Rebel Yell (album)

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Rebel Yell
Studio album by
Released10 November 1983 (1983-11-10)
ProducerKeith Forsey
Billy Idol chronology
Billy Idol
Rebel Yell
Vital Idol
Singles from Rebel Yell
  1. "Rebel Yell"
    Released: 24 October 1983
  2. "Eyes Without a Face"
    Released: 29 May 1984
  3. "Flesh for Fantasy"
    Released: 13 September 1984
  4. "Catch My Fall"
    Released: 7 November 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[5]
The Village VoiceC[6]

Rebel Yell is the second studio album by English rock musician Billy Idol. It was released on 10 November 1983, by Chrysalis Records. After the release of his 1982 eponymous debut album, Idol continued his collaboration with producer Keith Forsey and multi-instrumentalist Steve Stevens. The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York. Initially recording without a drummer, utilizing only the electronic drum machine LinnDrum, Forsey and Stevens later decided to hire Thommy Price to play drums on some of the songs. Musically, Rebel Yell is a rock album with a strong influence of new wave music. The cover sleeve and images were shot by Brian Griffin. Idol got the idea of the album's title after attending a party with The Rolling Stones and drinking the Rebel Yell whiskey.

Upon its release, Rebel Yell received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success. In the United States, it peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 and also peaked into the top ten in other countries, such as Canada, Germany, and New Zealand. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it double platinum for shipment of two million copies across the United States. Four singles were released from the album. The accompanying music videos for all singles received heavy airplay on television channel MTV.

Background and recording[edit]

The album reunited the hit-making team of Billy Idol, Steve Stevens and Keith Forsey after their success with Idol's 1982 solo debut, Billy Idol. Idol got the idea to name the album "Rebel Yell" after attending a party with The Rolling Stones. He explained on VH1 Storytellers that people were drinking "Rebel Yell" bourbon and thought that would be a great title for an album.

The title track was recorded in only three days at the Electric Lady Studios in New York City.[7] Idol was battling Chrysalis Records over creative control, and decided to steal the master tapes. Keith Forsey stated in an interview with Mix magazine that Idol stole the wrong tapes. Idol battled the label and came back to the studio victorious. Forsey then informed him that he had taken the wrong tapes.

Working with Forsey were guitarist Steve Stevens, bassist Phil Feit and later Steve Webster, drummer Gregg Gerson, and keyboardists Judi Dozier and Jack Waldman.

In 1999, EMI Music re-issued the album as part of their "Expanded" series. The new version of the album included previously unreleased bonus tracks and expanded liner notes. In 2010, audiophile label Audio Fidelity re-issued a 24-karat CD remastered in HDCD by Steve Hoffman.

All of the singles, but particularly "Rebel Yell", "Eyes Without a Face" and "Flesh for Fantasy", were hit music videos on MTV. Idol's longtime girlfriend Perri Lister can be seen in the front row during the "Rebel Yell" video.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and arranged by Billy Idol and Steve Stevens except where indicated.

1."Rebel Yell" 4:45
2."Daytime Drama" 4:02
3."Eyes Without a Face" 4:58
4."Blue Highway" 5:05
5."Flesh for Fantasy" 4:37
6."Catch My Fall"Billy Idol3:42
7."Crank Call" 3:56
8."(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows" 3:10
9."The Dead Next Door" 3:45
1999 expanded edition
10."Rebel Yell" (Session Take) 5:27
11."Motorbikin'" (Session Take)Christopher Spedding4:16
12."Catch My Fall" (Original Demo) 4:11
13."Flesh for Fantasy" (Session Take) 5:09
14."Blue Highway" (Original Demo) 5:00


  • Billy Idol – guitar, vocals
  • Steve Stevens – lead guitar, bass guitar, guitar synthesizer, synthesizer, keyboards
  • Phil Feit - bass guitar on "Rebel Yell" (Session Take), "Motorbikin'" (Session Take), and "Flesh For Fantasy" (Session Take)
  • Sal Cuevas – bass guitar on "Eyes Without A Face"
  • Steve Webster – bass guitar
  • Judi Dozier – keyboards
  • Jack Waldman – keyboards
  • Thommy Price – drums
  • Gregg Gerson – drums on "(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows", "Rebel Yell" (Session Take), "Motorbikin'" (Session Take) & "Flesh For Fantasy" (Session Take)
  • Mars Williams – saxophone on "Catch My Fall"
  • Perri Lister – background vocals on "Eyes Without A Face"
  • Keith Forsey – producer
  • Michael Frondelli – engineer, mixing
  • Dave Wittman – engineer, mixing
  • Gary Hellman – engineer
  • Steve Rinkoff – engineer
  • Pete Thea – engineer
  • George Marino – mastering
  • Brian Griffin – photography
  • Michael McNeil – cover design
  • Kevin Flaherty – compilation
  • Stephanie Tudor – production co-ordination