Charmed Life (Billy Idol album)

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Charmed Life
Charmed Life cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 May 1990
Recorded1989–1990
GenreHard rock
Length54:20
LabelChrysalis
ProducerKeith Forsey
Billy Idol chronology
Idol Songs: 11 of the Best
(1988)
Charmed Life
(1990)
Cyberpunk
(1993)
Singles from Charmed Life
  1. "Cradle of Love"
    Released: 17 April 1990
  2. "L.A. Woman"
    Released: July 1990
  3. "Prodigal Blues"
    Released: December 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
Billboardpositive[2]
Cash Boxpositive[3]
NME8/10[4]
Record Mirror[5]
Rolling Stone[6]
Smash Hits[7]

Charmed Life is the fourth studio album by English rock singer Billy Idol, released on 1 May 1990 by Chrysalis Records.

The lead single, "Cradle of Love", appeared on the soundtrack of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. The song was famous for its video, which won the 1990 MTV Video Music Award for "Best video from a film". The video directed by David Fincher, involved Betsy Lynn George as a teenager who knocks at her neighbour's door and asks to play a tape, before stripping to the music. The album's second single is a cover version of "L.A. Woman" by The Doors. Its video was also directed by Fincher. The third single off the album was "Prodigal Blues".

Charmed Life was certified Platinum by the RIAA and Silver by BPI in 1990.

Background[edit]

"The album is about how great life is and how bad it is just to throw it away, which I almost did."

 —Billy Idol discussing the album's theme.[8]

Unlike Idol's previous two albums, Charmed Life did not feature guitarist Steve Stevens, and most of the guitar work was handled by Mark Younger-Smith instead. Idol told Sounds in 1990, "Meeting Mark Younger-Smith gave me a lynchpin, someone I could work with by forming a sound and an idea for this album." Idol finished sessions for the album on 5 February 1990. During the following morning, after picking up the final mixes from Conway Studios, he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.[8]

"Love Unchained" was inspired by a friend of Idol's who died in a motorcycle accident.[8]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Loveless"Billy Idol, Mark Younger-Smith4:17
2."Pumping on Steel"Idol, Younger-Smith4:41
3."Prodigal Blues"Idol5:41
4."L.A. Woman"John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison5:29
5."Trouble With the Sweet Stuff"Idol, Keith Forsey, Younger-Smith, Dave Concors5:58
6."Cradle of Love"David Werner, Idol4:40
7."Mark of Caine"Idol4:31
8."Endless Sleep"Dolores Nance, Jody Reynolds3:12
9."Love Unchained"Idol4:39
10."The Right Way"Idol5:03
11."License to Thrill"Idol, Forsey6:01

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications for Charmed Life
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[29] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[30] Platinum 100,000^
Germany (BVMI)[31] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Personnel[edit]

  • Billy Idol – vocals, acoustic guitar (3, 7), arrangements, horn arrangements (11)
  • Greg Mathieson – keyboards (1)
  • John Philip Shenale – programming (2), additional bass (2)
  • Arthur Barrow – keyboards (3, 4, 6-9), programming (6, 11), additional bass (6), bass (8, 11)
  • Mark Younger-Smith – guitars, bass (2)
  • Jimmy Johnson – bass (1)
  • Phil Soussan – bass (3, 10), additional bass (11)
  • Vito – bass (4, 5, 6, 9)
  • Randy Jackson – bass (7)
  • Keith Forsey – drums (1, 2, 3, 5-9), percussion (11), arrangements
  • Mike Baird – drums (3, 4, 10, 11), programming (11), drum programming (11)
  • Alex Brown – backing vocals (3, 5)
  • Bunny Hull – backing vocals (3, 5)
  • Stephanie Spruill – backing vocals (3, 5)
  • The P.L.S. Singers – backing vocals (11)

Handclaps on "The Right Way"

  • The "Rude Dudes" (John Diaz, Keith Forsey, Billy Idol, Art Natoli and Mark Younger-Smith)

Production[edit]

  • Keith Forsey – producer
  • Jeff Aldrich – A&R
  • Brigid Waters – A&R
  • Tommy Vicari – mixing, engineer (1, 6, 8, 9)
  • Dave Concors – engineer (2-5, 7, 10, 11)
  • Kevin Becka – assistant engineer (1)
  • Bryan Carlstrom – assistant engineer (2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11)
  • Ken Paulakovich – second engineer (5)
  • Ian Minns – assistant engineer (6)
  • Craig Porteils – mix assistant (1, 6), assistant engineer (6)
  • Paul Wertheimer – mix assistant (2, 10)
  • Bryant Arnett – mix assistant (3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11), assistant engineer (4, 6, 8, 9)
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering (1-5, 7-11)
  • George Marino – mastering (6)
  • AWest – art direction, cover design, cover illustration
  • Brass Ring Circus Studio – art direction
  • Billy Idol – cover design
  • Max Aguilera-Hellweg – photography
  • Art Natoli – personal assistant
  • Eric Barrett – management
  • Tony Dimitriades – management

Studios

  • Recorded at Lighthouse Studios (Los Angeles, California); Track Record Studios and Oasis Recording Studios (North Hollywood, California ); Conway Studios (Hollywood, California).
  • Mixed at Record Plant (Los Angeles, California) and Conway Studios
  • Tracks 1-5 & 7-11 mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering (Hollywood, California).
  • Track 6 mastered at Sterling Sound (New York City, New York).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Charmed Life - Billy Idol". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard. 5 May 1990. p. 74.
  3. ^ Harvey, Scott (19 May 1990). "Pop reviews". Cash Box Magazine. p. 20.
  4. ^ McCann, Ian (28 April 1990). "Long Play: Sneer Ecstasy". NME. p. 36.
  5. ^ Tilston, Lisa (5 May 1990). "Albums". Record Mirror. p. 16. ISSN 0144-5804.
  6. ^ "Album Reviews and Ratings". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  7. ^ Cranna, Ian (16 May 1990). "Review: LPs". Smash Hits.
  8. ^ a b c Trakin, Roy (12 May 1990). "Rebel without a horse". Sounds. p. 29.
  9. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Billy Idol – Charmed Life" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 1250". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Billy Idol – Charmed Life" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  13. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7, no. 21. 26 May 1990. p. VIII. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Billy Idol – Charmed Life" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Ísland (LP-plötur)". DV (in Icelandic). 18 May 1990. p. 33. ISSN 1021-8254 – via Timarit.is.
  17. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 31 May 2022. Select "Album" in the "Tipo" field, type "Charmed Life" in the "Titolo" field and press "cerca".
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Billy Idol Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  24. ^ "AOR Albums" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 844. 15 June 1990. p. 78. ISSN 0277-4860 – via World Radio History.
  25. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 1990". RPM. Vol. 53, no. 6. 22 December 1990. p. 12. ISSN 0033-7064 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  26. ^ "European Top 100 Albums – 1990" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7, no. 51. 22 December 1990. p. 38. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  27. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1990" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1990". Billboard. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1990 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Music Canada. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  31. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Billy Idol; 'Charmed Life')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Idol – Charmed Life". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 December 2019.