Idol, Billy - 1986 Whiplash Smile

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Idol, Billy
ALBUM: Whiplash Smile
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: VK 41514
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Billy Idol - vocals, guitar, bass * Steve Stevens - guitar, bass, keyboards, programming * Marcus Miller, John Regan - bass * Phillip Ashley, Harold Faltermeyer, David Frank, Richard Tee - keyboards * Thommy Price - drums, percussion * Jocelyn Brown, Connie Harvey, Janet Wright - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Worlds Forgotten Boy * 02 To Be A Lover * 03 Soul Standing By * 04 Sweet Sixteen * 05 Man For All Seasons * 06 Don't Need A Gun * 07 Beyond Belief * 08 Fatal Charm * 09 All Summer Single * 10 One Night, One Chance


It was one of my most played albums of 1986. In an era where Bon Jovi and Europe ruled the airwaves, it was the mighty 'Blonde One' that did it for me.

'Whiplash Smile' was an incredible album really, all things considered. And yes, it did have the indelible hand of Steve Stevens all over it, but the quality of songs onboard made that year an enjoyable one for me.

The album was a bonafide hit the world over, with a handful of singles which climbed the charts.

The Songs

And let's start with those. 'To Be A Lover' and 'Sweet Sixteen' are well heeled Billy Idol tunes which will make any compilation CD years later. Just great pop/rock songs without any bombast.

'Sweet Sixteen' in particular was a perfect acoustic radio friendly hit ideal for the airwaves.

Where Idol and Stevens hit paydirt is when they ramp up the energy. The killer track without doubt is the killer 'Don't Need A Gun', which is a fantastic melodic rock track with power synths and searing guitar work on display.

Even the album opener 'Worlds Forgotten Boy' is amazing stuff. I wish Idol and Stevens could write this sort of stuff forever. It really is a sonic wonderland.

Even 'Soul Standing By' is big boisterous stuff! Steve Stevens really is the 'gun for hire' when you listen to 'Man For All Seasons'.

'Beyond Belief' goes in a keyboard based direction, though Stevens gets to ham it up later on with a fiery solo.

I liked the punchy 'Fatal Charm', an edgy rocker with a hint of switchblade on the melody.

'All Summer Single' reverts to a lighter scale, while 'One Night One Chance is a bit hit/miss for me I'm afraid.

In Summary

The album was considered to be less successful than Idol's previous albums, but all up it was still a success, with three cuts which made it into the Billboard Top 40.

Billy disappeared for a few years after this, returning in 1990 for 'Charmed Life', the key role of guitarist/sidekick taken up by Mark Younger-Smith.

To his credit, Billy Idol is still going strong, and has cleaned up his act by going sober and drug free. He looks great going well into the 21st century.

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