|"I Forgot to Be Your Lover"|
|Single by William Bell|
|B-side||"Bring the Curtain Down"|
|Producer(s)||Booker T. Jones|
|William Bell singles chronology|
"To Be a Lover" is a song written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones originally as "I Forgot to Be Your Lover", but best known as a cover by Billy Idol on his third studio album Whiplash Smile (1986). As the album's lead single, it became Idol's second top ten hit in the US, peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100and No. 22 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song was written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones, and originally performed by Bell as a soul ballad titled "I Forgot to Be Your Lover". It was released in late 1968 and hitting No. 45 on the Hot 100 and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart in early 1969. This version has since been sampled by Ludacris on his song "Growing Pains" from Word of Mouf (2001), by Jaheim on "Put That Woman First" from Still Ghetto (2002) and by Dilated Peoples on the song "Worst Comes to Worst".
The Mad Lads released a lush orchestral soul version of the song on their 1973 album A New Beginning, also released by Stax/Volt.
In 1971, Lee "Scratch" Perry produced an early reggae version of the song, performed in an uptempo style by Shenley Duffus with Perry's studio band the Upsetters, with the title shortened to "To Be a Lover". In 1977, Perry again produced the song, this time for George Faith.This version, also called simply "To Be a Lover", was heavily shaped by Perry's Black Ark sound and effects and featured backing vocals from the Meditations and Mighty Diamonds. It appeared on Faith's album Super Eight, which was released as To Be a Lover in the UK.
|"To Be a Lover"|
|Single by Billy Idol|
|from the album Whiplash Smile|
|B-side||"All Summer Single"|
|Released||22 September 1986|
|Billy Idol singles chronology|
In 1986, the track was reworked and became the second high-profile cover version Billy Idol released as a single, after 1981's "Mony Mony". Billy Idol was introduced to the song by the George Faith reggae version—he initially was unaware of the original William Bell release,and so retained the truncated title "To Be a Lover". He more radically transformed the song, adding a more rockabilly feel and danceable beat to its soulful underpinnings.
The single was backed by Whiplash Smile album track "All Summer Single". Two different 12" singles were also released worldwide (one in the UK and one in Australia), featuring the aforementioned track and two extended remixes of "To Be a Lover (Mother of Mercy Mix)" (6:45) and "Rock 'n' Roll Mix" (Australia and New Zealand only). The "Mother of Mercy Mix" differs quite significantly from the single version; it is a harder sounding song, with a prominent heavy guitar riff by Steve Stevens dominating most of the track and an interlude with distorted female groans. It is this version that is featured on the 1987 US and 1988 Japan editions of the remix compilation album Vital Idol (1985). The UK 12" was also released as a limited-edition picture disc.
Billboard called it a "foot-twitching disco/rockabilly fusion."Cash Box said it's "full of...bad boy sexiness."
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||3|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||7|
|Italy ( Musica e Dischi )||18|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||2|
|US Billboard Hot 100||6|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||79|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||34|
|US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)||64|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Bruce Springsteen recorded the song for his twenty-first studio album, Only the Strong Survive (2022).
BodyRockers were an English–Australian electronic music duo, consisting of Dylan Burns and Kaz James, which formed in 2004. Their 2005 single, "I Like the Way", reached No. 3 on the United Kingdom Singles Chart, No. 12 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, and the Top 20 on both the United States Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and Hot Dance Airplay Charts. They issued a self-titled album that year and toured internationally in support of its release. Although they recorded material for a second album it was not issued and the group disbanded in 2007 with both Burns and James pursuing solo careers.
Idol Songs: 11 of the Best is a greatest hits album by English rock singer Billy Idol, released on 20 June 1988 by Chrysalis Records. It comprises all the singles released from his first three studio albums—Billy Idol, Rebel Yell and Whiplash Smile—as well as the live version of "Mony Mony" and re-recorded Generation X song "Dancing with Myself", both of which appeared on Idol's debut EP Don't Stop. A limited edition of the album contains two extra remixes, and another limited edition contains four extra remixes. The album reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and has been certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). In 2003, the album was reissued with a different title and cover as The Essential.
"White Wedding" is a song by Billy Idol that was released as the second single from his self-titled studio album in 1982. Although not Idol's highest-charting hit, it is often considered one of his most recognizable songs. In the US, it peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart on 27 November 1982, then reached No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 2 July 1983 after it was re-issued. In the UK, it reached No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart upon its re-release there in 1985, when it was re-issued to promote the Vital Idol remix album.
Whiplash Smile is the third studio album by the English rock singer Billy Idol, released on 20 October 1986 by Chrysalis Records. After his successful studio album Rebel Yell (1983), Idol continued his collaboration with producer Keith Forsey and guitarist Steve Stevens while writing and producing songs for the album. The album utilizes Stevens' characteristic guitar work, dance beats, and synth-heavy production.
