Steve Stevens Says Billy Idol Didn’t Care About The Chart Positions


Billy Idol’s Steve Stevens recently joined The SDR Show for an interview during which he claimed that Billy Idol never paid attention to the chart positions of their musical efforts.

After working with Chelsea and Generation X, Idol decided to move to New York City to pursue a solo career with Steve Stevens’ contribution in 1981. He released his self-titled debut studio album and achieved great commercial success. Following that, in 1983, Idol released his second studio album titled ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album became a major commercial success after the release and featured the hit singles ‘Rebel Yell’ and ‘Eyes Without A Face.’ Recording Industry Association Of America certified the album double platinum, ‘Eyes Without A Face’ peaked at no. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and ‘Rebel Yell’ reached no. 6 in the UK Singles Chart.

In a recent interview on The SDR Show, the host Ralph Sutton talked with Steve Stevens about when Billy Idol released the ‘Rebel Yell’ album. He stated that they embarked on a tour in a van at the time of the release and ended up becoming superstars at the end of the tour. Following that, Sutton said Idol and Stevens began playing in larger venues after ‘Rebel Yell.’

As a response, Steve Stevens said they were oblivious to the album’s success. As Stevens said, he and Idol didn’t even look at the chart positions, and they weren’t aware of the growing success of ‘Rebel Yell.’ He then added that they received phone calls about the record’s sales, and he thought they were great when they started playing in bigger venues. Thus, they suddenly became an ‘arena rock band‘ without even realizing it.

During the conversation, Ralph Sutton told Steve Stevens the following:

“On ‘Rebel Yell’ — when you started your tour, you started in a van, and by the end of the tour, you were superstars. You were playing in much larger venues that no one knew it would get as big as it got. That has to be a wonderful feeling to feel that literal transition happening in real-time.”

Stevens responded as follows:

“Yeah, we were oblivious to it. And even to this day, Billy and I don’t look at chart positions or any of this. We very rarely talk about the music business. That’s for managers to handle and my wife. But, so we’re out on the road, and we start to tour the ‘Rebel Yell’ album in a van. And you know, we’re not really aware of how this thing is really growing.

Occasionally you get a phone call, and they say, ‘You’re selling, you’re doing good, boys.’ And then we got to Los Angeles, we played Santa Monica Civic, and I went, ‘We’re doing really good!’ When we ended the tour, we played Nassau Coliseum, and that was, you know, I had my parents come out, and my friends knew by then, it was obvious that we had reached – we were now an arena rock band.”

You can watch the rest of the interview below.