On April 13, Chrysalis Records will release a Record Store Day exclusive featuring a previously unreleased mix of the Generation X classic single ‘Your Generation [Winstanley Mix]’ b/w ‘Trying For Kicks [Winstanley Mix]’ as a limited edition red vinyl 7” single.See More›
DELUXE EDITION OF THE 1978 GENERATION X DEBUT ALBUM
REMASTERED, FEATURING ALL THE NON-ALBUM A AND B-SIDES
FROM THE PERIOD AND 11 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS
AVAILABLE ON 2CD DIGIPAK AND 3 LP VINYL
On 26th April, Chrysalis will release a Deluxe Edition of Generation X, the self-titled 1978 debut album by one of the great British punk bands of the late 1970s.
Generation X’s story is deeply rooted in the London punk scene. Singer Billy Idol was a member of the hugely influential Bromley Contingent while bassist Tony James had played with both Mick Jones and Brian James who went on to form The Clash and The Damned respectively. Both Idol and Tony James joined punk band Chelsea in early 1976 before leaving to form Generation X.
Taking their name from an influential 1965 book on mod culture, the band’s line up was finalised in early 1977 by guitarist Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews and 18-year-old drummer, Mark Laff (who had previously drummed with Subway Sect).
Managed by Roxy Club founder Andrew Czezowski, the band signed to Chrysalis in the summer of 1977, releasing their first single, Your Generation, that September. With a sleeve co-designed by Idol and James with legendary in-house Stiff Records designer, Barney Bubbles, Your Generation was a slice of power-pop punk that announced the band’s arrival in style. It was followed in November by Wild Youth, a song inspired by street graffiti which the band had seen on a photo shot.
In February 1978 the band released the single Ready Steady Go. A potent pop song, it boldly celebrated the icons of Sixties pop, going against the orthodoxy of the times. It was followed that March by the release of their self-titled debut album, produced by Martin Rushent (Buzzcocks, The Stranglers). Featuring 11 songs, Generation X stands out as one of the best albums of its time. Alongside established favourites such as Listen, Kleenex and Day By Day, it also featured Kiss Me Deadly, written just two weeks before the band went into the studio. A musical epic that repositioned the mood of Bruce Springsteen’s New York street opera Jungleland in the West End of London, Kiss Me Deadly showed just how much the band were moving away from ram-a-lama, three-chord punk towards a more mature brand of storytelling rock ‘n’ roll with greater depth, feeling and texture.
They could, of course, still rock out, and the album closed with a no-holds-barred rendition of Youth Youth Youth. Recorded in one take in a midnight session, with Derwood having set up a wall of amplifiers behind him in the studio, it features one of the great guitar solos of the punk era.
The album, with a cover shot by Gered Mankowitz, remains Generation X’s defining moment. While all four members went on to further musical projects – and, in the case of Billy Idol, a solo career which would turn him into an international star – the fires that burned when the four of them were in full cry from 1976 to 1979 remain an inspiration: over four decades since its creation, the first Generation X album is a musical landmark that continues to fascinate.
Charting at number 29 on its release, the album has gone on to become one of the classic punk debuts which has been a major influence on successive generations, particularly in the U.S. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at number 7 in their 50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums, and it’s cited by the likes of Nirvana/Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong as a vital and seminal punk album.
The Generation X expanded deluxe edition CD set has been newly remastered from the original production tapes and includes 11 previously unreleased recordings. CD1 contains the original UK 11 track album with CD2 including all the A and B-sides of their singles from the period, 11 previously unreleased outtakes, a single mix and a number of mixes made by engineer Alan Winstanley (Madness, Elvis Costello, Morrissey).
This 2CD is an 8-Panel Digipak with O-Card and 12-page booklet, with previously unseen photos and newly commissioned sleeve notes by journalist Adrian Thrills.
The expanded deluxe edition vinyl box set has also been newly remastered and cut from the original production tapes. LP1 contains the original UK 11 track album, LP2 includes all the A and B-sides of their singles from the period and LP3 contains 11 previously unreleased outtakes, a single mix and a number of mixes made by engineer Alan Winstanley (Madness, Elvis Costello, Morrissey).
