Welcome to the November 2022 Purchases update. You will notice that my cover picture is a little different this month. Normally, I have all my purchases stacked on top of the turntable, but there was a problem this time around. My cat, Chandler, decided it was nap time and wouldn’t move. Actually, Chandler naps up there a lot when I am working from home so no big surprise. So, I didn’t want to disturb him as he needs his beauty sleep so I took a picture of him instead. Believe it or not, he is still a kitten as he is only 9 months old. Once full grown he will be 20-25 lbs and won’t be able to fit on the turntable so I am letting him enjoy it while he can.
Okay, enough of that. Let us get to the real reason we are here…the music. And what did I get this month. I will say it was a better month than last one as I went a little nuts on the vinyl this time around and very little on the CDs. First up, I have been holding off on buying Def Leppard stuff on vinyl because I want to see what is in the Collection, Volume 4, but I’m tired of waiting and I realize it is generally not any one specific live album that has already been released, so I bought these three things so I finally had them on vinyl.
Now, I did hit one real record store this month, but didn’t score a bunch. The only thing I picked up from Mad Jack’s are a couple of Asia albums that I didn’t have in my collection for some strange reason. And they were clean!
After a seven year absence with new material, Billy has popped back and in a big way. His last album was 2014’s King & Queen of the Underground (which absolutely stellar) and then in 2021, he released an E.P. called ‘The Roadside’ which has one of his best songs ever called “Bitter Taste”. Almost exactly one year later in 2022, Billy released another E.P. and this one was called “The Cage” and is another 4 song set. This leads me to think that Billy might not be up for doing a full album, but if he wants to put out 4 new songs every year and with the caliber of these songs, count me in.
Billy Idol and his longtime partner, Steve Stevens have crafted another batch of great songs with the help of famed producer, Butch Walker along with Tommy English and Zakk Cervini. In an interview recently, I heard Billy talk about the fact that he was happy he somehow survived his drug induced rock & roll lifestyle because it has all been worth it. That worth it he is talk about is his granddaughter. He has seem to have found a new appreciation for life and that is reflected in his music and writing and I’m starting to think Billy is a fine wine because he keeps getting better with age!
The opening track, “The Cage”, is basically about all the pent up energy everyone was feeling coming out of the Covid Lockdown. It felt like we were all in a cage and it was time to bust out. Written by Billy, Steven, Tommy and Joe Janiak. It is a high energy, punk rock song and Billy feels right at home on this track. If there is a Billy Idol sound…this is it and with Steve Stevens on guitar, there is no mistaken that sound. A perfect song to catch your attention and reel you in.
And if you think “The Cage” is the best song on the E.P., you’d be wrong. That belongs to the introspective “Running from the Ghost”. Lyrically, the song seems to be about Billy running from his demons all his life. He has seen some dark things in this life and his alcohol and drug addiction are a battle every day. The song starts off slow and then it explodes and the guitar work by Stevens is some of his best ever. That drum beat with it are powerful and engaging. It is a beast of a track and has such a mature and serious tone. You will be surprised by this one.
Then we get to “Rebel Like You” with its fun motorcycle revving at the start. The electronic drum beat comes blaring in and Billy sings with umph and you can feel that snarl. The song has Billy on stage looking out in the audience and sees another woman dressed like him, but I’m not sure that is the gist of the story. I think the song is a shout out to his grand daughter and that she is a rebel just like him. The lines…
Ain’t nobody gonna love you more Except your mommy and your daddy, maybe Looking like you’re on the go, go, go Guess I’ve got company
I think he just loves her so much he wants to show her the world. She has the wild spirit like he had and he loves her to death. That is what I think. I could be wrong…known to happen.
The last track is called “Miss Nobody” and it is an electronic, dance song. This one was produced by Butch Walker and co-written by Sam Hollander. It is a slick pop track about a down & out woman who still is kicking ass. It is not my favorite track on the album, but it has its merits as it is catchy and contagious and will get you moving. A little less on the guitars, but still feels like a Billy track.
Let’s get this out of the way quick…I love this E.P. and have been playing it non-stop and now these songs are old friends. That is two E.P.s in two years and both are amazing. I hope this continues because I could get spoiled. If you think Billy’s heyday is behind him, you’d be seriously incorrect. This is Billy at his best. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. A must have!!
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…