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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Adventurous Sex Filled Life of a Young Billy Idol
Aside from the chart topping rockers and ballads we've all heard on the radio, this album does not dissapoint with bad filler songs. It is great throughout because of a variety of tempos and styles. Rarely will you find a more seamless blend of punk, disco, new-wave, and hard-rock.

"Rebel Yell" immediately grabs you with its dramatic synth opening and launches...
Published on December 21, 2004 by Steven Menzer

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish remastering
I heard Rebel Yell again on VH1 a couple of weeks back and that prompted me to re-invest in the remastered version of this classic 80s album in the hope that the power and action of the original recording had been enhanced further. In nearly every case where i've bought a remastered version of an existing CD I have heard at least some sonic improvement. Not in this case...
Published on December 3, 2002 by J. Milner


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish remastering, December 3, 2002
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
I heard Rebel Yell again on VH1 a couple of weeks back and that prompted me to re-invest in the remastered version of this classic 80s album in the hope that the power and action of the original recording had been enhanced further. In nearly every case where i've bought a remastered version of an existing CD I have heard at least some sonic improvement. Not in this case. This must be the absolute worst example of remastering that i've ever heard. The original actually sounds better. Capitol Records should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this bass heavy, treble-free recording to ever make it to the pressing plant. The original was never that good and suffered from a poor mix but this new one has only enhanced the muffled and muddy sound even further. To say it's 24 bit is amazing as i've compared it to other modern remasterings and it doesn't even come close to the clarity and high resolution we expect from CDs these days.
It's a shame because it's a brilliant album, even now . If the music here doesn't get your adrenaline flowing then nothing will. What an album for turning the worst mood into a good one. The ultimate cheer-up CD. Sadly, now unlistenable thanks to so-called modern technology. Five stars for the music and minus 100 stars for the quality.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Adventurous Sex Filled Life of a Young Billy Idol, December 21, 2004
By 
Steven Menzer (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
Aside from the chart topping rockers and ballads we've all heard on the radio, this album does not dissapoint with bad filler songs. It is great throughout because of a variety of tempos and styles. Rarely will you find a more seamless blend of punk, disco, new-wave, and hard-rock.

"Rebel Yell" immediately grabs you with its dramatic synth opening and launches you into the album with an infectious almost disco hard-rock beat. Idol's lyrics describe a sexy urban nightlife with the convenient rhyme of heaven and seven eleven. After a frantic Steve Stevens guitar-solo the song breaksdown like something washing up against a beach of phat beats.

"Daytime Drama" is a nice midtempo guitar-driven track generously drenched with synth. "Eyes Without A Face" lays down a gorgeously smooth bass groove, courtesy of Sal Cuevas, for one of the best loved ballads of the 80's with nice female backing vocals by Perri Lister. Showcasing great dynamics, an extended bridge section hits you with guitars and great lyrics. Once again Idol is able to take you into the underworld with a reality that leaves little doubt that he's lived the life he describes.

On "Blue Highway" Idol evokes the wanderlust and free-spiritedness of the American highway while confessing to the dangerousness of its appeal with "Yes, I almost died on a blue highway." Eerily, Idol would later almost lose a leg in a motorcycle accident in the late 90's.

In his preoccupation with sex, Idol gives Prince a run for his money on "Flesh For Fantasy", another sleek rock track with a nice hook.

On the sophisticated "Catch My Fall", which features saxophone by Mars Williams, Idol makes a plea for brotherly love. "Crank Call" deals with the annoyance of receiving them and what would push one to make crank calls. This is the only mediocre track.

"Do Not Stand In The Shadows" is punk rock at its best. It brims with a positive motivating high-energy. It's a rebel voice pushing you to get out from underneath whatever oppresses you but fully in the light of day free of any nihilistic tendency toward self-destruction. This is one of those great songs that radio seems to overlook.

The closing track from the original release, "The Dead Next Door" is a jaw-dropping ethereal gem of a song. In many ways the best song of the album, this is quite capable of giving you goosebumps. Idol reaches down for a deeper sense of meaning reflecting on the contrast between a wedding and death. This simple, yet powerful song is not to be missed.

The five bonus tracks are session takes and demos of the album songs in a rawer form that make this cd an excellent value. Stripped of its punchy production "Rebel Yell" reveals the spontaneous interplay between guitar and synth. "Motorbikin'" catches Idol emulating an almost Elvis-like croon, against a guitar driven beat. Devoid of saxophone, the demo of "Catch My Fall" displays a nice clean guitar sound from Stevens. Again on "Flesh For Fantasy", Stevens shows his deft playing doesn't depend on distortion. Rather he makes extensive use of delay, chorus and flanger effects here. And finally, the demo version of "Blue Highway" is in some ways better than the studio version. Here the soulful squeal of Steven's guitar blends with the synths in a way that's evocative of blue skies and the setting sun.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the midnight hour, she cried more more more!, February 6, 2005
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
With Rebel Yell, Billy Idol released what's arguably the best of his so far five solo albums. Keith Forsey was still at the producer's helm, and Steve Stevens was doing his fiery guitar theatrics, but here, the songwriting, ferocity and singleworthiness of songs, and tight arrangements were among their best. The album itself reached #6 on the album charts.