Generation X [Deluxe Edition]
CD1 (&LP1) – The Original Album [2019 Remaster]
1 – From The Heart
2 – One Hundred Punks
3 – Listen
4 – Ready Steady Go
5 – Kleenex
6 – Promises Promises
7 – Day By Day
8 – The Invisible Man
9 – Kiss Me Deadly
10 – Too Personal
11 – Youth Youth Youth
Produced by Martin Rushent, engineered by Alan Winstanley
CD2 (LP2+3) – A-Side, B-Side and Outtakes [2019 Remaster]
1 – Your Generation [Non-Album Single] +
2 – Day By Day (B-side Version) [B-side to Your Generation] +
3 – Wild Youth [Non-Album Single] +
4 – Wild Dub [B-side to Wild Youth] +
5 – No No No [B-side to Ready Steady Go]
6 – Trying For Kicks (1977 Outtake) [B-side to Friday’s Angels from 1979]
7 – This Heat (1977 Outtake) [B-side to Friday’s Angels from 1979]
8 – Ready Steady Go (Phil Wainman Version) +
9 – No No No (Phil Wainman Version) +
10 – Gimme Some Truth (Outtake) [Released on the US version of the album]
11 – Rock On Dub (Outtake)
12 – Promises Promises (Previosuly Unreleased Single Version)
13 – From the Heart (Winstanley Mix)
14 – The Invisible Man (Winstanley Mix)
15 – Kleenex (Winstanley Mix)
16 – Day By Day (Winstanley Mix)
17 – One Hundred Punks (Winstanley Mix)
18 – Too Personal (Winstanley Mix)
19 – Youth Youth Youth (Winstanley Mix)
All produced by Martin Rushent except * Produced by Phil Wainman.
Tracks previously unreleased except track 10.
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Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road in March 2019 for their first ever tour performing as a duo: ‘Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged’.
Fans across North America will have an opportunity to enjoy their hits, deeper album cuts and songs that influenced them both in a new and intimate setting. Plus, hear spoken word interludes from Billy Idol adding color to the stories behind the songs and career of one of rock’s most compelling survivors.See More›
Additional Billy Idol Live! 2018 Tour dates in the U.S have been added for September and October! The latest fall dates announced begin September 12 in Portland, OR and include festival appearances at KAABOO Del Mar and the Foo Fighters’ own Cal Jam.See More›
BILLY IDOL BRINGS AN UNBRIDLED ENERGY TO HIS HOUSE OF BLUES RESIDENCY
John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Weekly (Photo: John Salangsang/Invision/AP):
Even during a phone conversation, you feel Billy Idol is pumping that leather-clad right fist. More, more, more.
He’s not to be stopped, the 60-year-old rock star who unleashed a string of hits in the early and mid-1980s that still stand today. Idol effectively name-checks a few of those classics later in the conversation to promote his upcoming House of Blues residency. He sweeps onto the Strip this week with his production, titled Billy Idol: Forever, and it’s reportedly doing brisk sales. He’s back in May, and this week even more shows were added for August, September and October. Some highlights of our chat:
I saw you in 1982 in Chico, California, at Acker Gymnasium at Chico State University. The next time I saw you was in 2010 at the Pearl at the Palms, 28 years later, and you’d lost none of your energy. How have you been able to keep up your exuberance throughout your career?
I think it has a lot to do with the music, and the intent behind the music. Coming from punk rock, there is a
“Billy Idol was among British punk’s first wave, beginning with Generation X in the late seventies, and going on to become one of the first punk acts to succeed in the video medium in the eighties. To many, he defined the look, style, and snarl of punk, and he’s not afraid to claim the mantle. He narrates his memoir in his unmistakable Cockney accent, which befits the more lurid tales of excess as well asSee More›
WITH A ‘REBEL YELL,’ BILLY IDOL FIST-PUMPS HIS WAY INTO LAS VEGAS
By Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas Magazine, March 11, 2016:
The Billy Idol: Forever series of shows at Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues isn’t just the latest rock star residency in Vegas. It’s also the final chapter of Billy Idol’s most ambitious tour since his ’80s heyday, with guitarist Steve Stevens on board playing Sundance Kid to his Butch Cassidy. The prince of ’80s post-punk has been on the road since the October 2014 release of King & Queens of the Underground, his audio companion to autobiography Dancing with Myself, and judging from a high-profile appearance in February’s iHeart80s Party in the Forum in L.A., the adulation received on tour is only making him stronger.
The fact that Idol soldiers on at all—let alone while sporting a six-pack that enables him to perform shirtless at age 60—testifies to his status as a true rock ’n’ roll survivor. Idol was part of the original pack of Sex Pistols followers and one of many fans that started a band. Generation X outlived the initial blast of British punk, with spiky-haired Idol going against the grain by demonstratingSee More›
David Von Bader, Broward/Palm Beach New Times, Sept 18, 2015:
Among the copious guitar heroes the 1980s gave us, Steve Stevens — best-known as Billy Idol’s capo and lead collaborator — remains in a class of his own. By Idol’s own admission, Stevens’ eclectic fretboard pyrotechnics and deft sense of arrangement were the emulsifying agents that helped make Idol’s
Robert Cavuoto, Guitar International, June 21 2015:
Not many guitar players can flawlessly cross as many musical boundaries as Steve Stevens has done in his career. His prolific and innovative playing has changed the face of music, and together with Billy Idol, they helped revolutionizing a new genre of music.
Whether you consider their brand of music; New Wave, dance rock, or rock n’ roll they rode the crest to become MTV staples and musical icons.
Guitar players around the globe scratched their heads trying to duplicate Steve’s unique sound, asking “Was it a guitar, synth, keyboard or all of the above?”
