Billy Idol: Kings & Queens of the Underground review – a turkey of epic proportions

His first record since an ill-judged 2006 Christmas covers album, Kings & Queens finds Billy Idol attempting to rekindle his mid-80s, sneering-MTV-fixture glory days.


To that end, he ropes in Trevor Horn on production duties, but this collection of “edgy” rock numbers (Postcards from the Past, in particular, sounds like a pastiche of his biggest hits) and dreary ballads is a turkey of epic proportions. At least it’s entertaining, though: the autobiographical title track showcases some of the clumsiest lyrics since the Cranberries’ demise (“1984, and Rebel Yell had the floor/All we said was, ‘More, more, more’”) and his hammy scream on Eyes Wide Shut is straight out of an Ed Wood production.

Meanwhile, “rocky roads” are ridden, “bitter pills” are swallowed and towns are “crazy”, as Idol leaves no cliche knowingly unturned. Rubbish, yes, but unwittingly hilarious rubbish.

Powered by article was written by Phil Mongredien, for The Observer on Sunday 19th October 2014 00.05 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010