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Billy Idol
The Very Best Of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
Capitol Records
www.billyidol.net


There is something magic in the music of Billy Idol… the kind of magic that, when listening to this CD on the way to work, made me walk in and declare to my boss that I was not old and needn't be responsible, but that the rock I had been listening to had made me realize that I was born to rock… not sit in an office. And that is the feeling that I get when listening to the edgy rawness of Billy Idol's music from over the years. From his gritty beginnings with punk rockers Generation X to the smooth crooning of "Eyes Without A Face", Idol has always been at the helm of a fantastic rock and roll machine. When he made his foray into exploring "Cyberpunk" the goodness was mostly overlooked, and on his newest hits collection, Idolize Yourself, the king of snarl has included two brand new tracks never before released. "John Wayne" has a smoky, dark, Western vibe, harkening back to the mid-80's when Idol was at the top of his game. The guitars are subtle and brilliant while the synthesizers carry the basic chord structure beautifully. The other new track, "New Future Weapon", also sounds like classic Idol, but more of the up-tempo sort, with throbbing bass lines and throttling drums and guitars that chug along with a tremendous, thundering energy. Along with these new tracks are classic Idol at its finest. "Dancing With Myself" is as smoothly punk as it was over 25 years ago, while "White Wedding" and "Rebel Yell" are as relevant and rocking as they were two decades ago. "Eyes Without A Face" is smooth and smoky, while "Flesh For Fantasy" still holds some of the finest drum sounds of all time and the perfect blend of soul and rock that just bleeds sexuality. Also included are some of his middle career highlights, including his great cover of Tommy James' "Mony, Mony" and the rocking "Cradle Of Love".

Are you an older person who needs some escape from the doldrums of the work-a-day life? Remind yourself of your youth and rebelliousness with a healthy dose of sexy, loud Billy Idol. If you're a younger person who doesn't really understand the hype and thinks that all 80's music sucks, then give the old guy a chance. You'll be surprised how much you like the smooth punk and soul that that Idol churned out, and still continues to purvey.

-L. Keane

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