Saturday, January 4, 2020

"Don't Need a Gun" by Billy Idol

Song#:  3002
Date:  01/24/1987
Debut:  72
Peak:  37
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Idol's third album, Whiplash Smile, spawned his second biggest hit to-date with the #6 remake "To Be a Lover." His rocked up version of the old soul tune also became his biggest hit to-date on the Rock chart getting to #2. For a follow-up, this Idol-penned track was selected. It performed fine at Rock reaching #10, but it didn't do as well at Pop where it just made the Top 40. Just prior to the song being pushed out as a single, the album (#6) would receive a platinum certification.

ReduxReview:  This was a dark, charging track that featured nice production by Keith Forsey. It was a good follow-up single, but it just wasn't quite as catchy as some of Idol's other hits. Its placement on the chart was about right. It was more suited to Rock radio and indeed it did much better there. I liked the track and thought it was another solid entry in Idol's catalog.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  I actually wrote this posting during the holiday season of '86 and while looking at Idol's discography, I discovered that he actually recorded a Christmas album. In 2005, Idol released his sixth studio album Devil's Playground. One of the tracks on the album was titled "Yellin' at the Xmas Tree." The rockin' track, written by Idol and Brian Tichy, was a bit of a surprise, but it seemed to work and proved to be popular. So much so that Idol or someone in his camp thought that a full-on Christmas album was a good idea. Idol went into the studio with Tichy and came up with 2006's Happy Holidays. But instead of doing a rock-oriented holiday LP that was in-line with "Yellin' at the Xmas Tree," Idol simply did straight, crooning versions of seasonal standards like "White Christmas," "Jingle Bell Rock," and "Frosty the Snowman" backed by a little studio combo of guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. Idol even filmed videos for a few of the songs that look like something an old school square singer from the 50s might have done. On one hand, it's a little creepy and unnerving. On the other, it kind of works. Idol plays is straight for the most part but adds some of his trademark snarling flourishes on occasion. One wonders if this was done ironically or if Idol was truly serious about this. Whatever the case, it is certainly an oddity in his catalog.


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