They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
It’s hard to imagine the 1980s music scene without Billy Idol. Just as MTV gained a foothold in the collective consciousness, along came a punk-rock James Dean, all bleach-blonde spikes and hundred-mile snarl. Sure, he’d gained some renown in Generation X and, briefly, Siouxsie and the Banshees, but it wasn’t ‘til “White Wedding” hit television screens in 1982 that Idol catapulted to superstar status. The black latex, gothic cathedral, and weird doctor/necromancer enraptured kids and enraged their parents. No one unwraps a headscarf quite like Billy Idol.
His star may have sunk a little – that holiday album didn’t help – but for a full decade no one bettered Billy Idol. For an artist so tied to his time, though, the songs have aged surprisingly well. So today we celebrate Billy’s 55th with five covers of his hits: