At the record show here in Charlotte back in May of 2022, I found a Generation X album on vinyl I didn’t know existed. It is ‘Demos 1977’ and was actually only released back in 2020 and with Covid going on, probably the reason I missed it. It is also a German release which adds to why I didn’t see it. It says these demos were recorded back in 1977 on February 16th presumable for Chiswick Records. The band at the time was Billy Idol, Tony James, Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews and John Towe and the demos were recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in Wembley, North London.
Here’s the problem I have with this saying these are the demos for Chiswick Records. They actually only recorded 5 songs for Chiswick and there are 13 songs here. Plus only 4 of those 5 are on this recording. The other 9 songs are from other recording sessions between 1977 and 1980 I believe based on the songs.
The first four songs on the album appear to be the Chiswick demos, but it is missing “Kleenex” which is a shame as that is a great one to have as it has different lyrics than the final product for the debut album. It kicks off with “Your Generation” which would’ve been their first single they released independently with the original pressing only 250 copies and later they would go back and do another 500. The B-Side of that single was “Listen” also from these sessions. “Listen” would wind up on the debut album, however, it was omitted from the U.S. release of the album and “Your Generation” take its place as it did not make it on the UK debut.
This is the last in the Billy Idol Series. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have in writing it. There could be one more in the series if I get the Generation X Deluxe Set that was just released, but I have not grabbed a hold of yet. When I get it, I will do a review of it, but for now, we will end the series with this beauty right here. I started with a Generation X release and I will end with one as well.
For Record Store Day 2019, Generation X released a special 7″ Single of the band’s debut song “Your Generation”. The song is not the original version, but the Winstanley Mix which is done in conjunction with the release of a Deluxe Edition of the band’s debut album. This remix is not on the box set, but in addition to and a must grab for Generation X fans.
The original song was released as a single in 1977, however, it did not show up on the debut album. It wasn’t until the 2002 re-issue of the debut that this song saw new light. The B-Side of this single is “Trying for Kicks” which was also on the 2002 re-issue and not used for the original album.
The 7″ Single release was on red vinyl and is absolutely beautiful and a nice add to the collection.
Before I get to the next studio album in the Billy Idol series, I thought I would throw in a bonus Generation X Bootleg album out of Italy. This 2LP Set is called the BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 – 1978. It is live show from December 8th, 1978 out of Sheffield, England. It is an unofficial release so therefore, a bootleg. And it is fantastic.
I was in New York at this great little record store in Greenwich Village and came across this disc. I was talking with the clerk asking about any Generation X on vinyl and he told me I needed this one and man he was right.
Generation X was criticized on their studio albums for trying to be more commercial than Punk. Well, the live album shows they were a real Punk band. I find this live show to really show off what this band was all about. You can hear the attitude in the guitar playing and the drumming. And of course, Billy’s snarling and attitude is pure punk with a big FU to everyone.