GENERATION X – ” Generation X “

Posted: November 20, 2022 in MUSIC

On this day (November 19th) in 1977: London, UK punk band Generation X (featuring vocalist Billy Idol) had their second single released by Chrysalis Records, “Wild Youth” (backed with “Wild Dub” – a drastically remixed version of the A-side); the sessions were produced by veteran songwriter & producer Phil Waiman, who had previously worked with The Sweet & Bay City Rollers, but who was not overly impressed with his new charges…said Phil in a later interview, ‘Billy Idol kept on saying, “Do you think I’m going to make it?” I said, “Well, you’re absolutely bloody talentless, but you look great…”

Generation X released one of the most underrated album in the first wave of punk rock. With a great sound, perfect production and songs full of attitude the album should have been massive but was overlooked by many at the time for not being real ‘punk’ Has time been kind to the album? does it sound punk rock now!

‘Generation X’ took the stage for the first time in public at the Central School of Art and Design on 10 December 1976. The new band played its second gig four days later at the newly opened The Roxy, which Czezowski had also begun managing. Generation X was the first band to play at the venue

Released at the start of September 1977, “Your Generation”, with a b-side of the high-energy disaffected punk-rock song “Day by Day” (with a title taken by James from the recent publication of Robin Day’s autobiography), went to No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart, after being critiqued by Elton John in a review column in the Record Mirror as ‘dreadful garbage’.

The band played the song on the Marc Bolan’s teatime show, Marc, a few days later using Granada Television’s Manchester studio instruments for the performance, afterwards making off with the drum-kit provided then being banned by Granada for 10 years as a result.

Graphic artist Barney Bubbles, who with them created the cover for the “Your Generation” single release, drawing inspiration from the 1920s abstract geometric work of Russian designer El Lissitzky, which introduced the Russian Constructivist school into English pop music design, which would be utilized by other bands into the 21st Century. Bubbles was also commissioned by the band to design its newspaper adverts and posters.

The songs are as sharp, the performances as lively, and the sound as wiry and tough as it is here. It was the group’s second crack at recording the album. The initial sessions helmed by actual producer Phil Wainman were deemed too slick and went to Martin Rushent to try and capture more of their live sound.

The album has a live, exciting sound. The rhythm section is loud and pummeling, Tony James’ guitar is thrillingly raw, and Billy Idol’s sneering vocals ride on top of the noise like a cocky cowboy. Idol and James collaborated on the songs and they knocked out (mostly) fast and hooky punk-pop gems that had huge choruses and fist-in-the-air sentiments.

“Ready Steady Go” is practically an amped-up ’60s beat group tune, and “The Invisible Man” could have been a Kinks’ album track turned up to ten. Along with the flat-out rockers, they stretch out some on “Promises Promises” and “Youth Youth Youth,” a couple of songs that blow past the five-minute mark. The latter is a dramatic New York Dolls-inspired epic that has plenty of room for James to show off his frantic guitar soloing. They also turned in one of the first great punk ballads with “Kiss Me Deadly,” which features some great guitar parts, nice dynamic shifts, and an almost sensitive vocal from Idol. Add it all up, and it may not be the classic punk rock album of the age, but it is a whole lot of rip-roaring fun and it did prove extremely influential .

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