This week is Homecoming Week at my alma mater, Ball State University. And, as I perused the list of activities for the week, I noticed the number of traditions that were still in their infancy while I was at Ball State still being carried on to this very week. They have all the usual Homecoming stuff, such a parade during the morning of the game (one activity I never saw while a college student), evening entertainment that appeals more to the older alumni (Wait! Am I the old one now?), Homecoming court balloting, etc. A couple of events that started a couple of years before my matriculation.
The first event was The Bed Race, where four to six teammates push a bed with one of the final teammate on the bed navigating the pushers as they drag race another team. The winner moves on the to the next round until one team is left as the Homecoming Bed Race Champs. The best part of the race is to see the crazy outfits each team adorn. The event that seemed to capture our imaginations as students was the “Air Jam”, where groups “perform” a song of their choice. I have witnessed a couple young ladies do an outstanding version of a Blues Brothers song, or the time the campus male pin-up brought to life “Strip” by Adam Ant. But, the best Air Jam performance I had Ever seen was a group of guys from a dorm who transformed into Prince proteges, The Time, while performing “The Walk”.
In college, my friends would probably tell you that I was a HUGE Billy Idol fan. And they were correct to a certain extent. Often, I was told that I looked like a cross between Billy Idol, Sting and Tom Petty. I never knew how to take that, but okay. Anyway, I did like Billy Idol quite a bit, though not on the same level as Prince, Cheap Trick, Petty, Springsteen, R.E.M. and the rest. But, he still played a brief role in my music collection. As a matter of fact, my wife and I saw him at the old tennis complex in Indianapolis 33 years ago. Wow! That was a long time ago!
And, yes, I too performed at Air Jam. My sophomore year, a group of us did “Don’t Fight It” by Kenny Loggins and Steve Perry. My junior year, we did Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself”. And, my senior year, we tried to do Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. So, yes, I have made a public fool of myself before. But, in honor of this being homecoming week at Ball State, I thought I would give you My 20 Favorite Billy Idol Songs.
20. “Shock the System” (1993)
19. “Blue Highway” (1983)
18. “Kiss Me Deadly” (1978) – As recorded by Billy Idol’s original band, Generation X, and NOT Lita Ford’s big hit in the 1980s.
17. “Your Generation” (1978) – Yet another Generation X song.
16. “Come On, Come On” (1982).
15. “The Untouchables” (1981).
14. “Don’t Need a Gun” (1986)
13. “Sweet Sixteen” (1986)
12. “Catch My Fall” (1983)
11. “L.A. Woman” (1990)
10. “Ready Steady Go” (1978) – Generation X
9. “Cradle of Love” (1990)
8. “Mony Mony (live)” (1987). This was always a show stopper in Idol’s live setlist.
7. “Hot in the City” (1982). Billy Idol is the closest he will ever be to a pop singer, except on his Christmas album a decade or so ago.
6. “To Be a Lover” (1986). How about a little psychobilly from Billy? It’s almost what you have here, a mix of rockabilly and metal
5. “White Wedding” (1982). One of the original videos in heavy rotation on a fledgling channel.
4. “Eyes Without a Face” (1983). Billy Idol’s huge make out record!
3. “Flesh for Fantasy” (1983). This song is a great resource for a metal/pop/funk/punk fusion of sounds.
2. “Rebel Yell” (1983). Although it did not climb high into the Top 40, “Rebel Yell” announced Billy Idol’s arrival as a major rock star.
1. “Dancing with Myself” (1982) – I prefer Billy Idol’s version to Generation X’s original, though I am not sure that I could honestly tell the difference between the two. Oh well, I know what I like, and I like Billy Idol!
That’s a wrap on Billy Idol songs. If you have any artists to suggest, leave their names in the comment section. Peace out!