Vital Idol is a remix album by English rock singer Billy Idol, released in June 1985 by Chrysalis Records. It contains remixed songs from his first two albums and the Don't Stop EP. The album was reissued in the United States with one extra track in September 1987, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200. The US release was supported by a non-album live single version of "Mony Mony".
"Wild World" is a song written and recorded by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. It first appeared on his fourth album, Tea for the Tillerman, recorded and released in 1970.
"Fire" is a song written by Bruce Springsteen in 1977 which had its highest profile as a 1978 single release by the Pointer Sisters. The song was also released by Robert Gordon and Springsteen himself.
Billy Wayne "Crash" Craddock is an American country and rockabilly singer. He first gained popularity in Australia in the 1950s with a string of rockabilly hits, including the Australian number one hits "Boom Boom Baby" and "One Last Kiss" in 1960 and 1961 respectively. Switching to country music, he gained popularity in the United States in the 1970s with a string of top ten country hits, several of which were number one hits, including "Rub It In", "Broken Down in Tiny Pieces", and "Ruby Baby". Craddock is known to his fans as "The King Of Country Rock Music" and "Mr. Country Rock" for his uptempo rock-influenced style of country music.
"Luv Me, Luv Me" is a song by Jamaican-American reggae singer Shaggy. It was first released on 25 July 1998 with Janet Jackson credited as a featured artist. The song was re-recorded in 2000 with Samantha Cole's vocals after Jackson's label withheld the song from being included on Shaggy's next album. It was released on 31 May 2001 as the third official single from his 2000 album Hot Shot.
"Everything I Own" is a song written by American singer-songwriter David Gates. It was originally recorded by Gates's soft rock band Bread for their 1972 album Baby I'm-a Want You. The original reached No. 5 on the American Billboard Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 52 song for 1972. "Everything I Own" also reached No. 5 in Canada and No. 1 in the Philippines.
"Dancing with Myself" is a song by the punk rock band Gen X, first commercially released in the United Kingdom in October 1980, where it reached number 62 on the UK Singles Chart. It was remixed and re-released by the band's singer/frontman Billy Idol as a solo artist in the United States in 1981, where the song reached number 27 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. Nouvelle Vague covered the number in 2006 and released it on their album, Bande à Part.
"Mony Mony" is a 1968 single by American pop rock band Tommy James and the Shondells, which reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 3 in the U.S. Written by Bobby Bloom, Ritchie Cordell, Bo Gentry, and Tommy James, the song has appeared in various film and television works such as the Oliver Stone drama Heaven & Earth. It was also covered by English singer-songwriter Billy Idol in 1981. Idol's version, which took in more of a rock sound, became an international top 40 hit and additionally revived public interest in the original garage rock single. In 1986 it was covered by Amazulu, who gave it a ska rendition.
"Cradle of Love" is a rock song written by Billy Idol and David Werner for Idol's 1990 fourth studio album Charmed Life. The song is the album's sixth track and was released as its first single. "Cradle of Love" became Idol's last top-10 hit in the United States, where it reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also Idol's first and only No. 1 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. On the UK Single Chart, it stalled at No. 34.
William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally as Billy Idol, is a British and American singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He first achieved fame in the 1970s emerging from the London punk rock scene as the lead singer of the group Generation X. Subsequently, he embarked on a solo career which led to international recognition and made Idol a lead artist during the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" in the US. The name "Billy Idol" was inspired by a schoolteacher's description of him as "idle".
Earl George Lawrence (1946–2003), also known as George Faith, Earl George and George Earl, was a Jamaican reggae singer best known for his work in the 1970s with producers such as Lee "Scratch" Perry and Bunny Lee.
"Some Guys Have All the Luck" is a song written by Jeff Fortgang. It has been a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 twice, as the original by The Persuaders in 1973 reaching No. 39, then as the cover by Rod Stewart in 1984 where it hit No. 10 in the U.S. and No. 32 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
The discography of Billy Idol, his solo recordings post-Generation X, consists of eight studio albums, one live album, five compilation albums, two extended plays, and 37 singles.
"Sweet Sixteen" is a song by British singer-songwriter Billy Idol, released in 1987 as the third single from his third studio album Whiplash Smile (1986). The song written by Idol and produced by Keith Forsey. "Sweet Sixteen" peaked at No. 20 in the US and No. 17 in the UK. It was also a hit across Europe and beyond.
"Don't Need a Gun" is a song by Billy Idol from his 1986 studio album Whiplash Smile. It became the album's second single in 1987.
"Can't Break Me Down" is a song by English singer Billy Idol, which was released in 2014 as the lead single from his eighth studio album Kings & Queens of the Underground.
In 1986, Idol made it back into the top 10, when his cover of the William Bell Southern-soul oldie "To Be A Lover" reached #6.