Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

After the moderate success of their debut album, the band went in to record their sophomore album with famed musician and producer, Ian Hunter.  Yes, the Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople.  The album would come out just a few months later in January 1979.  Before the album was released, the record company, Chrysalis, came to the band and basically told them, the album better succeed or they were to be dropped from the label…no pressure.

The album was quite different than the first album.  It had some of the punk sound from the first album, but there were elements of some glam (thanks to Ian) and even more of an American sound ala Springsteen (or at least what they felt was like Springsteen). The songs were a little more complex than the first album and the writing was more mature, but I am not sure it was good yet.

The two writing contributors were Billy Idol and Tony James so everything was based around what they wanted.  Heck, in fact when promoting the debut album, it was only Billy sent to America to promote it.  That started putting thoughts in Billy’s head about what he could do on his own. However, on this album, most of the influence on the album seem to be coming from Tony (he even picked the producer).  It was the start of things to come.

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The Original vs. The Cover – “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”

For this version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are covering (pun intended) Ian Hunter’s classic “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.  The song was written by Ian and included on his self-titled solo album he released in 1975 after his departure from Mott the Hoople.  The song went to #14 on the UK singles chart and was produced by Ian and great Mick Ronson.

The song hasn’t been covered by a whole lot of acts, but one of the most famous was by Great White.  So, let’s sit back, have a listen and compare the two and determine who has the best version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”.

The song tells the story of a rock musician who meets a girl why he is out on tour and becomes intimate with her (meaning he has sex with her).  He thinks she is young and innocent until to his dismay he discovers she has been around quite a lot and been with a lot of other musicians.  It is a classic tale of old!!

The title of the song comes from the old expression meaning once you have been hurt once, you become less trusting and cautious going forward.  The phrase dates back to 1484 and is traced back to an English printer (William Caxton), the first to publish a translation in to English of Aesop’s tales.  There is your history lesson for the day.

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