Rebel Yell (4:48)

Cover of Essential

From Essential and 145 other releases

Rebel Yell” is the first song on the Billy Idol album of the same name. When first released in 1984, it charted outside the UK Top 40, but a re-issue in 1985 reached #6. It did not fare as well in the US, only reaching #46. The song was named the 79th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.

According to Billy Idol at a televised performance of VH1 Storytellers, the idea of a song thus entitled came to him at an event he once attended, where Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones were taking swigs of a “Rebel Yell” bottle of bourbon whiskey , a brand unknown to him, the name of which he liked; Billy decided and stated that he would set off to write a “Rebel Yell” 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.

The song has been covered by HIM, Children of Bodom, Kill Hannah, Dope, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Pipedown, Quintaine Americana, Cybercide, Bullets & Octane, Discipline, Scooter, Dog Fashion Disco, and several other artists / bands. Drowning Pool have frequently played it live on their 2007 tour, and is featured on their CD, Full Circle. Rock Star: Supernova contestants Lukas Rossi and Toby Rand also sang the song. In one of the memorable moments of the competition, Rand invited several random women from the audience up onto the stage to sing and dance with him. As an interesting note, there is also a version for marching band.


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Last night a little dancer came dancin to my door
Last night a little angel came pumping on the floor
She said, "Come on baby, Ive got a license for love
And if it expires, pray help from above because"

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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