Updated: Aug 27
“Rebel Yell” is the second studio album from English rocker Billy Idol released on November 10, 1983. While partying with members of the Rolling Stones, Idol remembers hearing the crowd chanting “Rebel Yell,” referencing the Rebel Yell brand of whiskey. Witnessing the situation out of context, Idol thought the rowdy imagery of the audience around the bar chanting the phrase “Rebel Yell” would be the perfect idea for a song. Idol himself was going through a bit of a rebellious streak arguing with his record label and had even been in the process of (unsuccessfully) stealing his song masters. Fighting for more creative control, Idol had walked away with the wrong tapes, thinking all the while he had really stuck it to the man. Realizing his gaff, Idol was again reminded of the scene at the Rolling Stones party and thought the irony was too much of a coincidence to ignore. “Rebel Yell” had now made it as the album’s title and throughout the rest of the recording process, had gone on to influence Billy Idol’s overall aesthetic he had been working to brand: a rebel without a cause, but still a rebel nonetheless. In the height of the video era, MTV’s audience identified with Idol’s punk rock image, helping to solidify all of his subsequent singles as mainstream radio hits through the network’s constant rotation of his grit fueled, crass, and renegade on screen portrayal of himself, a consistent theme throughout every one of his music videos juxtaposed against his seemingly nonthreatening platinum hair, baby face, and who could forget those earrings? Catch an attitude and get a little dirt under your nails by digging up these ‘80s classics, including “Eyes Without a Face,” “Flesh for Fantasy,” and “Catch My Fall” by streaming this iconic time capsule now on Spotify!