Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1980. This week, he's dancing with himself...
This week’s choice has nothing to do with the fact that I had a massive crush on Billy Idol. Nothing at all. [You too, huh? – Ed]
No, this record just fills me with joy and makes me want to pogo. With its almost rockabilly (Billy – geddit?) drums into a melody guitar hook, it grabs you, right there! But there’s something familiar about this. Something quite unexpected.
Generation X had a decent commercial hit with Dancing With Myself and it’s not surprising: post punk but with punkish bits to it, it wasn’t like previous releases. The single was from the forthcoming Kiss Me Deadly album to be released in January 1981. And it was produced by Keith Forsey, still riding high on the Donna Summer disco wave. Ah, so that’s why it’s familiar.
By this time Generation X were known as Gen X but very soon X would be minus I (X – I = solo career for Billy (I). [Are you on medication?? – Ed]. Actually, the production of the rest of the album doesn’t scream disco and this doesn’t either but it kinda crosses into a New Wave genre simply because, at Idol’s request, it was remixed into a 12” dance version – and yes, it was a dance hit (albeit somewhat of a novelty one) and with the possible exception of Siouxsie’s Dear Prudence and a couple of PiL releases, no other punk outfit achieved this. Well, they wouldn’t want to, would they?
All of that notwithstanding, this is a good post punk record by a band that had its roots deep in the punk era and ethos. Idol cleverly gives us guitars that aren’t quite thrashing, a vocal that doesn’t quite scream anarchy and a melody that’s too commercial to be gob worthy (google it, millennial).
And I like it.
It was bravely covered by @druidDUDE in his character on Glee and as a much simplified and toned down version, it worked rather well.
But here, dear reader, is the peroxide one himself in the official video. Pogo away …
Image - Amazon