It’s 1990, and Billy Idol is living a semi-charmed life. Ready to release his fourth album, Charmed Life, which would later go platinum, and lead single “Cradle of Love” reaching the number two spot on the charts, musically, Idol was impenetrable entering the ’90s, all while coming “back to life” following a near-death experience. Recovering from a motorcycle accident earlier that year, which left him with a fractured forearm and nearly cost him his right leg, the event continued to haunt Idol for decades and is one he comes to better terms with on new EP The Roadside (Dark Horse Records).
Recounting more life changes—both losing his mother and welcoming his new grandchild into the world in 2020—The Roadside crosses reflections of passing lives, new beginnings, and coming to terms with an event that changed his life.
“You should be able to look back on your life,” Idol tells American Songwriter. “I’m 65 and going to be 66, so I do feel that I’ve been alive a long time, and it does give you a sense of experience. You can approach things looking back from a distance, and think about your life, and quantify it in some ways. Maybe that’s what’s going on with these tracks.”
Produced by Butch Walker (Weezer, Green Day) and recorded nearly entirely during the pandemic and featuring longtime co-writer and guitarist Steve Stevens, along with writers Tommy English and Joe Janiak, Idol faces renewal and rebirth, and cheekier elements of love in four songs.