Greatest Hits is a compilation of Billy Idol's most popular singles, released by Capitol Records in 2001. The album includes two previously-unreleased tracks: a live recording of one of his most popular songs, "Rebel Yell", plus a new version of Idol's longtime producer Keith Forsey's "Don't You (Forget About Me)". Although Forsey originally wrote the song with Idol in mind, Idol turned it down and eventually the song was given to Simple Minds who would go on to make it a worldwide hit in 1985. Greatest Hits was certified platinum by the RIAA in 2005.
Chart position and certification
Category:Billy Idol albums
Category:2001 compilation albums
Category:Greatest hits albums
Category:Capitol Records compilation albumsThis text has been derived from Greatest Hits (Billy Idol album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
William Michael Albert Broad (born 30 November 1955), better known by his stage name Billy Idol, is an English rock musician. He first achieved fame in the punk rock era as a member of the band Generation X. He then embarked on a successful solo career, aided by a series of stylish music videos, making him one of the first MTV stars. Idol continues to tour with guitarist Steve Stevens and has a worldwide fan base.
Life and career
Early life and Generation X
Idol was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, the son of a salesman. He attended Tideway School in Newhaven, East Sussex. The name Billy Idol was inspired by a schoolteacher's description of Broad as "idle".Edmunds, Ben, untitled essay in Greatest Hits (2001)
In 1958, when Idol was two years old, his parents moved to Patchogue, New York, on Long Island. The family returned to England four years later with Idol and a younger child Jane (who had been born in the US), settling in Dorking, Surrey. In 1971 the family moved to Bromley, where Idol attended Ravensbourne School for Boys. In October 1975, Idol went to Sussex University to pursue an English degree and lived on campus (East Slope) but left after year one (1976). He then went on to join the Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans. Idol first joined the punk rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees (before the band had decided on that name) in 1976, but soon quit and joined Chelsea in 1977 as a guitarist. However, he and Chelsea bandmate Tony James soon quit that group and co-founded Generation X, with Idol switching from guitarist to lead singer. Generation X signed to Chrysalis Records and released three albums and performed in the 1980 film, D.O.A., before disbanding. Idol moved to New York in 1981 and began working as a solo artist working with Steve Stevens, Phil Feit and Steve Missal, for Idol's debut solo album, "Billy Idol", which was released in July 1982.
Early solo success
Idol's solo career began with the EP titled Don't Stop, which included the Generation X song "Dancing with Myself", originally recorded for their last album Kiss Me Deadly, and a cover of Tommy James & The Shondells' song "Mony Mony". Both songs became his first singles and remain part of his classic live setlists as of 2010. In 1982 Idol instantly became an MTV staple with "White Wedding" and "Dancing with Myself". In 1983, in an effort to introduce Idol to American audiences not yet as familiar with him as those in England, Idol's label released "Dancing with Myself" in the US in conjunction with a music video (directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Jeffrey Abelson, and conceptualised by Keith Williams) that played in heavy rotation on MTV for six months. That video sparked a new era of feature film directors trying their hand at music videos. Along with "White Wedding", the "Dancing with Myself" and "Eyes Without a Face" videos helped make Idol a household name in America.
Rebel Yell and superstar years
Idolandstevens.jpgthumb200pxleftSteve Stevens and Billy Idol
Idol's second LP, Rebel Yell (1983) was a major success and established Idol's superstar status in the United States with hits like "Eyes Without a Face," "Flesh For Fantasy", and the title cut. Idol also became very popular in Europe thanks to this album and its singles, particularly in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and later in the UK. Tracks from the album featured in the 1988 Hollywood comedy film Big,, IMDB, Retrieved 2010-11-08. which starred Tom Hanks.
Idol released Whiplash Smile in 1986, which sold very well. The album included the hits "To Be a Lover," "Don't Need a Gun" and the country-flavoured "Sweet Sixteen". Idol filmed a video featuring "Sweet Sixteen" (which he also wrote) in Florida's Coral Castle. The song was inspired by the story of Edward Leedskalnin's former love, Agnes Scuffs, who was the main reason Leedskalnin built the structure over a period of decades, starting years after she jilted him the day before their scheduled wedding in their native Latvia. Stevens parted ways with Idol after Whiplash Smile. In 1986, Stevens appeared with Harold Faltermeyer on the Top Gun soundtrack. Their contribution was the Grammy winning instrumental, "Top Gun Anthem." Stevens decided to go solo, creating his own band, Steve Stevens and the Atomic Playboys.
