Billy Idol‘s “Vital Idol,” originally released in the UK in 1985 and then in the United States in 1987, marks it as the first remix record ever released by a rock superstar. The album would go on to earn platinum status and re-launch “Mony Mony” to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart. The recently released “Vital Idol: Revitalized” is a modern-day upgrade remix package of the 1985 original release. For the project, the punk rock icon employs the talents of Moby, Paul Oakenfold, The Crystal Method, Tropkillaz and more.
Throughout the “Revitalized” package, you get everything you’d want— all the hits, re-imagined and painted in broad strokes with modern Drum and Bass, house and electronica sound design. It all begins with CRAY rocking out “White Wedding.” Accenting the bottomed-out bass line, drums, guitars, vocals and keys, CRAY builds and takes the classic track straight to the dance-floor, adding modern electronics, big league drops and brief interludes of bounce. Next, RAC takes “Dancing With Myself” on a wild retro ride featuring harmonized keys taking on the melody. Tropkillaz slows down the pace with his colorfully applied Tropical House infused “Eyes Without A Face.” The Crystal Method’s remix of “Rebel Yell” brings the heavy drums, scorching guitars and dark snyths to rule the day on this track in typical TCM fashion. Moby makes an appearance on “(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows” adding theatrical inspired electronica, infused with Drum and Bass rhythms. St. Francis Hotel drops the bottom out on “Flesh For Fantasy” and adds elements of clicks, and distorted electronic beats on top of the core structure. A deep groove commences on “Catch My Fall” by which Juan Maclean swirls the melody to new heights and colors while cranking up the bass and drums. Paul Oakenfold’s remix of “One Breath Away” is, in my opinion, the true highlight of the collection. Gigantic in sound, designed to fill a dance-floor, Oakenfold’s remix is simply aces. House music flavors featuring piano, choir styled vocals, bouncing bass and skipping drum beats showcase on DJDS’s remix of “To Be A Lover.” Finally, coming up to the album’s closing tracks, Shiba San presents “Don’t Need A Gun” with a gnarly rolling bass-line, reverb, some dope electronics across escalating tempos. Ending the collection is a tropical infused rendition of “Hot In The City,” featuring exotic, island inspired percussion beats and that infinitely famous piano riff, there really is no better track to end on.
“Vital Idol: Revitalized” is available now on CD, as a digital download with four additional remixes: “Mony Mony” (Idol/Stevens Remix); “One Breath Away” (Paul Oakenfold Extended Remix); “(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows” (Moby Remix, Half Time Version) and “Save Me Now” (Lost Dog Remix) and as a 180 Gram 2 LP for all you audiophiles out there.