still there. Apparently, there are not of ton of crazies out there buying Billy Idol bootlegs…Who knew!!!
Unlike the last bootleg, this one was a little more advanced in its packaging. This time we actually get a picture on the album jacket on both the front and the back as opposed to a print out on a sheet of paper stuffed inside. I couldn’t find much information on the show as to which show it was at the Roxy in L.A. I know based on the track list it was in 1982 after the release of his self-titled debut album. There were 3 shows in L.A. at the Roxy. The first two were in August on the 11th and the 12th. The next was on November 13th. I couldn’t find a setlist at all so now way to match. But I am guessing one of these shows for sure. Continue reading “Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Calling’ (Live Bootleg) – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)”→
Mid-way through the tour for Whiplash Smile, there was a new head at Chrysalis Records named Mike Bone. He wanted to immediately make his mark with Billy and suggested putting a compilation together of Remixed songs along with a live version of “Mony Mony”. Billy was on board and while on tour, they recorded the live version, slapped a bunch of remixes together and bam…you had an album.
All this above was from Billy’s book, ‘Dancing With Myself’, but doesn’t make sense to me. As the time in the book was around 86/87 and this compilation had already been released in 1985 in the UK. In September 1987, ‘Vital Idol’ was released in the US. Plus, my version doesn’t have a “Live” version of “Mony Mony”. At least it doesn’t sound live. Not sure Billy’s memory was correct in the order of things as the book doesn’t mention the UK version and the live take of “Mony, Mony” was on the greatest hits collection that came out in 1988 not the 1987 version of Vital Idol. Sorry, not completely true as a 1988 Japanese version of Vital Idol does have the live version. Confusing.
The UK and US version also differed ever so slightly. The UK version had one less song and the track order was different. The US version had a remix of a track off Whiplash Smile which the UK version was out before that album was even released so it wouldn’t have it.
Billy Idol was loving his time in New York and it showed in his writing as the album seemed to be inspired by what he was doing in the city. After the mild success of his 1981 E.P., Don’t Stop, he and the band went to work on the debut album simply titled ‘Billy Idol’. It is his album and he is the main focal point so why not call it ‘Billy Idol’.
Released in 1982, Billy was discovering who he was as an artist and what it was like to now be the main focal point. His meeting of Steve Stevens seemed to be a match made in Heaven…well rock & roll heaven anyway. Steven even contributed a couple writing credits on this release. The two together would become one of the great teams in music. You have McCartney & Lennon, Elton John & Bernie Taupin and now you have Idol & Stevens…okay, that is stretching it too far, but you know what I mean.
When the album was originally released in 1982, the album cover looked like this…
I don’t have this cover, yet, but I will find it one day and get a hold of it. I don’t like this one as much as the alternate cover I have. It is a little too feminine compared to the toughness of the one I have with the black leather jacket (not that there is anything wrong with that). The new cover fits the attitude and the snarl so much better.