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"Dancing with Myself" is a song written by singer Billy Idol and bassist Tony James, first recorded by their band Generation X in 1979. The song was re-recorded and commercially released by the band newly re-branded as Gen X as a 7" single and a 12" in July 1980, but was a sales failure, reaching only #62 in the UK Singles Chart. It was included on the new band's subsequent first album Kiss Me Deadly (1981).
In late 1981 Idol, now a solo artist after Gen X's break-up, remixed and re-released "Dancing with Myself" as a single in the U.S.A., fading down the guitar part from its dominance in the first release, and bringing forward the bass and his vocal tracks, to produce a milder overall sound. The release became his first hit in America, having become popular on the dance club scene, reaching #27 in the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. 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 with Tony James or originally recorded by Generation X.
The inspiration for the song and its lyrics occurred during Generation X's first international tour in Japan in mid 1979, when Idol and Tony James, whilst visiting a disco club in Tokyo, were struck by the sight of the young Japanese crowd within dancing with their own reflections in walled mirrors, rather than with one another.
A music video directed by Tobe Hooper was produced for the 1981 American release, which gained heavy airplay at the beginning of the MTV television broadcasts. The set for the video was co-opted from an L.A.-based production of Ann Jellicoe's punk rock-themed play The Sport Of My Mad Mad Mother, produced by and starring Dan Shor.
Formats and track listingsEdit
Gen X releaseEdit
7": Chrysalis - CHS 2444 (UK)Edit
- "Dancing With Myself" (3:30)
- "Ugly Rash" (4:30)
12": Chrysalis - CHS 12 2444 (UK)Edit
- "Dancing With Myself" (4:06)
- "Loopy Dub" (5:08)
- "Ugly Dub" (3:05)
Billy Idol releaseEdit
7": Chrysalis - IDOL 1 (UK)Edit
- "Dancing With Myself" (3:19) [Labelled as "Billy Idol featuring Generation X"]
- "Love Calling (Dub)" (5:33)
12": Chrysalis - IDOLX 1 (UK)Edit
- "Dancing With Myself" (6:05) [Labelled as "Billy Idol featuring Generation X"]
- "Love Calling (Dub)" (5:33)
- "White Wedding" (8:20)
- "Hot In The City" (5:20)
- "White Wedding" is the 12" Shotgun mix, but not labelled as such.
Gen X versionEdit
|UK Singles Chart||62|
Billy Idol versionEdit
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||27|
|U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles||102|
|RIANZ New Zealand Singles Chart||9|
- The song was covered by blink-182 for the 1997 compilation album Before You Were Punk.
- The song was covered by Houston punk rock band 30 Foot Fall on their debut album, Divided We Stand. The song is usually performed live at the end of the setlist.
- The song was covered by The Boomtang Boys with Kim Esty singing vocals.
- The song was covered by French cover band Nouvelle Vague on their 2006 album Bande à Part.
- Gonzo performs a cover of this song in an episode of Muppets Tonight.
- Artie Abrams performed the song on an episode of Glee.
- The Donnas covered the song as a single. It plays under the end credits of the 2004 movie Mean Girls.
- The song was covered by Belgian rock band De Kreuners under the title "Ik dans wel met mezelf".
The Phantom version Edit
Music video Edit
Track listing Edit
In popular cultureEdit
- Idol's version appeared in the films Can't Buy Me Love, Grown Ups 2 and Flushed Away as well as the TV shows Bad Judge, Everybody Hates Chris and The Carrie Diaries and video game Guitar Hero 5.
- The Nouvelle Vague version appeared as the theme song for LA Ink but it was only used for the first thirteen episodes of the show's first season.
- ↑ Billy Idol explaining the song's origin, 'Billy Idol Unplugged' (2001), (1.11. mins). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfYIc4k90fM
- ↑ Interview with Tony James, April 2002, for the 'Generation X Anthology' (2003).
- ↑ "Actor Dan Shor talks with TV STORE ONLINE and his work on films like TRON, BILL and TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and WISE BLOOD". TV STORE ONLINE. http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2013/05/actor-dan-shor-talks-with-tv-store.html?m=1. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- ↑ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 224. ISBN 1-904994-10-5Script error.
- ↑ "Billy Idol | Awards". AllMusic. 1955-11-30. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/billy-idol-mn0000070800/awards. Retrieved 2014-04-09.