Worship him you should – Idol is back on classic form.
Sophie Bruce 2008-06-19
If there was graffiti to match Billy Idol's new greatest hits album, it wouldn't read 'Idol was 'ere'. Instead, the message coming through loud and clear from the original punk rocker's third best-of collection is 'Billy is 'ere... still'. The rocker is nearing pension age but shows no signs of stopping. He's still touring, and, as if to prove the creative juices are still flowing, he's also included two brand new tracks on the disc. Written with long-time partner Steve Stevens, they are produced by Josh Abraham, who's previously worked his magic for Velvet Revolver, Limp Bizkit and Courtney Love. So do the newbies cut it alongside the classic Idol? In a word: yes.
John Wayne is a stylish track that sounds like slightly sedated Linkin Park, with an epic guitar line which builds to a power ballad chorus. Meanwhile New Future Weapon is a punchily upbeat track with echoes of Rebel Yell, just crying out to be used as a soundtrack to the next action blockbuster.
Even if the new tracks don't float your boat, there are sixteen classic snarly punk rock tracks which will; including White Wedding, Hot In The City, Rebel Yell and Mony, Mony. The deluxe edition of the album will also see thirteen of Idol's videos make their way from MTV to DVD for the first time.
Make no mistake: this is a man who recognises the power of cult appeal. One of the first stars of MTV in the early 1980s, he boosted his legendary status with a classic cameo appearance, saving the day in Adam Sandler's 80s spoof film The Wedding Singer in 1998. He was no doubt thrilled when cult US comic Weird Al Yankovic spoofed Mony Mony in his track Alimony.
'William is idle' wrote one unsuspecting school teacher in Billy's report, eventually inspiring one of punk rock’s most famous monikers. Far from idle now, the platinum haired rocker's own message on this greatest hits release is a more positive one: ''Everyone should idolize themselves''. Worship him you should – Idol is back on classic form.