A remix album was released in 1987 called, Vital Idol. The album featured a live rendition of his cover of Tommy James' "Mony Mony" ; as a single it topped the US charts in 1987.
In 1989, Idol appeared on stage with The Who as Cousin Kevin as part of the live version of Tommy, which would be aired as an HBO special and released on home video and later as a DVD. In later years, Idol also stood in as a guest performer with The Who on Bell Boy, a hit from their rock opera album Quadrophenia, and provided the lead vocals that were originally sung by the band's late drummer Keith Moon. On these brief appearances, Idol would dress in a full bell boy's uniform to reflect upon Moon's eccentricity on stage.
Idol was involved in a serious motorcycle accident which nearly cost him a leg in February 1990 in Hollywood. He was hit by a car while driving home from the studio one night when he ran a stop sign, requiring a steel rod to be placed in his leg. Shortly prior to this, film director James Cameron had chosen Idol to play the T-1000 character in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and had drawn storyboards to resemble him, but the accident prevented Idol from accepting.
The new release, Charmed Life, was due for release and a video for the single, "Cradle of Love" had to be shot. The song had been featured in the Andrew Dice Clay film, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Since Idol was unable to walk, he was shot from the waist up. The video would feature video footage of him singing in large frames throughout an apartment while Betsy Lynn George was trying to seduce a businessman. The video was a hit and was placed in heavy rotation on MTV. Idol and Betsy Lynn George recreated the opening of the video for the 1991 American Music Awards. Against his doctors' advice, he also managed to make appearances to promote Charmed Life.
Idol made a cameo appearance in the 1998 film "The Wedding Singer" with Adam Sandler, in which Idol ultimately saved the relationship between characters Robbie Hart (Sandler) and Julia Sullivan (played by Drew Barrymore). Idol also had a small part in the movie The Doors, directed by Oliver Stone. Idol played Jim Morrison's drinking buddy, Cat. Retrieved 20 October 2009 Idol also performed at Roger Waters' live concert The Wall Live in Berlin in 1990.
Crisis and resurgence
Billy Idol.jpgthumb220pxrightBilly Idol in concert
In 1993, Idol released Cyberpunk, which was largely ignored. Music had changed and many of the bands that were popular in the '80s were being pushed aside. Regarded as experimental, it was recorded in a home studio using a Macintosh computer, which was a fairly new concept at the time. Idol recorded the album with Younger-Smith and producer Robin Hancock. Special editions of the album were issued with a floppy disc which contained a screensaver. The album has become something of a cult favourite today. In 1996, Idol appeared in a live version of The Who's Quadrophenia. He returned to the public eye in 1998, when he played himself in The Wedding Singer, in which "White Wedding" was also the title track. The film was a smash hit worldwide. He was also considered for the role of the villain, Jacob Kell in Highlander: Endgame. Ultimately Bruce Payne was cast. Idol also released three new tracks on Internet - a move which created much concern from RIAA.
He also shared the stage with the band Third Eye Blind.
VH1 aired Billy Idol - Behind the Music on 16 April 2001. The Behind the Music series was very popular at the time, and each band or artist that was featured on that program usually gained a resurgence of interest after the show had aired. Idol and Stevens were no exceptions, taking part in a VH1 Storytellers show three days later. The reunited duo set out to play a series of acoustic/storytellers shows before recording the VH1 special. The acoustic tour was a big success, and Idol eventually started adding new material into the show. Another Greatest Hits CD was issued in 2001, with Keith Forsey's "Don't You (Forget About Me)" appearing on the compilation. Forsey had originally written it with Idol in mind, but the singer turned it down and eventually the song was given to Simple Minds, who made it a worldwide hit in 1985. The album also includes a live acoustic version of "Rebel Yell" taken from a performance at Los Angeles station KROQ's 1993 Acoustic Christmas concert. The compilation sold about 4,000,000 copies worldwide.
