Friday, November 04, 2011

To Be a Lover

Song: To Be a Lover
Artist: Billy Idol
Album: Billy Idol

Well it seems I'm feeling another 80's classic on a Friday...

Like Wham!, I've enjoyed singles by Billy Idol throughout the years and yet have never own a whole album from the man.  So when I came across a new greatest hits release last week, part of the Essential series, I decided to grab it and fill in some holes in my singles collection from him.  And I am glad I did!

While I of course had classics like "Rebel Yell," "Mony Mony," "White Wedding," "Rock the Cradle of Love," and even "Eyes Without a Face" and "Sweet Sixteen..." I was missing three umm... essential Idol tracks... "Hot in the City," "Blue Highway," and "To Be a Lover."  All amazing.

"Hot in the City" is big goofy fun, a silly hit from Billy's first solo album, the self-titled solo debut from 1983.  "Blue Highway" is a big 80's epic rock track from '83's "Rebel Yell," and "To Be a Lover" is a moody, sexy track and first single from '86's "Whiplash Smile."  I don't know how I've been missing all three in my life!

I think Billy Idol's cartoonish persona didn't age very well, and did a disservice to his ultimate legacy.  Some of these songs are so great, so classic... and the man had an undeniable charm, a classic rock 'n' roll swagger that was an updated Elvis of sorts... meets 80's pop heavy metal glam.  (And hits like "Sweet Sixteen" and "Eyes Without a Face" showed true songwriting prowess.)

I'm torn between highlighting the punchy "Hot in the City," or the moody, piano and synths-tinged "To Be a Lover."  Hmmm...

Moody wins.  Love those back-up singers.  And I'm a sucker for the line; "and you realize that you need love too, gonna spend my life making love to you!"  Hot.

Buy his greatest hits now!


To Be a Lover
Hot in the City
Blue Highway

1 comment:

Antony said...

well, Billy Idol, we love him, I do have a little story about Billy however that constantly rears it head every year, much to the chagrin of my very dear friend Rodney who for the last ten years has organised the entertainment for the NRL Grand final ( this being the oz version of the super bowl) when "In the 2002 NRL Grand Final Sydney, Idol entered the playing field for the post-match entertainment on a hovercraft-type stage to the intro of "White Wedding", when he managed to sing only two words before a power failure ended the performance" and every year this moment is mentioned in the media prior to the event.....Rodney cringes every time, they now of course never let anyone play live!