Dancing with Myself

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"Dancing with Myself"
Single by Generation X
from the album Kiss Me Deadly
Released September 1980
Format 7", 12"
Genre Punk rock, dance-punk
Length 3:30 (7"), 4:06 (12")
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Billy Idol, Tony James
Producer(s) Keith Forsey
Generation X singles chronology
"Friday's Angels"
"Dancing with Myself"
"Dancing with Myself"
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Don't Stop and Vital Idol
Released 1982
Recorded 1980 (remixed in 1981)
Genre Punk rock, dance-punk, new wave
Length 3:19 (single version)
4:50 (on Don't Stop)
5:57 (on Vital Idol)
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Billy Idol, Tony James
Producer(s) Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology
"Dancing with Myself"
"Mony Mony"

"Dancing with Myself" is a punk rock song written by singer Billy Idol and bassist Tony James, and first recorded by their band Generation X. The song was first released as a single and a 12" in 1980 and, a few weeks after the single release, was included on the band's last album—1981's Kiss Me Deadly. It would become one of the group's most well-known songs, but had limited success in its initial release.

In 1981, Idol remixed and re-released "Dancing with Myself" as a solo single, toning down its aggressive guitar sound and instead emphasizing its power pop or pop rock elements. Two versions were issued—the 3:20 single version (which was later included on Idol's 11 of the Best compilation), and the 4:50 extended version that appeared on Idol's Don't Stop EP.

Idol plays "Dancing with Myself" at most of his concerts, always introducing the song as having been originally written and recorded by Generation X. Since its release, the song has become something of a sports anthem.[citation needed]


The music video was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist). The set was borrowed from an L.A.-based production of Ann Jellicoe's punk rock-themed play The Sport Of My Mad Mad Mother, produced by and starring Dan Shor.[1]

Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones recorded the song with Idol.[2]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Generation X release[edit]

7": Chrysalis - CHS 2444 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (3:30)
  2. "Ugly Rash" (4:30)

12": Chrysalis - CHS 12 2444 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (4:06)
  2. "Loopy Dub" (5:08)
  3. "Ugly Dub" (3:05)

Billy Idol release[edit]

7": Chrysalis - IDOL 1 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (3:19) [Labelled as "Billy Idol featuring Generation X"]
  2. "Love Calling (Dub)" (5:33)

12": Chrysalis - IDOLX 1 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (6:05) [Labelled as "Billy Idol featuring Generation X"]
  2. "Love Calling (Dub)" (5:33)
  3. "White Wedding" (8:20)
  4. "Hot In The City" (5:20)
  • "White Wedding" is the 12" Shotgun mix, but not labelled as such.


Generation X version[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 62

Billy Idol version[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[4] 27
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 2
Chart (1983) Peak
RIANZ New Zealand Singles Chart 9


In popular culture[edit]

  • Billy Idol's version appeared in the films Can't Buy Me Love and Flushed Away as well as the tv show Bad Judge and video game Guitar Hero 5.
  • The Nouelle Vogue version appeared as the theme song for LA Ink but it was only used for the first thirteen episodes of the show's first season.


  1. ^ "Actor Dan Shor talks with TV STORE ONLINE and his work on films like TRON, BILL and TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and WISE BLOOD". TV STORE ONLINE. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 408
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 224. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "Billy Idol | Awards". AllMusic. 1955-11-30. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 

External links[edit]