"Enough!" said Billy Idol,"2005 is the time for an original punk rocker to show his stuff."
After taking himself out of the music business "to regenerate, get free of myself and make an album for the right reasons," Billy Idol has completed his first album featuring new songs in over 10 years, aptly titled DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND. The CD, which may or may not be named after a location deep inside the Idol mind, is scheduled for release on March 22, 2005, and is the English rocker's first for CSP Records/Sanctuary Records.
The first single, Scream, is a down and dirty love romp featuring the sinister signature guitar of Steve Stevens and Idol's rock and roll holla in the familiar vain of Rebel Yell. It will go to radio early January, with an impact date set for January 31.
Billy Idol has experienced a wild ride in a career which has spanned some 17 years. As leader of the group which gave its name to a youth cult, Generation X, he was one of the original British punks who gave the rock establishment a good kick up the arse with such classics as "Ready, Steady, Go," "Wild Youth," "Your Generation" and "Dancing With Myself," the latter of which marked the transition to Idol's solo career when it appeared in remixed version on his 1981 DON'T STOP EP. Moving to New York in the early '80s and hooking up with guitarist Steve Stevens and producer Keith Forsey, Idol forged a highly influential rock-dance synthesis. His self-titled debut album in 1982 included a pair of Top 40 hits in "Hot In The City" and "White Wedding," with the latter's video marking IDOL's emergence as an MTV star. 1983's REBEL YELL saw Idol at the top of the rock heap, sporting hits in the title track, "Eyes Without A Face" and "Flesh For Fantasy" and earning Idol a Grammy nomination alongside Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, John Mellencamp and Elton John in Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male. WHIPLASH SMILE, which followed in 1986, produced the hit single "To Be A Lover" and another Grammy nod for Best Rock Vocal Performance Male. With VITAL Idol, the first dance remix collection to crack the Top 10 and go platinum, the rocker released a new live version of Tommy James & the Shondells' "Mony Mony," which went straight to #1. In addition, Idol guest starred--along with such artists as Elton John, Steve Winwood and Patti LaBelle--in a stage production by the Who of their classic rock opera "Tommy" at London's Royal Albert Hall and the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. IDOL completed his next album CHARMED LIFE and was awaiting its release when he got into an accident while riding his beloved Harley in February 1990. He was left with a fractured left forearm, multiple fractures and muscle damage to his right leg. The mishap almost cost him a role in Oliver Stone's The Doors, but the director rewrote the script to include the rocker in a cameo which took advantage of the fact he was on crutches. The album's first single "Cradle of Love" became another Top 5 hit for Idol, who not only survived the crash, but ended up going out on tour to support the album when he recovered.
In 1993, Billy Idol anticipated the current trend of on-line computer interactivity with CYBERPUNK, his tribute to pop music's growing fascination with virtual reality and futuristic animation techniques. Idol joined up with Brett Leonard, the director of the high-tech film Lawnmower Man, to implement a brand-new video method, the Blendo technique. For the first release from the album, Idol's interpretation of the Velvet Underground's "Heroin," six different video versions of the song were created. Using personal computers, desktop video gear and real-time computer graphics to manipulate the imagery, Idol created the visual equivalent of a jam session, "played" by a group of skilled computer hackers. In addition, Idol communicated with his fans through computer E-mail and on the Internet until his mailbox became deluged with more messages than any human could handle. He released his record company bio on an interactive disc for Macintosh with color monitors, anticipating today's technological breakthroughs. In America, CYBERPUNK provided the hit radio track "Shock To The System" and the album was well received in Europe, where he did a two-month tour. Idol's recent work includes writing and performing the title cut to the soundtrack of the blockbuster film Speed starring Keanu Reeves.Check out our other Rock Stars