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Billy Idol - Rebel Yell (1983)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.43
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Rebel Yell" is a song by English rock musician Billy Idol. The title track of his 1983 album of the same name, it was first ...

"Rebel Yell" is a song by English rock musician Billy Idol. The title track of his 1983 album of the same name, it was first released as the album's lead single on 24 October 1983. It charted outside the UK Top 40, but a re-issue of the single in 1985 reached No. 6. In the US, it peaked at No. 46. The song was named the 79th best hard rock song of all time by VH1 based on a public voting in 2009, although the song did not show up in a revised list from 2013.

Composition and lyrics

At a televised performance of VH1 Storytellers, Idol said that he had attended an event where Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones were taking swigs from a bottle of "Rebel Yell" bourbon whiskey. He was not familiar with the brand, but he liked the name and decided to write the song.

The song was co-written by guitarist Steve Stevens. The instrumental introduction, which sounds like a combination of electric guitar and electronic keyboard, is performed by Stevens on guitar alone, who intended it to sound this way. Stevens states that he was inspired by acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke's style.

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