Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked Worst to First (The Billy Idol Series)

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.

#14 – GENERATION X – VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1979):

 

I thought the production of the album wasn’t good at all as it seemed there was no clear direction and the songs didn’t feel like they were a cohesive package.  It felt like the band didn’t know what they wanted to sound like and were still finding themselves.  Maybe Billy was too busy looking to go solo, who knows, but this was not a good effort.

I did like a handful of songs and they will go nicely in my Billy Idol playlist, but other than that you can skip this album. The songs I did like were “King Rocker”and “Valley of the Dolls” as those were the best.  “Night of the Cadillac”, “Running with The Boss Sound” along with “Fridays Angels” were decent enough tracks, but nothing else.  I haven’t revisited this one in awhile.

#13 – WHIPLASH SMILE (1986):

 

The album lacks the amount of solid songs as ‘Rebel Yell’ and is not one I actually go back to listen.  For me, it is a disappointing album and now knowing about all the drug use, I can feel the lack of clarity and cohesiveness in the album. I hate Billy and Steve had this as their last album together (at the time)…at least they make up for it years later.

Being his heyday, I expected more from this release and it does have some good songs such as “To Be A Lover”, “Sweet Sixteen” and “Don’t Need a Gun”.  You might also enjoy “World’s Forgotten Boy” and “Soul Standing By” but avoid Side B at all cost.  That side is almost unlistenable.

#12 – REVITALIZED (2018):

 

Not all the songs are perfect, but the album is interesting and at times fun.  It isn’t as good as the original ‘Vital Idol’, but has elements that make it worth having.  Billy’s songs are brought into the 21st century with remixes coming from some of the best EDM artist of 2018 including Paul Oakenfold, Moby, The Crystal Method, CRAY and many more.

The remix of “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol & Steve Steven is fun with the “Get Laid, Get Fucked” thrown in.  Any of the mixes that keep the Steve Steven’s guitar are worth listening to as well and I even liked the complete reimagining of “Don’t Need a Gun” and the all instrumental of “Save Me Now”.  Like I said, it is in the ver least, interesting and a fun and a nice change of pace.

#11 – GENERATION X – K.M.D. SWEET REVENGE (1998):

 

The album is really good and a surprise as it is a release of demos and released in 1998 when former Generation X guitarist Derwood Andrews released it due to some contract obligations without the consent of Billy Idol and Tony James.  Billy & Tony were able to block the release in the U.S., but not anywhere else.  The songs were in demo form and not fully realized tracks.

There are some great tracks and some little gems that would go on to be very successful songs for Billy Idol.  I love the name of the album and the resentment behind this release for Derwood and with some great tunes  I enjoyed this release a lot more than I thought. I liked “Modern Boys”, “Triumph”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “Anna Smiles” and “Flash as Hell” along with the demo of “Dancing With Myself (always a great song).  I think this is worth a listen.

#10 – BILLY IDOL (1982):

 

It isn’t my favorite Billy Idol album, but it is still a great debut.  With some classic songs and great deep cuts, you have a solid release that is a pre-cursor to what is to come.  I think Billy was finding himself on this one and turned his punk past into a danceable pop and rock combination that was full of the punk attitude.  He was breaking free at just the right time.  Oh yeah, and now that Steve Stevens was on board, the two together were going on to some great things.

And album that has “White Wedding” and “Hot in the City” must be great.  To be at #10 on his list just tells you how good the rest must be.  I also dug this version of “Dancing With Myself” along with “Come On, Come On” and you can’t forget “Love Calling”.  Really a great set and why is it so low now?

#9 – GENERATION X – KISS ME DEADLY (1981):

 

Overall I liked this a lot more than ‘Valley of the Dolls’, but not quite as much as the debut album.  It is a tale of two halves with the album.  The first half is more danceable and a precursor to what Billy Idol was to become. The second half was more a reminder of the punk days of Generation X.  The two together meld nicely for me.  I am not sure why this album gets such a bad rap, because I actually enjoyed it.  Maybe I have no taste or critics don’t know shit.  I am going with the second one.  And no, I am not a critic, I am blogger, critics get paid and I do not.  I am a fan first and foremost.

