Greek ? No Punk To This (1993)
With his increasing exposure to technology and science fiction, Idol decided to base his upcoming album on the cyberpunk genre, and quickly set about educating himself in Cyberdelic counter culture. Idol saw the convergence of affordable technology with the music industry and anticipated its impact on a new era for DIY punk music. "It's 1993," Idol said during a New York Times interview. "I better wake up and be part of it. I'm sitting there, a 1977 punk watching Courtney Love talk about punk, watching Nirvana talk about punk, and this is my reply."
Greek – No Punk To This (1993)
The special edition diskette, a Macintosh press kit entitled "Billy Idol's Cyberpunk", was an industry first. It included album clip art, sample sound bytes, a biography by Mark Frauenfelder, lyrics, and a cyberculture bibliography by Gareth Branwyn. Frauenfelder appeared on a segment of MTV News to describe the diskette's features. Plans were considered by EMI/Chrysalis to re-release the album in the following fall with an updated CD-ROM if the album was successful. As CD-ROMs were prohibitively expensive at the time of production, this was anticipated as a potential benchmark event for the music industry. However, this failed to materialise due to the critical and financial failure of the album.
Prior to the album's release, Idol was asked if he feared his new interest in technology would be seen as an attempt to co-opt cyberculture. Idol denied this, stating that his belief in the relevancy of cyberpunk culture was genuine, and that he didn't care what others thought of him. However, the reaction by the majority of the online community was openly hostile and suspicious of Idol's motives. It was reported that his e-mail account on the WELL received mail from angry computer users, and was occasionally flooded with e-mail spam to antagonise him. Idol was also cast by many as a naive, tech-illiterate poseur. The charge of illiteracy was not entirely false, as at the time of the album's release, Idol was still typing using the "hunt and peck" system, and needed notes to log onto the internet.
Regardless, Cyberpunk is still seen as having been an act of hyped commercialisation. In Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century, Mark Dery commented on the mainstreaming of the cyberpunk subculture. He viewed Idol as representing some of the worst abuses this took, deriding Cyberpunk as "a bald-faced appropriation of every cyberpunk cliché that wasn't nailed down." In 1995, when writer Jack Boulware asked "When did cyberpunk die?" at a meeting of former staff members of Mondo 2000, a response was "1993. The release of the Billy Idol record." In a section on "cyberpunk music", The Cyberpunk Project website notes, "...[the] usual opinion is that Billy Idol's album is just commercialization and it has nothing to do with cyberpunk." The F.A.Q for alt.cyberpunk, mirrored on the website, rejects the notion that there is a "cyberpunk fashion". Of Billy Idol's attempts to base his fashion and music on it, it states, "No matter how sincere his intentions might have been, scorn and charges of commercialization have been heaped upon him in this and other forums."
Following the Cyberpunk album, Billy Idol did not produce another original album until 2005, 13 years later. However, this was not due to the failure of the album, but rather his dissatisfaction with his producers at Chrysalis Records. With the founding of Sanctuary Records, an independent record label Idol felt positive about, and the formation of a new band with Steve Stevens, Idol decided to produce Devil's Playground. Idol's later album featured a more power pop and classic rock sound similar to Idol's 80s style, and received middling reviews.
They released their debut EP on Happening Records in 1982 and this record is a pure killer! You can download it here and after listen to this record it was reason enough for me to post this album. The band moved then more into a darker wave sound with no fuzzy guitars at all and they make it good. Much keyboards and a gloomy atmosphere accompany the whole album, slighty dreamy and simply charmin' and I hear the platter now for the fourth time in a row. Their first records are in English but after 1993 they chose Greek lyrics for their songs. Magic De Spell is described as one of the most known Greek rock (inspired punk) bands and they're still active. Magic of Spell line up: Theodore Vlachakis, drums; Dimitris Botis, keyboards; George Archontakis (sound engineer), bass; Vagelis Theodorakis, guitars; Giorgos Lagouretos, vocal.
All right, let's start with the hairstyle. People say, Oh Mr. T is about that hairstyle, why you get that hairstyle, is that punk rock, is that Mohican, are you a Mohawk? No, when they say that, I'm honored, because I'm proud to be along with the Mohican Indians and all that, but there's a tribe in Africa, the country of Mali, that wear their hair this way, they're called the Mandinke warriors. I trace it through the National Geographic Magazine, so you know they don't tell no lie. That wasn't in People magazine, be better than your People magazine, but so the hairstyle like I said is a Mandinke, they wear it this way.
Riffling through Smiling in Slow Motion, you'll see a great deal about the political group OutRage! and its distinction from the LGBTQ rights organisation Stonewall, and about 'outing', the practice of revealing a person's homosexuality which, for Jarman, was 'to open up discourse and with it broaden our horizons'. Given this, Jarman's lifelong effort to tackle oppression and 'fight against homophobia' reached an apogee with the Evil Queen series (1993), in which Jarman, perched in his old wingback chair, instructed his two assistants, Piers Clemmet and Karl Lydon, to fling paint at the canvas. Deciding the most important point was to comment on his illness, using a kitchen knife, he would inscribe the chosen word or phrase himself: 'Infection'; 'Death'; 'Fuck Me Blind'.
There are exceptions, of course, such as the thick impasto of Infection (1993), with clear allusions to the ravages of the AIDS epidemic abound: this painting reads 'INFECTION'. But the work has other focal points, in the series of furious white spots scribbled across the canvas, in the variation of touch, and it's possible to connect its subtle use of newspaper with previous works. 350c69d7ab