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Top Five Tuesday :: Billy Idol

My Billy Idol thirst was not quenched enough with today’s video of the day, I have found myself combing through songs, playing one after another, recalling my vinyl collection and the sneer and fist that become synonymous with his Rebel Yell. My best teenage friends and I all fell hard for him, played his music loud enough to shake the walls (and blow out a few speakers), as we danced around our bedrooms, by ourselves, and together, to Billy Idol’s music. He was a musical staple of my adolescence, and his songs still make it on to many a playlist and mix of mine today. His music is one of my favorites to play in the car and sing-a-long loudly to, and they are also some of the songs that will always and immediately cheer me up when I am feeling low. So, to sate my Idol needs today, the following are my top five favorites from Billy Idol, with my three sentence odes to each song. Turn up the tunes and enjoy, and hey, while you are at it, tell me your favorites in the comments.

5. Blue Highway

Why do I miss you?
Why did I kiss you
?”

One of my friends back in the Rebel Yell days had her bedroom above her family’s garage. It felt like an apartment all of her own, and right above her bed she had a giant poster of Billy Idol. We stood atop her bed one night with permanent markers in our hands and scrawled lyrics around his face; the above are what I wrote.

4. To Be a Lover

Have I told you,
yes,
lately that I love you?
If I didn’t,
oh baby,
yes,
I’m so sorry
.”

Billy doing his best Elvis. The teenage girl whose first crush had been on a rockabilly boy, a few years prior, devoured this song. It was often a late night soundtrack to much adolescent fantasizing, “dancing with myself”, too.

3. Dancing With Myself

When there’s no-one else in sight,
in the crowded lonely night,
well I wait so long for my love vibration,
and I’m dancing with myself
.”

I had danced in my bedroom so many times to this song that when my friends and I went to our first high school dance and this song began to play I could not help myself, I had to go out and dance. The song was a stepping stone outside of the wall of shyness that had surrounded me, and it was one more time that music gifted me with courage and confidence, when I lacked it inside myself. I still have to dance when I hear this song, always.

2. Catch My Fall

It could happen to you so think for yourself.”

Hard to not think of 80’s movies when I hear this song, as I feel like so many of them featured this song in them somewhere. It is also one of Billy’s songs that have often made their way onto my own “soundtracks”. It is also one of my favorite songs to put on mixes I have made for people I have had crushes on, as it feels like an non-obvious kind of love song.

1. Eyes Without a Face

Now I close my eyes,
and I wonder why,
I don’t despise.
Now all I can do,
is love what was once,
so alive and new
.”

I wrote a story to this song once, lying on the floor of my childhood bedroom, writing up a storm in a black and white colored composition book. It was about a girl who could turn herself invisible at will, but could still see everything around her. It was a trick she used too much, hiding herself away for far too long, and eventually she was stuck, forever unable to be seen.

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