This is the album with the original release of “Dancing With Myself” and it is fantastic.  You should also check out “Untouchables”, “Heavens Inside”, “Triumph” and don’t forget “What Do You Want”, “Poison” and “oh Mother”.  It has a lot on here for you to enjoy.

#8 – DON’T STOP E.P. (1981):

 

The Billy Idol debut and if this was your first introduction to Billy, I think you would be excited as these 4 songs are all great.  It is an exciting introduction and would definitely leave me wanting to hear more.  As I think all songs are all good despite the fact 3 songs are covers (2 Gen X covers at that so are they really covers?).

You get “Dancing With Myself” and “Untouchables” from Gen X and then you get “Mony Mony” which Billy made his own song even though it is a cover.  The last song is “Baby Talk” and though not his strongest still great.  A nice start to his career!

#7 – CYBERPUNK (1993):

 

A very underrated album for Billy.  The 90’s were tough as 80’s acts were being killed off in droves thanks to Grunge.  Billy went full on experimental mode and dived down the rabbit hole of the Cyberpunk movement and the use of technology to make music.  He was actually ahead of the times with this and eventually everyone else would catch up.

The songs on here are that are good are great and that is why I like this so much.  I really loved “Wasteland”, “Shock to the System” and “Tomorrow People”.  When you get to “Neuromancer” and “Power Junkie” you are completely bought in to his new sound.  Despite a lackluster back half of of the album, that first half saves the day and I like it each more with every listen.

#6 – GENERATION X – GENERATION X (1978):

 

I really dug this album.  I love to see the beginnings of Billy Idol and knowing where he ends up is great.  I agree that Generation X aren’t as punk as a lot of bands of the time, but I think this album holds up really well and there are some great tracks. They have attitude and the songs are punk, but it is also a little more danceable and less punk preaching which is fine with me.

You get the classic songs of “Ready Steady Go” which he still plays today along with “One Hundred Punks” and “Kleenex”.  Other great tracks include “Promises Promises”, “Kiss Me Deadly” and “Youth Youth Youth”.  If you get any Generation X album, this should be the one, hands down!

#5 – VITAL IDOL (1985/1987):

 

Billy set the bar pretty high for Remix albums after this beauty was released.  The remixes were complete re-imagining of the songs, but they were done in a way to enhance and even improve on the original songs.  It was bloody brilliant.  It actually made me want to dance…and I don’t dance.

The remixes that stood out to me were “Flesh For Fantasy”, which might be favorite version of this song, as well as “Mony Mony”.  And of course “White Wedding” (both Part 1 and 2), “Hot In the City” and “Catch My Fall” are all fantastic.  “Love Calling” stood out to with the woman making all the orgasmic sounds throughout the mix and when you were a teenager listening to this that was quite memorable.

#4 – CHARMED LIFE (1990):

 

Production was fantastic, the songs were top notch and the guitar sound was way more than I expected.  After the disappointing, ‘Whiplash Smile’…well disappointing to me, this album came out with a bang and stayed in heavy rotation for a long time when I originally picked this up back in the day.  And I spun it a ton for this review.  Billy proved that he could do this without Steve Stevens on guitar.

With songs like the cheesy “Cradle of Love” and “Pumping on Steel”, I was hooked from the get go.  The Door’s cover of “LA Woman” was so different and a real rocker as well as songs like “The Loveless” and “Endless Sleep” I couldn’t get enough of this one. In fact, only one song I didn’t like and that is pretty good.

#3 – DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (2005):

 

And yes, the album is a little all over the board with styles, but for me it worked.  It was a solid album.  It rocked out at times more so than he has ever done.  It checked so many boxes for me on what I want from a Billy Idol album.  This was the first album with Steve Stevens back at guitar and to have the whole gang back together, damn it was awesome.  He kept it old and yet modern sounding as well.  Just a fantastic album.

The standout tracks for me were “Super Overdrive”, “World Comin’ Down”, “Rat Race”, “Scream”, “Plastic Jesus”, “Body Snatcher” and “Evil Eye”…I almost named every song so that should tell you something.  Even the Christmas song “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” was awesome.  Easily a Top 3 and could be #2, just depends my mood.

#2 – KINGS & QUEENS OF THE UNDERGROUND (2014):

 

I found this to be one of his best albums and at this late in his career it is amazing.  I love the retrospective feel to the album, I loved the sonics, I loved almost everything about it.  It is a modern album, that feels like classic Billy Idol.  There is a lot of soul-searching going and it feels like a cathartic exercise in releasing his demons.  It was the perfect companion piece for his book that came out at the same time.

