There's a cool aggression to 1983's "Rebel Yell," Billy Idol's second album that is equal parts new-wave, metal, punk, and pop. Although his debut was a hit and remains a classic, it was "Rebel Yell" that is his masterpiece. The album reunited Billy with the hit-making team of producer, Keith Forsey and the atmospheric guitarwork of Stevie Stevens that can only be called rock & roll nirvana. The album reached #6 on Billboard's Top 200 propelled by four hit singles including, "Rebel Yell," the eloquently gorgeous "Eyes Without a Face" with the haunting female backup singing of Perri Lister, and "Flesh for Fantasy" all of which were hit music videos. With a permanently snarled upper lip and the perfect matinee-idol blond hair, Billy Idol made punk rock palatable for MTV and the masses.
Several years after the original art rock supergroup Colosseum disbanded, drummer Jon Hiseman formed Colosseum II, a more jazz fusion-oriented outfit featuring guitarist Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy) and keyboardist Don Airey. Their eclectic debut, Strange New Flesh, shows some impressive chops from all involved, with an emphasis on Moore's soulful guitar leads. Vocalist Mike Starr, while not an immensely engaging singer, does a nice job keeping up with Hiseman and bass player Neil Murray. Highlights include the technically showy but blissfully irreverent ode to Pink Floyd, "Dark Side of the Moog," a nice version of Joni Mitchell's "Down to You," and the funky "Gemini and Leo."
A slick, carefully crafted follow-up to his debut, Rebel Yell was Billy Idol's catchiest, most consistent fusion of synth-driven new wave pop and hard rock guitar pyrotechnics (courtesy of Steve Stevens)…
Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer. Colleen McCullogh's epic tale of the forbidden love between a priest tested by human passion and a beautiful young girl desiring what she can't have. Includes the stunning, original 4-part miniseries The Thorn Birds.
When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called "Videodrome." As he struggles to unearth the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation. I encourage those of you who will be seeing Videodrome for the first time to listen to the entire audio commentary featuring David Cronenberg and Mark Irwin. It is one of the very best in the Criterion Collection.