Being a self-proclaimed techno head, Steve has emerged as a quintessential force, capable of magically and successfully marrying it all altogether without sacrificing the main objective – making great music!
A true “orchestrator” as he likes to say.
With his extraordinary stage charisma, leather outfits, long spikey hair, and amazing chops he caught the attention of hard rock & metal fans.
It was apparent that Steve was not content with conquering just one genre of music and took his unique playing technique and versatility to new heights, playing with such musical legends as Michael Jackson, Vince Neil, Robert Palmer and Joni Mitchell.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with a Steve to talk aboutSee More›
Billy Idol, Joan Jett and more will perform at the 11th Annual MusiCares Map Fund benefit concert at the Best Buy Theater in New York City next month. Proceeds from the event will go toward MusiCares’ programs aimed at helping musicians struggling with addiction.
The event will take place on May 28th and will honor Pete Townshend as well as The Who’s longtime manager/music and film producer Bill Curbishley. Bruce Springsteen will present Townshend with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his dedication and support of the MusiCares MAP Fund and its addiction recovery programs. Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, will present Curbishley with the MusiCares From the Heart Award by for his unconditional friendship and dedication to the mission and goals of the organization.
The 11th Annual MusiCares Map Fund benefit will feature performances from Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones and more, who will be announcedSee More›
April 18, 2015 Saba Hamedy–LA Times
Billy Idol sang his way onto the stage (literally) to talk about his memoir at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday.
“I’m ready ready ready to discuss rock ‘n’ roll,” Idol sang as he strutted onto the L.A. Times stage at USC. “Hopefully I don’t really need an introduction.”
It’s true, he really didn’t need an intro: Crowds of book festival attendees arrived at the stage area early to save seats. Others packed the surrounding grassy area, standing to get a better view of the 1980s British rocker. “Bookchella,” indeed.
The lively musician, who still sports his iconic spiked bleached hair look, pumped up attendees withSee More›
Vicki Anderson for Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand, 20 March 2015
Spiky peroxide-blonde- haired Billy Idol repeats the word “masturbatory” three times with a sneer.
The leather-clad rocker who led an MTV-fuelled generation is telling me about a disco in Tokyo, Japan, he visited in the late 1970s, when dance clubs were still in the passionate embrace of disco’s Saturday Night Fever.
“We went to this dance club and these kids were all dressed up like John Travolta and dancing with themselves,” Idol says chattily.
“They weren’t dancing together, they were dancing to their own reflections. It was like a masturbatory kind of thing to do. If I haven’t got a partner I can fixate on myself, dance with myself.”
The experience led to the hit 80s hit song Dancing with Myself, which is also the title of his recently released autobiography. He challenged himself to write the book, he says, as his way of evoking something of a punk rock ethic.
“In the days of punk rock we believed in trying to do things yourself. I wondered if I couldSee More›
Review: Billy Idol – March 24, 2015, Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Harry Williams, thedwarf.com.au
“A lengthy atmospheric instrumental intro and then suddenly he [Billy Idol] runs out of the darkness and onto one of three risers and there he is, bouncing around. The spritely punk is back, as youthful, buffed and boisterous as ever. Resplendent in trademark leathers, with his attitude, ego, sneer and trademark yelps at the ready…See More›
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens performed a rare acoustic club gig at The Turf Club on January 19 in St. Paul, MN in front of 350 lucky fans to celebrate 89.3FM The Current’s 10th Anniversary. Watch the video of Billy’s interview with The Current’s Mary Lucia below along with live clips from the intimate performance.See More›
From the living room of his house, high up in the Hollywood Hills, Billy Idol gazes out across the Los Angeles Basin, remembering when the city was on fire.
“Even in the daytime, you could see the smoke,” he says, describing his bird’s-eye view of the Rodney King riots in April 1992. “And ash was raining out of the sky.”
At the time of the riots, Idol was one of the biggest stars in rock. But privately, his life had been unraveling for some time. In 1989, he separated from his girlfriend of 10 years, dancer-choreographer Perri Lister, a split that sent him plunging deeper into drug abuse. A gruesome motorcycle accident in the heart of Hollywood the following year nearly cost him his leg.
After limping through an international tour with a cane, he was back at home, struggling to stay sober as he toiled on the most ambitious album of his career, Cyberpunk, with neither of his most trusted collaborators, guitarist Steve Stevens and producer Keith Forsey, to guide him.
In the fires of the riots, Idol saw a parallel to his own life. “I’d been polluting myself with drugs. So it wasn’t so different for me to start seeing the world as polluting itself.”
It would take years, but Idol finally detoxed. Now he stands as an improbable survivor not only of drug abuse and motorcycle accidents butSee More›
Billy Idol’s new single Can’t Break Me Down is USA Today’s “Song of the Week”!
“The bleach-haired rocker sticks to his classic style on the first single from Kings & Queens of the Underground, due Oct. 21. With its punkish drive, sneering vocals and roaring Steve Stevens guitar, Can’t Break Me Down could have made aSee More›