The title should have been based on the song “Postcards from the Past” as it felt like little snapshots of his life.  My all time favorite Billy song is on here with “Save Me Now”…simply the best song.  You also get “Bitter Pill”, “One Breath Away”, “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Whiskey & Pills”.  Just a stellar album from beginning to end.

#1 – REBEL YELL (1983):

 

The album brings New Wave and Rock together and captures that energy and magic in a way that few albums ever would. Billy Idol set himself apart from the other artists at the time and became a bonafide rock star and a huge Video star.  There are so many iconic, classic Billy Idol tracks on here that this is easily one of his best.

The title track alone is reason enough.  “Rebel Yell” is an instant rocker and perfect when he plays it live.  Throw in “Eyes Without a Face”, “Blue Highway” and “Flesh for Fantasy” and most artist would kill to have one of these songs on their album…he has all of them.  With “Catch My Fall” and another personal favorite “(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows”, this one is hard to beat.

And there you have it, the Billy Idol studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best.  Let me know what you think.  Where did we differ and where did we agree.  What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!

Now, if you want to check out the full reviews and the entire Billy Idol Series, click on any and all of the links below…

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’
  5. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  6. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  7. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  8. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  9. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  10. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  11. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  12. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  13. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  14. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  15. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  16. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  17. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  18. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  19. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  20. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  21. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  22. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

 

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Stone Temple Pilots – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

You have the Big Four in Metal…Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  In Grunge, the Big Four were Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.  At the time, the only one I liked was Stone Temple Pilots.  They were the closest to the old Rock & Roll that I grew up with.  The others were too foreign to me to like.  However, I do like Soundgarden now and Pearl Jam I can tolerate…Nirvana still sucks (I still don’t get the hype for them but that is another story for another time).

Today, we are focusing on Stone Temple Pilots and how their albums rank from my least favorite to the very best one.  Despite all the troubles with the band and lead singer Scott Weiland, they were able to capture a magic that set them apart from most other bands.  Hell, Scott was probably one of the best frontmen to come out of that era or any era for that matter.  His stage presence and charisma were unparalleled and he could command a crowd.  After his passing, a couple other singers came on board including the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and now current lead singer Jeff Gutt.

And let’s not forget the band…Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (Drums).  Musically, they are the driving force behind the band. They are the constant.  They are why I still listen to this band no matter who fronts.  Their playing is excpetional and Dean’s guitar is freaking awesome.  Some of the best riffs you will hear!

Enough chit chat, let’s get to the reason we are here.  Here are the Stone Temple Pilots albums I rank from Worst to First!!

THE WORST – SHANGRI-LA-DEE-DA (2001):

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Paul Laine – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

After doing the Danger Danger Album Ranking, I thought why not continue and do all of Paul Laine’s albums as well.  So, here we are with Paul Laine’s albums ranked Worst to First!.  Who is Paul Laine you might ask?  I will tell you.

Paul is a singer, songwriter, musician, producer from Vancouver, Canada.  He started out as a solo artist way back in 1990 and later joined the band Danger Danger as their lead singer.  He also formed a band called Shugaazer, a band called Darkhorse and a band called The Defiants.  He likes band names that start with “D” except for Shugaazer so not sure what he was thinking there.

Paul is a gifted singer and sings mostly Rock and his voice has matured nicely over the years.  It has gone from a wild-untamed sound to a more controlled, smooth instrument.  And he has even delved into Country music (more on that later).

I have followed his career from the beginning thanks to working at Sam Goody back in 1990.  His CD came in to the store as a promo copy (and I played it a lot) and when it was time for that CD to retire from the playlist, yours truly got to take it home with him.  It was from that point on, that Paul could do no wrong (even though he has had a few missteps).

It is out of that fandom, I bring you this list.  Enjoy!!

THE WORST – ANDERSEN, LAINE, READMAN – THREE (2006):

This is an interesting side project from Andre Andersen.  Andre is the keyboardist and composer in the band Royal Hunt.  Andre brought in two sensational voices to split the songs.  You have David Readman of Pink Cream 69 and Paul Laine.  They each get 5 songs and for the most part the songs rock and as a set is pretty cool.

