[Four Decades of YELL] -- 40 years ago last week, Billy Idol released his second studio album, Rebel Yell (November 10, 1983). Buoyed by the studio wizardry of Keith Forsey and the instrumental prowess of Steve Stevens, Rebel Yell was a commercial and critical success, peaking at #6 on the Billboard 200 and even reaching the top 10 in several other countries. As might be expected with a popular album, all four singles charted:
- "Rebel Yell," the title track and first single, reached #46 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #29 on US Cashbox Top 100, and #9 on US Billboard Top Rock Tracks
- "Eyes Without a Face," the second single, was a top 10 hit (#4) on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the US Cash Box.
- "Flesh For Fantasy" peaked at #29 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
- "Catch My Fall," the fourth and final single, reached #50 on the Billboard Hot 100.
I cannot argue against the worthiness of those first three singles, but I find "Catch My Fall" pretty forgettable. I also find it strange that "Flesh For Fantasy" performed better than "Rebel Yell." Plus, I somehow always thought that "Blue Highway" was a single, but it was merely b-side that got airplay. I think it would have been a better single than "Catch My Fall," but what do I know, really? Maybe the studio execs thought it was too similar to "Rebel Yell," which was pretty much a sonic sequel to "White Wedding" if you think about it. Still, it's all a very catchy synthesis of new wave and pop-punk.
Earlier this year, Seba Vinilos posted a YouTube video of the full vinyl edition of Rebel Yell. So, you can virtually experience spinning this Flashback on a turntable. If you want to view the music videos, use the individual links for the singles in this post.
Flashback: Rebel Yell (November 10, 1983)
And that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!