Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Billy Idol "Hot in the City"

Billy Idol's first single to reach the top 100, "Hot in the City" reached 23 in the US and 58 in the UK charts. Basically a simple standard pop song, it features a nice strong rock progression and a solid Phil-Spector-like sound. Climaxing in the last verse, when he yells "New York," the song was a 1980's anthem for his adopted home town. There were two released versions of the video. The first features stock footage of NYC intercut with footage of nuclear bomb tests and Idol appears a bit drunk. The second version is a somewhat kinky combination of leather and voyeurism that brings to mind a male version of Madonna. It was banned on various outlets, but doesn't seem all that outrageous nowadays.

I was 14 when this song was released, and didn't have cable to watch it on MTV. I mostly heard the song on car trips to the beach, and simply liked the positive energy of the song, a pop anthem to youth and a city that I have come to love with a passion. The song is great for a workout or a walk down broadway with your headphones blasting. You can see the Twin Towers glowing at night. We are all New Yorkers now.

Here is the original video release:


Mike Erickson said...

I've listened to several of these and I like them all. Don't know what the hell I was doing back then that I never listened to Billy Idol. I know I would have liked these songs if I'd heard them before. I was only playing and listening to classical guitar then. Oh well. Thanks Ted.

Ted Keer said...

LOL! "Only playing and listening to classical guitar." Well, even a fancy chef can enjoy a good hamburger. Thanks, Mike.