White Wedding (song)

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"White Wedding"
Billy Idol - White Wedding 1982 single picture cover.jpg
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Billy Idol
A-side"White Wedding (Parts 1 and 2)"
B-side"White Wedding (Part 2)"
ReleasedOctober 23, 1982[1]
GenreHard rock, post-punk
  • 4:12 (album version)
  • 3:30 (7-inch version)
  • 8:25 (12-inch version)
Songwriter(s)Billy Idol
Producer(s)Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology
"Hot in the City"
"White Wedding"
"Rebel Yell"
Audio sample
Music video
"White Wedding Pt 1" on YouTube

"White Wedding" is a song by Billy Idol that was released as the second single from his self-titled studio album in 1982. Although not Idol's highest-charting hit, it is often considered one of his most recognizable songs. In the US, it peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart on 27 November 1982,[2] then reached No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 2 July 1983 after it was re-issued.[3] In the UK, it reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart upon its re-release there in 1985, when it was re-issued to promote the Vital Idol remix album.

1982 release[edit]

7″: Chrysalis - CHS 2656 (UK)

  1. "White Wedding" (3:30)
  2. "Hole in the Wall" (4:14)

12″: Chrysalis - CHS 12 2656 (UK)

  1. "White Wedding (Parts 1 and 2)" (8:20)
  2. "White Wedding" (3:30)
  3. "Hole in the Wall" (4:14)

7″: Chrysalis - CHS 2648 (US)

  1. "White Wedding" (3:30)
  2. "Dead on Arrival" (3:54)

12″: Chrysalis - EPC 5002 (US)

  1. "White Wedding (Parts 1 and 2)" (8:20)
  2. "White Wedding (Part 2)" (4:27)

1983 release[edit]

12″: Chrysalis - 4V9 42685 (US)

  1. "White Wedding (Parts 1 and 2)" (8:20)
  2. "White Wedding (Part 2)" (4:27)

7″: Chrysalis - CHS 42697 (US)

  1. "White Wedding" (3:30)
  2. "Dead on Arrival" (3:54)

1985 re-issue[edit]

7″: Chrysalis - IDOL 5 (UK)

  1. "White Wedding" (3:30)
  2. "Mega-Idol Mix" (5:34)
  • 7" Mega-Idol comprises "Flesh For Fantasy" and "Hot in the City"

12″: Chrysalis - IDOLX 5 (UK)

  1. "White Wedding Parts I & II (Shot Gun Mix)" (8:20)
  2. "Mega-Idol Mix" (7:50)
  • 12″ Mega-Idol comprises "Flesh For Fantasy," "Hot in the City" and "Dancing With Myself"

Music video[edit]

The music video, featuring Idol attending a goth wedding, is one of his best-known. The bride is played by Perri Lister, Idol's real-life girlfriend at the time. She is also one of the three dancers clad in black leather, who slap their buttocks in time with the clap track in the song as they shimmy downwards near the end. "That's the kind of thing they love in England", says Idol.[4]

In one scene, Idol forces a wedding ring made of barbed wire onto Lister's finger and cuts her knuckle. Lister insisted that her knuckle actually be cut in order for the scene to appear more realistic.[4] MTV initially removed this scene from the video.[5] Also controversial were the apparent Nazi salutes made by the crowd toward the couple. Director David Mallet says he was merely "playing with the power of crowd imagery" when he had the extras reach toward the bride and did not realize how it looked until after it was filmed.[4]

The MTV-edited version of the video is included on the DVD portion of The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself CD/DVD package.

Other versions and appearances[edit]

The song was featured in the 1998 film The Wedding Singer (in which Idol appears), on the American TV series My Name Is Earl and on the British TV series Blackpool. It was also featured in the 1993 film True Romance during the scene where Alabama is being tattooed. It was also featured in the skate videos CKY and Toy Machine's Jump Off A Building.

The line "It's a nice day to start again" was featured on the sticker on the front of Idol's 2005 album, Devil's Playground.

The song is used in the trailer for Bride of Chucky

The song is featured in the 1985 Italian horror film Demons.[6]

The song appear in game Radio Station "K-DST" in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The song was remixed as (Trashcan Jack vs Billy Idol) "Club Wedding" (Frenetic) under Digital Dog's Jack Rokka guise. It has appeared on numerous dance compilations such as Wild Bassline (CD2 Mixed by Brooklyn Bounce) and Clubland 12.

The song is included in the video games Rock Band 2, Rock Band Unplugged, Guitar Hero Van Halen, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and as DLC in Rocksmith.

The song was also used in an advertisement for British soap opera Hollyoaks, promoting the week of a wedding storyline. It also featured in an episode of the 2004 BBC miniseries Blackpool as part of the story.

The track also appeared on an advert for Coronation Street in 2003, promoting the climax of a bigamous storyline involving the character Peter Barlow. Barlow, portrayed by Chris Gascoyne, was seated at a table, reflectively spinning his two wedding rings around.

On The Colbert Report, a couple who had been prevented from wedding at the Jefferson Memorial, by the 2013 government shutdown, were married. The couple shared their first dance as Audra McDonald sang the song.[7]

A version sung in Greek by George Kostoglou appears in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.[8]

The American metal band In This Moment was set to collaborate with Idol on the track "Black Wedding" off their sixth album Ritual; the song's chorus contains the line, "it's a nice night for a black wedding," an obvious homage to Idol's "White Wedding." Due to claimed scheduling difficulties, Rob Halford of Judas Priest was featured on the track instead.[9]

Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison's side project – the US horror punk band Murderdolls – reached number 24 on the UK Singles chart in 2003 with their cover of "White Wedding."[10]

Deathstars made a version of White Wedding as a bonus track for their debut album Synthetic Generation. This version, played in A minor on instruments tuned down two whole steps, is a diminished fifth below the standard B minor version.

In the episode "Dyeing is Easy, Comedy is Hard" (S04E15) of Will & Grace (2002), Will Truman references this song when Elliot, Jack McFarland's son, appears with a short blond hair.

In the TV series “American Horror Story”, the song played in season 9, episode 2 of 1984, during the wedding massacre scene featuring Emma Roberts’ character.

The song was covered by Rowland S. Howard on his album "Teenage Snuff Film"



  1. ^ "45cat - Billy Idol - "White Wedding"/"Dead on Arrival"". 45cat.com. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100". Billboard. Vol. 94, no. 47. 27 November 1982. p. 68. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ "Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Marks, Craig; Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. New York, NY: Dutton. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-525-95230-5.
  5. ^ Billy Idol, Biography, A & E
  6. ^ "Demons soundtrack info on IMDB". IMDb.
  7. ^ Randee Dawn (4 October 2013). "Stephen Colbert marries couple whose wedding was shut out by shutdown". TODAY.com. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  8. ^ "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". music.apple.com. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  9. ^ Blabbermouth (12 May 2017). "In This Moment's Ritual Album to Feature Guest Appearance by Judas Priest's Rob Halford". blabbermouth.com. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ "MURDERDOLLS - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 147. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA from mid-1983 until 12 June 1988.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6259." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "Billy Idol – White Wedding". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ a b "Billy Idol | Awards". AllMusic. 30 November 1955. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Kent Music Report – National Top 100 Singles for 1983". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 5 August 2020 – via Imgur.com.