Devil’s Playground is the sixth studio album by British punk rock musician Billy Idol. It was released on 22 March 2005 that marked the return of a beloved punk rocker after a long absence.
The last album that he released was Cyberpunk in 1993, which did not really help his reputation, although personally, I still like this album. there was news that he had been using drugs excessively, and after that, there was no news of him working on new projects for a decade.
However, it was good news when my favourite guitarist, Steve Stevens, who used to be his partner in crime, returned to work with him again. But there was still a question whether he would return to making punk rock and roll as before or would go into techno-industrial as Cyberpunk.
For those who are not familiar with Billy Idol, he is another figure in the punk rock scene of the past era, along with the Sex Pistols. At that time, he was one of the members of the group Generation X, which was considered to be at the forefront of British punk.
Billy Idol deviated from the typical punk style in that he presented himself more as a ‘punk rock and roller’. during his heyday in the 1980s he got ton of hits. Songs like “White Wedding,” “Mony Mony,” and “Rebel Yell” had a hint of new wave, but still had a punk rock edge. This was a period when he was at his peak, creating songs that were timely and fit the beat, and he even received a Grammy nomination for “Rebel Yell.”
One of the highlights of that era was Steve Stevens, a guitar virtuoso who helped make the music even more interesting. Steve is the best glam metal guitarist in thepunk world… He was credited since working with Peter Criss ‘The Catman’ in the Let Me Rock You album, but it was unfortunate that Peter’s work was not successful.
He met Billy Idol through Bill Aucoin, the former manager of Kiss, and that was the beginning of their success together. After working on three albums, he emerged as a solo artist and played as a guest in many people’s shows, such as Michael Jackson’s in the BAD tour or teamed up with Michael Monroe as Jerusalems Slim. to be the guitarist for Vince Neil’s first solo album, which made the album look much better. and worked with Terry Bozzio and Tony Levin, the more progressive rock he became, which was full of skill, fluid guitar playing, not the usual metal guitar everyone knew him for.
After Steve Stevens left, Billy brought in Mark Younger-Smith to replace him in the Charmed Life album, which was also successful. Although Mark’s playing was not as impressive as Steve’s, he still made Billy’s work look lively. but Cyberpunk album, which was released as a flop, seem like they were trying to ride the current music trend or maybe come ahead of time.
After being silent for over a decade, how Billy’s return will be. Will it disappoint? This team is one of the best in the current rock era, with Steve Stevens on guitar, Stephen McGrath on bass, and Brian Tichy (who also co-wrote several songs with Billy) on drums. The keyboard work in this set is handled by the talented Derek Sherinian, whose skill level needs no explanation. Additionally, the producer role is taken by Keith Forsey, who has been working with Billy since the Generation X era though the heyday in 80s.
Billy Idol: Devil’s Playground
- Released: 22 March 2005
- Genre: Hard rock, New Wave, Punk , Rock
- Length: 56:02
- Label: Sanctuary
- Producer: Keith Forsey
- Billy Idol — vocals
- Steve Stevens — guitar
- Stephen McGrath — bass
- Derek Sherinian — keyboards
- Brian Tichy — percussion, drums
- Julian Beeston — drum programming
- “Super Overdrive” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:18
- “World Comin’ Down” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 3:33
- “Rat Race” (Billy Idol; Steve Stevens) – 4:17
- “Sherri” (Billy Idol) – 3:17
- “Plastic Jesus” (Ed Rush;George Cromarty) – 4:53
- “Scream” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:42
- “Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:14
- “Romeo’s Waiting” (Billy Idol; Steve Stevens) – 3:42
- “Body Snatcher” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 3:57
- “Evil Eye” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:32
- “Lady Do or Die” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:37
- “Cherie” (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 3:47
“Summer Running” (Billy Idol; Steve Stevens) – 4:30
The Album open with screaming voice – “it’s a devil’s playground with an Idol mind…” follow by familiar guitar riff and the beloved voice. “Super Overdrive,” which features a propulsive riff and a catchy chorus. The song is reminiscent of Steve’s solo work on his Atomic Playboy album, which established him as one of the glam metal guitarists.
It’s worth noting that Billy was a pop punk pioneer even before its boom in the early 90s. The songs in this set are heavily rooted in the punk style, with Steve’s solos drawing intricate patterns. The years of experience and growth have made this set heavy and rich, as evidenced by the songs’ composition, delivery, and performances.
The highlight is “World Comin’ Down,” a pop punk rocker with rhythm reminiscent of the Ramones that finds Idol contemplating the state of the mind. song is ultimately uplifting, with a soaring chorus. and “Scream” is a standout track on “Devil’s Playground” and a strong representation of Idol’s signature style. Its driving beat, powerful vocals, and catchy chorus make it a fan favorite and a testament to Idol’s enduring tatefulas a punk rock star of 80s.
One of the tracks on the album is “Plastic Jesus,” a cover of a religious parodyfolk song originally written by Ed Rush and George Cromarty. While Idol and company give the song a rock makeover, the overall result feels somewhat lackluster compared to the rest of the album’s material. Nevertheless, the band’s performance is solid, with Stevens contributing a tasteful guitar solo.
Overall, “Devil’s Playground” is a solid effort from Billy Idol that showcases his signature stlye. The album features a mix of up-tempo tracks and mid-tempo ballads, all of which are anchored by Idol’s distinctive vocals and the muscular guitar work of Steve Stevens. delivers a set of energetic and memorable songs that showcase his enduring appeal as a rebellious, charismatic frontman.