Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol

Song#:  1767
Date:  01/28/1984
Debut:  87
Peak:  46
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Idol put himself on the map with his self-titled debut album that featured two Top 40 Pop entries, "Hot in the City" (#23 Pop/#31 Rock) and "White Wedding" (#36 Pop/#4 Rock). It set him up nicely for his next effort titled Rebel Yell. The first single select for release was this title track and it raced up the Rock chart to #9. Pop radio wasn't as receptive and the song stalled outside of the Top 40. However, the video was another MTV favorite and the added exposure kept Idol's album selling.

ReduxReview:  I'm surprised this didn't get into the Top 40. It was quite a popular song, especially on MTV, so I'm not sure why it didn't do better at Pop. It's a solid song that still sounds good today thanks in part to the excellent production skills of Keith Forsey. It was another jewel in Idol's spiky crown.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Apparently, Idol got the idea for the album/song title from a backstage gathering with the Rolling Stones. The band was passing around a bottle of whisky called Rebel Yell and Idol thought it would make a good title.  2)  A parody of this song became famous after being shown on the PBS children's show Sesame Street. The song "Rebel L" was sung by a Muppet called Billy Idle. Dressed up like the rock singer, Billy Idle sang the song along with the Rebel L and a police woman. Written by Christopher Cerf (who does the Rebel L voice) and Sarah Durkee, the song was about a Rebel L that was hanging outside of Idle's house at night making a bunch of noise. The song quickly became a favorite of both kids and adults and is now considered a classic piece from the show.


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