His 1983 record Rebel Yell opens with the frantic self-titled track “Rebel Yell” that works off this iconic curtain pull of weaving synth notes that intertwine between a Terminator 2: Judgment Day level of percussion. Billy Idol himself handles the handles guitar and vocals but has this vocal performance on each track that can either create a rampant star or a broken heart. The other main member is Steve Stevens who works on the lead guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer, and other auxiliary keyboards to create this soundscape that Idol lives in. While “Rebel Yell” was one of the bigger hits off the record, the deeper tracks that appear later are the ones that showcase how important Rebel Yell was as a dynamic piece.
Some of the instrumentation like on “Eyes Without A Face” where Idol is instead this disgruntled narrator behind a truly capturing selection of sound. The entire record is caught in this synth-wave style, but “Eyes Without A Face” is more of a sonic display of creating space within the instrumental and relying more on resonation to push the lyrics ahead. As
The following, “Blue Highway” works in more of a progressive approach to creating screams and rock flavor behind the one-two step percussion. It’s hard not to imagine how incredible these choruses are and the fact that every single time the hooks come on, Idol is a gem covered in a glam gloss. The instrumentation that mixes with his model vocal structure creates a flawless team-up that may or may not be a guilty pleasure of thrills.
As Billy Idol’s second record Rebel Yell stepped into 1983 with a blackened leather coat and spiked blonde hair, it was matching for the time but created ultimately some replayability of the 1980’s pop-rock. Whether rocking giant crosses or spiked straps, he holds the title idol for a reason.