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Sixx A.M. – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

What started off as a side project for Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, became a full fledged band and lasted 5 studio albums.  They started off to only do a soundtrack to Nikki’s autobiography ‘The Heroin Diaries’ and then the rest is history.  Sixx A.M. consists of Nikki Sixx, DJ Ashba and James Michael.

It has been hit or miss with me for this band. I either loved it or it was so-so at best.  Still, always some great songs on every album and all worth having, some just get played more than others.  I have started collecting them on vinyl and there is only one I can’t get and that is ‘This is Gonna Hurt’, so Nikki – get that one out on Vinyl, would you please.

The band is now recording four new songs for a Greatest Hits album.  So, until then, let us re-visit their albums and rank them from the best one to the wort one.  And let’s get started…

WORSTPRAYERS FOR THE BLESSED, VOL 2 (2016)

The second album of a double album along with Prayers for the Damned was the final album (so far) by the band and not the best way to end.  The power and heaviness of Damned was missing from this album.  I guess with the title being Prayers for the Blessed it isn’t as dark as Vol. 1.  If you click on the title you can read my review back when it came out.  I rated it pretty good and it is, but my least favorite of the bunch.

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Def Leppard – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

If you read my site, you know Def Leppard is one of my all-time favorite bands, if not the #1 band on my list.  And for that, this list was extremely hard for me to do, yet easy as well.  I will already go ahead and say it, there is not a horrible album in this bunch only some I like more than others and yet a few that are absolute no-brainers as the top choices.  And yes, I am biased.

Speaking of top choices, my Top 5 is my Top 5 because each album is completely different.  The band completely changed up the sound and style on each of these albums and when the band does that, for me they hit it out of the park.

From the very beginning in 1980 with their debut and all the way up to today, the band has been mainstay in my musical journey.  In 2019, they will be inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and all I can say is it is about damn time!!!  They received the highest public vote so I am not the only one that things these guys from England are pretty darn great.

So, let’s get to it.  Here is my favorite Def Leppard albums from the worst one to the very best.  I hope you enjoy it.

WORST – SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE (2008)

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Collective Soul – The Albums Ranked from Worst to First

For me, this was a local band making it big.  Collective Soul was from Stockbridge, GA which was just outside of Atlanta so for they were a local band since I lived just outside of Atlanta as well…only in a slightly different area.  The band was Ed Roland, brother Dean Roland, Will Turpin, Ross Childress and Shane Evans.  Ed Roland was the driving, creative force behind the band and still is today.

The band started selling numerous copies of their debut album ‘Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid’ without a record label’s help.  I think they sold over 10,000 copies.  The record companies took notice and they were snatched up pretty quickly. In 1994, Atlantic Records signed them and basically slapped their label name on the disc and put it out since the album was already made.  Not a bad investment.  The rest is history.

Now we are over 25 years later and the band is getting ready to release their 10th studio album and to celebrate, I thought I would rank all their albums from worst to first.  And let me tell you this was really hard for me.  Collective Soul is a very consistent band.  They have a sound that is consistent throughout all albums.  They don’t venture far from their formula and why should they.  This is amazing considering they have been through 3 lead guitarists over the years, but have kept that same guitar sound.

The hard thing for me is what order as on any given day I can like one album more than the other and then back to liking another one.  There isn’t a bad album in the bunch only some I like more than others.  I stuck with only the Studio albums, no collections, no E.Ps and no live albums so not everything is here on this list.  I hope you enjoy it and maybe discover a band you weren’t all too familiar with.

WORST – AFTERWORDS (2007)

 

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Ace Frehley – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Ace Frehley!  This ratty kid walks into the audition with a mismatched pair of shoes and Gene and Paul are not sure what to think of this mess.  He plugs in and plays and the rest is Kisstory as they say.  Ace is the one of the main reasons I love rock & roll.  His playing was amazing and he played with such feel that you wanted to be Ace.  When you and your friends wanted to pretend to be Kiss, I always wanted Ace and if I couldn’t get Ace, I was Paul (no one wanted to be Peter, not even Peter…old joke).

