Retro of the day: Billy Idol

“Dancing with Myself” is a punk rock song written by singer Billy Idol and bassist Tony James, and first recorded by their band Generation X. The song was first released as a single and a 12″ in 1980 and, a few weeks after the single release, was included on the band’s last album—1981’s Kiss Me Deadly. It would become one of the group’s most well-known songs, but had limited success in its initial release.

In 1981, Idol remixed and re-released “Dancing with Myself” as a solo single, toning down its aggressive guitar sound and instead emphasizing its power pop or pop rock elements. Two versions were issued—the 3:20 single version (which was later included on Idol’s 11 of the Best compilation), and the 4:50 extended version that appeared on Idol’s Don’t Stop EP.

Idol plays “Dancing with Myself” at most of his concerts, always introducing the song as having been originally written and recorded by Generation X. Since its release, the song has become something of a sports anthem.

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