Kings and Queens of the Underground

Kings and Queens of the Underground

by Billy Idol


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Introspection never has been required from Billy Idol or even desired; he designed his stardom not to bother with such messiness as recognizable human emotions. Nevertheless, a veteran rocker with nearly four decades of experience behind him only has so many cards left to play, so it does makes sense that Idol devoted 2014 to a double-barrel blast of autobiography: a memoir naturally called Dancing with Myself paired with an album called Kings & Queens of the Underground. Confessions are bellowed throughout Kings & Queens but it never feels like they've been pushed to the forefront, not with Trevor Horn's production creating a glassy arena rock cocoon. Horn cannily cherrypicks elements from Billy's past, reaching something of an apex on "Postcards from the Past," where the rhythm of "White Wedding" is cleverly spliced with the roar of "Rebel Yell," but oddly, he also doesn't neglect such lowlights as the overloaded Cyberpunk, giving Kings & Queens a curiously cacophonous feel that doesn't necessarily jibe with Idol's soul-mining. Then again, Billy doesn't really throw himself into autobiography here, preferring to merely write from the perspective of an old punk rocker on the verge of senior citizenship. Frankly, that's enough to give Kings & Queen of the Underground character if not quite a kick. Idol may be posturing -- that's what he does for a living, after all -- but he's relaxed here, certainly more so than he was on 2005's hard-edged Devil's Playground, having fun playing with his past while trying on some new fashions. Some of the styles are undeniably tacky but, hey, bad taste is part of Idol's legacy and Kings & Queens of the Underground touches upon that garishness along with his exaggerated swagger, fondness for hooks, and an irascible snarl, and that makes it an autobiography even if it never tells a story.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/21/2014
Label: Bfi Records Inc
UPC: 5060186924076
catalogNumber: 706
Rank: 16075

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Idol   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Steve Stevens   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Trevor Horn   Synthesizer,Bass,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Greg Kurstin   Bass,Guitar,Drums,Keyboards
Tim Weidner   Percussion
Pete Murray   Keyboards
Billy Morrison   Rhythm Guitar
Ash Soan   Percussion,Drums
Geoff Downes   Synthesizer,Keyboards,fender rhodes,Hammond B3
Tracy Ackerman   Background Vocals
Renate Sokolovska   Flute
Joel Peters   Drums
Matt Chamberlin   Drums
Josh Campbell   Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals
Cameron Gower-Poole   Synthesizer,Guitar,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Billy Idol   Arranger
Steve Stevens   Arranger,Composer
Eric Bazilian   Composer
Trevor Horn   Programming,Producer,drum programming
Greg Kurstin   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Tim Weidner   Engineer,drum programming,Vocal Engineer
Brian Tichy   Composer
Shepard Fairey   Art Direction
Billy Morrison   Composer
Brendan Dekora   Engineer
Alex Pasco   Engineer
Julian Hinton   Programming,Orchestral Arrangements
Dan Nigro   Composer
William Broad   Composer
George William Lewis   Composer
Glenn Goss   Composer
Joel Peters   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Josh Campbell   Programming,drum programming
Julian Burg   Engineer
Cameron Gower-Poole   Programming,Engineer,drum programming,Vocal Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Kings & Queens of the Underground 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first listen, it felt a little heavy on the glory days, but after a few turns the inevitable charisma of someone who was/is a true rock star oozes to the surface and you find the repeat button is back in action. Just like in the glory days. This album will definitely find a home on the playlists of current Billy fans, and if it gets any airplay perhaps a new generation as well.