In 2000, Idol was invited to be a guest vocalist on Tony Iommi's album. His contribution was on the song "Into The Night", which he also co-wrote. That year he voice acted the role of Odin, a mysterious alien character, in the animated fantasy film Heavy Metal 2000. In Sydney, Idol entered the playing field on a hovercraft-type stage to the intro of White Wedding, he managed to sing only two words before a power failure ended the performance.Steve Mascord, , The Age, 7 October 2002, retrieved 17 March 2009 "White Wedding" appeared on popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on fictional Classic rock radio station, K-DST.
Devil's Playground and beyond
Devil's Playground, which came out in March 2005, was Idol's first new studio album in nearly 12 years. It reached #46 on the Billboard 200. The album included a cover of "Plastic Jesus". Idol played a handful of dates on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour and also appeared at the UK's Download Festival at Donington Park and the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans. In 2006, as his only UK live date, he appeared headlining the Sunday night of GuilFest. That same year he made an appearance on Viva La Bam where he helped Bam Margera succeed in "creating" a sunroof for his $250,000 Lamborghini Gallardo and performed live for April Margera for her birthday. In 2006, Idol guested on his keyboardist Derek Sherinian's solo album Blood of the Snake, covering the 1970 Mungo Jerry hit "In the Summertime". A video was made featuring Idol and guitarist Slash. In November 2006, Idol released a Christmas album called Happy Holidays.
In 2008, "Rebel Yell" appeared as a playable track on the video game Guitar Hero World Tour and "White Wedding" on Rock Band 2, the Rock Band 2 platform later gaining "Mony Mony" and "Rebel Yell" as downloadable tracks. On 24 June 2008 Idol released a new greatest hits album, The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself. The compilation featured two previously unreleased tracks, "John Wayne" and "New Future Weapon". A third track, "Fractured", was available for download on iTunes. He embarked on a successful tour across the world, co-headlining with Def Leppard. In May 2009 Idol donated his time for Music Education in schools by playing along Steve Stevens & Stephen McGrath and the band Venice as backup band and vocals. They were accompanied by a large String & Brass section and chorale group of Santa Monica High School students. The whole event was hosted by AFTA, Artists for the Arts foundation, (aftafoundation.org). The entire event was shot by Touring Video and Post by On the WAVE Productions. Harry Rabin from "On the WAVE" produced the video, which can be seen on billyidol.net and the audio was mixed and Mastered by Steve Miles and Harry Rabin.
In July 2009, Idol performed at the Congress Theater, Chicago for the US TV series Soundstage. This performance was recorded and was released on DVD as In Super Overdrive Live, on 17 November 2009.
On 16 February 2010, Idol was announced as one of the acts to play the Download Festival in Donington Park. He was quoted: "With all of these great heavyweight and cool bands playing Download this year, I'm going to have to come armed with my punk rock attitude, Steve Stevens, and all of my classic songs plus a couple of way out covers. Should be fun!" In March 2010, Idol added Camp Freddy guitarist and drummer Jeremy Colson to his touring line-up.
* Although Billy Idol has never married, he has a son, Willem (born 1988) by former partner Perri Lister. Idol also has a daughter, Bonnie (born 1989).
Billy Idol's current band consists of:
*Steve Stevens - lead guitar (1981–1986, 2001–present)
*Stephen McGrath - bass guitar (2001–present)
*Derek Sherinian - keyboards (2002–present)
*Billy Morrison - rhythm guitar (2010–present)
*Jeremy Colson - drums, percussion (2010–present)
*Mark Younger-Smith - lead guitar (1990–1996)
*Mark Schulman - drums, percussion (1993–2001)
*Brian Tichy - drums, percussion (2001–2009)
*Tal Bergman - drums, percussion (1990–1993)
*Danny Sadownik - percussion (1993)
*Zane Fix - bass guitar (1980s)
*Kenny Aaronson - bass guitar (1980s)
*Jennifer Blakeman - keyboards (1993)
*Julie Greaux - keyboards (1993)
*Don't Stop (EP) (1981)
*Billy Idol (1982)
*Rebel Yell (1983)
*Vital Idol (1985)
*Whiplash Smile (1986)
*Idol Songs: 11 of the Best (1988)
*Charmed Life (1990)
*Greatest Hits (2001)
*VH1 Storytellers (2002)
*Devil's Playground (2005)
*Happy Holidays (2006)
*The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself (2008)
List of Billy Idol awards and nominations
* Coral Castle, a stone structure where Idol got his inspiration for his song "Sweet Sixteen".
* Bromley Contingent
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Billy Idol on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0