OK, so, I admit to liking Billy Idol’s first band, Generation X. They were fun and “punky” and all about the hair, and generally they were not to be taken seriously and there’s a place for that. Their first record (the only one worth a mention) came out in 1979, as the band cheerfully rode that wave of second-rate commercialism that came through after the fist wave of English punk bands had either given up or gone arty. And personally I do not blame them at all. Someone else would have done it, and probably done it much worse. At least Idol can actually sing, his lyrics were kind of funny and cynical and took the piss out of commercialism while also embodying it, and, the band wrote decent power pop tunes to back it up.
They got semi-popular in the UK but never made it in the US or Europe, and although they always feature on those interminable ‘Spirit of Punk’ singles compilations, they are otherwise not referenced that often in the history of the times, probably because they were so utterly inconsequential.
That is, until Green Day started covering their ballad “Kiss Me Deadly” in concerts, and that same song got put on the end of a major summer movie, SLC PUNK.
Now, the U.S. is full of geeky teenagers learning to play that riff on acoustic guitars, and talking about the original Gen X version as “the SLC version”, and getting paid out by “real punks” who still have the thing on vinyl, and can remember when Billy Idol’s sneer hadn’t set and become permanent.
How funny, to think of this cheesy commercial pop-punk band being held up as “old school”, and potential new fans of the band being called poseurs. I wonder if anyone has actually said “I was into Generation X before they were cool!” yet.
Dudes, they were never cool. Just look at them for godsake.
Anyway, I chose not to put Kiss Me Deadly on here, but two other tracks from that record, both in player and mp3. Enjoy.
GENERATION X –
What you gonna do next
What you gonna do now
Use a Kleenex!!!
Wipe out sex – Kleenex
Better than love – Kleenex
John Paul George – Kleenex
Governments use Kleenex!!!
Use a Kleenex, solve world problems
Better blow your nose right now!!!