The anthemic title track is another example of an Idol classic failing chart-wise, like "White Wedding." It stalled at #46 on the charts, though it did respectfully well on the album rock charts, peaking at #9. But this turned out to be another frantic mixture of new wave synths, punk rhythms, hard rock, and techno beats. "In the midnight, she cried more, more, more!" roars Idol in the chorus, creating another memorable lyric. This song was also reinforced by the energetic concert performance clip on MTV, where viewers got to see Stevens perform some squealing and laser-beam sounding space age theatrics with his guitar. The session take has some "tonight" instead of "last night" in "last night a little dancer came knocking at my door," as well as some rough instrumentation and different lyrics.

Until reaching #1 with "Mony Mony," "Eyes Without A Face" became Idol's highest charting song, reaching #4 on the pop charts and #5 on the album rock charts. The slow airy synths and pulsing bass, claps in this ballad, backup vocals by Idol's girlfriend, Perri Lister, who also did the makeup on Idol's first album, and Stevens grinding guitar during the sudden ferocious rock section midsong provided yet another hit for Idol. The album closer "The Dead Next Door," has a quieter ambient synth sound that kind of belongs with "Eyes"

"Blue Highway," also present here in a demo version, is a rocker perfect for some high speed driving down a highway. "(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows" is another uptempo rocker along the same lines. And the pulsing night-time feel of "Daytime Drama," with some keyboard theatrics before the first chorus, isn't a bad non-single bridging "Rebel Yell" with "Eyes."

There's a slight ominous and nocturnal club aura with the pulsing bass backbeat in "Flesh For Fantasy," the third single, which reached #29 on the pop charts and #8 on the album rock charts. The carnal hunger is felt during the chorus-"you see and feel my sex attack"-when things rise in pitch, evidenced by Idol's lusty vocals and Stevens' guitars. The session take has a slightly slower tempo in the verses, but with a quicker-paced and different sounding chorus.

The next single was the #50 pop/#24 album rock-charting "Catch My Fall," a pulsing dance tune with a sax nonetheless. Yet there are some signs of the fiercely individualism wanting some sort of support after a lifetime of experience: "I've traveled and unwound my own truth yeah/I've laid my head on the rock of youth yeah/I've trusted and then broken my own word/Just to keep me free in this mad, mad word." The demo version is more stripped down and restrained, but not bad.

A cover of Chris Spedding's "Motorbikin'" is the only new track on this expanded edition bar the demo versions and session takes. Used as a warmup track during the album sessions, this is a real showcase for Stevens' guitar and something Gen X might have done.

After releasing this classic, Billy Idol would turn that sneer of his into a whiplash smile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1984. Dead of winter..., April 16, 2007
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
Riding bus no. 34 to Junior High School. Glad to have the seat with the "hump" on the floor (the wheel well.) Rock n' roll cranking and crackling through lousy, tinny speakers intended not for music but for telling rowdy adolescents to sit down! Under the din of kids insulting each other, name-calling, farting, and chatting about what was on TV the night before hummed "Rebel Yell." If you had a hump seat, you were close enough to the speakers to hear the music.

Everyone knew who Billy Idol was. Most of us were too young to remember Generation X but we'd all loved "White Wedding" (c'mon, the video had coffins and other dark stuff.) There was a cool aggression to "Rebel Yell," a fitting theme for kids starting to separate from their parents but still "shackled" to home and school.

As winter gave way to summer, "Eyes Without a Face" was part of the summer soundtrack for the rock n' rollers that included the hits from albums like 1984 (Van Halen), Pyromania (Def Leppard), Out of the Cellar (Ratt). Fading to fall, Idol titillated with "Flesh for Fantasy," perfectly suggestive for us sex-on-the-brain teens.

