Billy Idol Albums Ranked

William Michael Albert Broad (born 30 November 1955), known professionally as Billy Idol, is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and actor who holds dual British and American citizenship. He first achieved fame in the 1970s emerging from the London punk rock scene as a member of Generation X. Subsequently, he embarked on a solo career that led to international recognition and made Idol a lead artist during the MTV-driven “Second British Invasion” in the United States. The name “Billy Idol” was inspired by a schoolteacher’s description of him as “idle”.
Idol began his music career in late 1976 as a guitarist in the punk rock band Chelsea. However, he soon left the group. With his former bandmate Tony James, Idol formed the band Generation X. With Idol as lead singer, the band achieved success in the United Kingdom and released three albums on Chrysalis Records, then disbanded. In 1981, Idol moved to New York City to pursue his solo career in collaboration with guitarist Steve Stevens. His debut studio album, Billy Idol (1982), was a commercial success. With music videos for singles “Dancing with Myself” and “White Wedding” Idol soon became a staple of then newly established MTV. Here are all Billy Idol’s albums ranked.

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10. Idol Songs: 11 Of The Best (1988)

“Billy was an old-skool punk who sang in the group Generation X with Tony James (Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Sisters Of Mercy). Billy went off to the US to seek fame and fortune and met both Steve Stevens and Keith Forsey along the way. This combination fairly quickly led to Billy being one of the faces of the 80’s and certainly of the US MTV age. This collection showcases the hits up to the Whiplash Smile album and contains some real corkers. The highlight of Billy’s career so far is the Rebel Yell album and this is well represented with the classics that were, and are, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without A Face, Catch My Fall and my favorite Flesh For Fantasy.”

9. Vital Idol (1985)

“Billy Idol’s debut LP is a classic 80s nugget full of punk/new wave/dance hits, but this remastered CD is NOT the original LP – it’s missing the final key track, “Congo Man,” which itelf is a kind of cool dub mix coda to “Love Calling” – we all know it was later replaced with the single “Dancing with Myself” on later versions, but on this deluxe CD reissue, why not reinstate “Congo Man?” The LP was short to begin with (just over 30 mins), so it could have easily fit – and while they were at it, why couldn’t they add on “bonus” cuts from Billy’s U.S.-only debut EP “Don’t Stop” including “Untouchables” “Baby Baby” and more – also they could have added in 12″ mixes/dubes of “White Wedding,” “Hot in the City,” “Dancing with Myself” and “Love Calling” originally on 12″ – now THAT would have been a truly complete deluxe CD to do this classic 80s LP justice! Note: they should also replace the cover with the true original LP cover showing Billy with a Japanese print shirt knotted by to expose his abs – I think the U.S. label feared the original cover photo was too “femme/gay” so they replaced it with his later “Dancing with Myself” vest/tattoo shot – again, this only botches the original packaging/content for true Idol fans! “

8. Don’t Stop (1981)

“Before his big self titled debut that made him the central Rebel Rebel of the 80’s, Billy Idol released an EP titled Don’t Stop, A 12 inch vinyl consisting of four songs. Of course, Don’t Stop has two major classics on here. The first being cover “Mony Mony” which has Motown written all over it. If Motown were to go 80’s pop music, then this would be the song. Black singers and Billy Idol’s iconic voice make for a sweeping and classic song. “

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7. Cyberpunk (1993)

“Cyperpunk is not your typical Billy Idol material. Cyberpunk is darkly creative beginning with the first song, Wasteland, to the last untitled song. The material takes you on an imaginary journey, telling you a story of first despair and loss and finally hope. While recognizable as Billy Idol, Cyberpunk is a clear departure from Billy’s usual work and represents an important artistic evolution in Billy’s discography. Many artists content themselves with producing the same sounds over and over for years; it took courage for Billy to go through with this experiment. “

6. Devil’s Playground (2005)

“I would consider myself a casual Billy Idol fan, just owning his greatest hits CD. I recently got a chance to see him in concert and he was great! After that, I ordered this CD immediately. It is quite good, lots of good songs on here my favorite being Body Snatchers, though I also like Yellin’ At the Christmas Tree. All of the songs are decent and I am glad that I picked this up. To me he sounds as good as he did 20 years ago, you can’t say that about everyone. I hope that he comes back in concert, I would definitely go see him again. In the meantime, I will enjoy playing this CD. It is great just like all these reviews say it is.”

5. Kings & Queens Of The Underground (2014)

“Great album from Billy Idol. One of my favorite Billy Idol albums. Steve Stevens’ guitar work is fantastic. The songs are sonically diverse and some of the best since Rebel Yell. I went to a guitar clinic featuring Steve Stevens in San Diego and had my copy signed. Every song on the album is good. My favorite tracks are Postcards from the Past, Nothing to Fear, Eyes Wide Shut, Bitter Pill, One Breath Away and Save Me Now. This album has no dead spots. Pick it up! 5 Stars!”

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4. Charmed Life (1990)

“Billy is a Pop Rocker of magnificent scope. Charmed Life is another masterpiece by Billy and his talented band. His depth into the realm of rock shows as he does his Doors into L.A. Nobody does it better. The perfect combination of pop-rock and blues into stardom. Long live Billy Idol. Not just another bleach-blond, but the Real Thing, King of hooks and space in time with music and it’s silent nuances. Just remember to play it Loud.”

3. Whiplash Smile (1986)

“Billy Idol’s snarling vocals combined with Steve Stevens guitar wizardry created one of the most distinctive sounds of the eighties. This particular album must be Billy Idol’s greatest achievement. There are ten tracks and every one has a certain quality. The Steve Stevens guitar solo in “Don’t Need a Gun” is legendary and everyone remembers the catchy lyrics of “To Be a Lover”. The only let down is the lethargic “One Night, One Chance”. My own favorite is “Man For All Seasons”. If I had to compile a soundtrack to my life, this track would be on it.”

2. Billy Idol (1982)

“The debut album by Billy Idol is amazingly diverse and mainstream-leaning for an artist supposedly fresh off the punk scene. In fact, Idol today admits that his late seventies outfit, Generation X, differed starkly from other acts on the scene like The Clash or The Sex Pistols; “They were singing ‘No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones’, but we were honest about what we liked.” Generation X was inspired by mid-Sixties British pop and were one of the first “punk” acts appear on the BBC. When the band broke up in 1981, Idol transitioned nicely to his own sound.”

1. Rebel Yell (1983)

“The most successful of all Billy Idol’s records, Rebel Yell was the album that made Generation X into a distant memory. And boy, it really has to suck to have a song like “Rebel Yell” this early on – both for the album and for Billy in general. Billy Idol had only been solo for a couple of years, and all of a sudden we get “Rebel Yell,” which could very well be the best song of his entire career. It showed that the team of Billy and Steve Stevens learned well from the massive success of “Dancing With Myself,” taking what made it such a hit and turned it up a few notches. It’s an indisputable classic”