His time with Kiss was tumultuous at best.  But when the band did their solo albums back in 1978, Ace showed he had the goods to do this on his own and eventually that is what he did.  Eventually due to his drinking and other issues, Ace was let go and his solo career began.  And that solo career is the focus.  We will include the Kiss solo album because it is an Ace Frehley album, but only Ace’s stuff, no other Kiss.  And only studio albums will be counted, no live or compilations.

Sit back and enjoy the ranking of the Ace Frehley albums from Worst to First…

THE WORST – FREHLEY’S COMET – SECOND SIGHTING (1988)

Now when it comes to Ace, I am a little biased.  I do enjoy all his albums so for me “worst” is a little harsh.  I would just say it is the least favorite and not really the “worst”.  I have heard some pretty awful albums and this isn’t one of them.  But, it isn’t that great either in my humble opinion.  I know some would disagree (right LeBrain!!).

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Lifehouse – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Lifehouse started in 1996 as the band Blyss.  This was while they were in high school and by 1998, the recorded a bunch of Demos.  In 2000, the band went back and re-recorded 12 of the 15 original demos and those demos became their debut album, ‘No Name Face’.  Apparently, they decided to change the band name for this release to Lifehouse because the songs were about lead singer, Jason Wade’s life and other people’s life.  The name  was believed to be a good fit to encompass all that.

The band would go on to release 7 studio albums between 2000 and 2015.  They have had their ups and downs as a band, they have had hits, been popular and not so popular and have taken the typical roller coaster of success.  I have followed the band from the debut album all the way to today and still one of my favorites even if I haven’t liked everything they have done.  But there is more that I like than I don’t like and that is what matters.

I am going to go through all 7 albums and tell you what I like and don’t like about each as well as rank them from the Worst album to their #1 album in my book.  If you are not familiar with them, I hope this will spark an interest and you will give them a try.

WORST – STANLEY CLIMBFALL (2002)

After the success of the band’s debut, their sophomore release was a rather big disappointment for me.  It wasn’t all bad as there were some great songs such as “Spin”, “Wash” and “Take Me Away”.  Heck, the album sold 2 million copies so people liked it. It was a heavier rock sound then the first album and normally that is a good thing for me.

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Ratt – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

For most of 2018, I have been reviewing all the Ratt albums from the Ratt E.P. in 1983 all the way to 2010’s Infestation. It has been an enjoyable ride walking through the history of the band, all the ups and the downs, the good and the bad and loving every minute of it (wait that is Loverboy)…and loving watching the wax or cd spinning round and round (much better).

Ratt has been a love/hate relationship.  While I love most of what they do, they don’t always deliver the goods and I tried to be as honest as I could be throughout the review processes.  I believe I was brutal where I needed to be and kissed their ass when it deserved it as well.  I hear they band is planning a new album in 2019 and when it comes I will review it in detail like the others and I will update this list and put it where it belongs among the classics or the crap.

You can go back and read each review in detail by just clicking on the album title.  This ranking will be just a summary of the good and bad of each album.  I hope you enjoy.

THE WORSTRATT (1999):

The hardest review of them all to write. I couldn’t connect to this album when it came out or even now.  The production quality was horrible; Stephen’s vocals needed some cleanup and weren’t always up to par; the double guitar of Ratt of old was gone and so the songs were missing that punch; and overall it was just bad.

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Train – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Train started way back around 1993/1994 in San Francisco, California.  Their first album didn’t arrive until 1998 and I remember hearing their first hit on the radio for “Meet Virginia”.  However, it wasn’t until the song and the album “Drops of Jupiter” came out until I became a fan.  I met my wife around that same time and Train became “our band”.  We have seen them many, many times together and even met the band several years later.  Now my wife had met them before as my Brother-in-low worked with the band back around the Drops of Jupiter era.

Train has seen many line-up changes and their sound has changed over time. They have gone from a pure alternative rock band and are now kind of like a Vegas act (and I don’t mean that in a good way).  The lead singer, Pat Monahan, is the only original member left and Train doesn’t feel like Train anymore.  Now, that doesn’t take away from the fact the band has had some fantastic albums.  And with that, let us explore the band’s catalog.  We are looking at 12 albums which even includes Pat’s only solo album, a live album and even their Christmas album.  If you are ready, sit back and let us get started.  If you are not ready, take your time and go at your own pace.

THE WORST – ‘Christmas in Tahoe’ (2015):

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