Billy Idol Biography
Born William Michael Albert Broad on November 30, 1955 in Stanmore, Middlesex ENGLAND, this Punk-Rock Pop-Rock singer+guitarist & songwriter made his entrance on the British music scene in 1976 with a band called Chelsea, the group was short-lived and Billy Idol, as he was now known, teamed-up with guitarist Bob Andrews, bassist Tony James and drummer John Towe and went on to form Generation X.
In 1981 he left the band and launched his solo career in New York, signing
a deal with Chrysalis Records who released the 4-track EP "Don't
Stop"; the first single, "Dancing With Myself" found club
success in the U.S. and the second single, the cover of Tommy James' "Mony
Mony", hit #1 on the U.K. Official Pop chart.
The following year, Billy Idol released his self-titled debut solo album, the record reached the #45 position on the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart spawning the American Top 40 hit "Hot In The City" and "White Wedding" which rose to #4 on The Mainstream Rock chart and reached #6 in Britain.
In early 1984 he issued his second effort, "Rebel Yell"; two months after its release this album had sold a million copies, at that time his debut EP, the first album and "Rebel Yell" were simultaneously in The Billboard Top 200 chart, the latter eventually rose to #6 going double-platinum; the title-track became the highest charting single from the album in England where the song peaked at #6, "Rebel Yell" also reached the #46 slot on The Billboard Hot 100; the second single, the ballad "Eyes Without A Face", hit #4 on The Billboard Hot 100 and made top 20 on the U.K. Pop Singles list; "Flesh For Fantasy" crashed into the top 10 of The Mainstream Rock Tracks and "Catch My Fall" entered top 30 on the same chart.
In 1985 appeared "Vital Idol", a collection of remixes which hit #7 on the British Albums chart. When the set was repackaged and re-issued in 1987, it crashed into the top 10 of the American Billboard 200 chart.
In September 1986 Billy Idol returned with his third album, "Whiplash Smile", the record broke into the top 10 in U.S. but failed to match its predecessor's sales, it included the single "To Be A Lover" which hit #6 on The Billboard Hot 100 and #2 The Mainstream Rock Tracks; the album also generated the Mainstream Rock top 10 hit "Don't Need A Gun" and the acoustic-driven ballad "Sweet Sixteen" which climbed into the top 20 of The Billboard Hot 100.
Almost exactly one year later he released the live-single "Mony Mony", taking it to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.
Billy Idol re-emerged in 1990 with "Charmed Life", despite a motorcycle crash, early that year, seriously damaged his leg, he recovered remarkably and the first single off of the album, "Cradle Of Love", topped the Active Rock chart and hit #2 on The Billboard Hot 100; the album eventually rose to #11 in U.S. going platinum; it included one more Mainstream Rock top 20 hit, "L.A. Woman" and the minor hit "Prodigal Blues".
Another three years passed before he returned with his next album, "Cyberpunk", but the record was a commercial flop, it missed the top 40 in U.S. and generated only one Active Rock top 10 single, "Shock To The System"; the second single, "Speed", scraped the bottom of the top 40 on the same chart.
The following year Idol suffered a near-fatal drug overdose and had to be treated in a Los Angeles hospital.
His next release was a collection simply titled "Greatest Hits" which reached the #76 spot on The Billboard 200 Albums chart in 2001.
Billy Idol released "Devil's Playground", his first album of new material in more than a decade, in March 2005; it peaked at #46 on The Billboard 200, while the main single, "Scream", grabbed a #26 on The Mainstream Rock chart.
June 2008 saw the release of "The Very Best Of Billy Idol - Idolize Yourself", a collection that contains 16 classic Billy Idol tracks plus 2 brand new songs: the moody "John Wayne" and the ham-fisted "New Future Weapon".