Rebel Yell was (and is) brilliant because it fell neatly between the hard but approachable sonic rock of Van Halen and the edgy, snarly attack of the Sex Pistols (or probably more accurately, Billy's old band, Gen X.) More than just rockin', Billy clearly wanted his fans to dance, putting just a splash of disco into the songs. While being of the 80's, and sounding like it, the album is one of those rare pieces that sounds great 20 plus years after it was made. It should be on every "top 100" greatest albums of all-time lists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the 80's classics, July 13, 1999
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
"Rebel Yell" is one of the best albums released in the 80's. I am very happy to got the remastered version - not for the remodelled sound but for the very cool and funny demo-tracks. It shows that Idol himself doesn't take too seriously. However, the "remastered" tracks seem produced a little careless compared to the original recording. At least in the copy I got there are two rumbles in "Eyes Without A Face" - it sounds like somebody touched the vinyl-player during transmitting to cd. That's why I only give 4 stars for this special release. The music itself is worth more than five.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing remix, July 14, 2007
By 
James Stevens (Tampa Bay, Florida) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
I have two audio cassettes of the original version of this I purchased in thrift stores. I wanted to see what the deal about Billy Idol was. I learned to like him.
I'd have to dig out a tape to be sure- but I don't remember the reverb/echo being so strong. I could run the original thru my old stereo guitar effect unit and give it this sound. Or my TV surround stereo could do the same.
Re-equalizing (tone) and gratuatis reverb DOES NOT a good remix make.....
All could have been well, but cheaply applied effects (REVERB)...
Do NOT a good remix make.
Get the original.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rock and roll avatar from Guitar God heaven, July 5, 2002
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
When Billy Idol recorded "White Wedding," I was 30 years old and already beyond the reach of punk and "alternative" rock. I liked the video for its over-the-top histronics, and I liked the follow-ups like Rebel Yell. But I had no idea how good the guy was, and how much Steve Stevens contributed to his sound, until I heard "Flesh and Fantasy" while driving to Boulder one day with my wife. That song has some of the tastiest, finest lip-smacking guitar embellisments - never mind a solo - I have ever heard. You want to warm up your lovely lady for a night in heaven? Play "Flesh and Fantasy." I bought the album, took it home and listened over and over and over. But here's the real gem for you guitar cranks. Even though Stevens' sound is full of electronica, he's one hell of a riffer. He needs no tricks. And "Blue Highway" will leave you breathless. His solo on this song ranks with Eric Clapton's "Crossroads," and even Jeff Beck's best work - I'd dare say that Hendrix would find this guy OK to jam with - it is that hot. Well structured, impeccibly toned and Gawdalmighty good. Crank this up. If you're 50 years old and looking for a guitar god from the days when men played rock and roll, this is your album.
Stevens and Idol brought the best out of each other in this album, and I hope they get together again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Idol Rocks!!!, June 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
I think that ever song on this album is brilliant! "Rebel Yell" is a great "White Wedding" sound alike, and "Eyes Without a Face" is a great song which was probably a real breakthrough for Billy. "Blue Highway" and "Do Not Stand in the Shadows" just rock and Steve Stevens' guitar work is brilliant. Anyone who likes great hard rock should get this, and there's enough solid pop tracks to satisfy everyone else too.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty bad remaster, any compilation CD sounds better than this, February 23, 2011
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
First of all - I need to make something clear. I own dozens of DCC & AF remastered CDs (the same company, basically) and I think most of them are superb, far better than their original counterparts. Examples? Elton John Greatest Hits, Hotel California, The Cars, The Original Soundtrack; I love them all.

Lately, though, the company has been producing pretty bad products. From the terrible sounding "The Pretenders", to the gaps that never existed on "Heartbeat City" (and the defective HDCD encoding, too!), to the defective Doors CDs - Audio Fidelity is not what it used to be at all. Plus, the fact that they don't even use master tapes anymore (they had to remove the slogan "From the original master tapes" after it was demonstrated they weren't using them, anyway) while the big labels use them all the time, and competition from the original producer of 24K CDs, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, has made AF irrelevant nowadays.

Nevertheless, I gave Rebel Yell a try, since I only own the older "24 bit" remaster, which sounds pretty dull and no-noised. Surprise, surprise. The AF Rebel Yell sounds as dull as the remaster, and it definitely has exaggerated, muddy bass. Which is interesting, since the head engineer for DCC always accuses other labels in his forum of using a "Smiley face" EQ - I guess he uses a Sylvester Stallone sneer on his products nowadays.

No detail whatsoever - to use "audiophile" terms, there's no "air", no "sparkle" on the recording. It's dull and lifeless, and the bass makes you think you are listening to a boombox (and yes, my equipment is "resolving" enough, although I'm not listing it here! Trust me on this one). The only thing that sounds just about right is the midrange, but who cares when there are no highs to speak of, and the bass takes your attention away from anything else, anyway? Any compilation CD with Idol's songs sounds better than this CD.

I know that an "audiophile rock recording" is an oxymoron, but there was a time when you could expect any DCC / AF CD to sound better than its original counterpart. Not anymore. I guess someone's hearing has gone to the toilet, because things aren't what they used to be. Definitely not recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Music but ..., August 20, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rebel Yell (Audio CD)
I couldn't wait to replace my worn-out cassette copy with the expanded version of Rebel Yell, but the "Eyes Without a Face" (track #3) does have some mastering problems at 1:45 and 3:00.
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Rebel Yell
Rebel Yell by Billy Idol (Audio CD - 1999)
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