|LABEL: Club Tools
||RELEASE DATE: May 9, 1996
||GENRE: Happy Hardcore, Trance|
More, more, more...
Scooter has been known to dabble in styles outside of their realm of expertise. Heck, anything post-1997 could be considered outside that realm. But more interesting still is when they take a song not of their native genre and make it so. Such is the case with "Rebel Yell", a cover of Billy Idol's 1983 hit of the same name, which they remade entirely in their old happy hardcore style. It's interesting that Scooter opted to cover Billy Idol; after all, H.P. has pretty much mimicked his look, down to the blonde-dyed hair and occasionally scowly look to the camera.
Billy Idol's version initially did not fare well either in his homeland, the U.K., or in the U.S.; it was only when the song was re-released two years later did the song gather any steam. Scooter's version, on the other hand, took off practically immediately. The Radio Edit tells us everything we need to know. Frontman H.P. tries his best to sound like Billy Idol with his powerful rocker-style voice (having been part of the synthpop group Celebrate The Nun in the 1980s probably helped develop his singing repertoire) with a fairly intact cover of the lyrics. However, unlike Idol's version, there are no electric guitars to be found whatsoever, favouring funky, upbeat beats and a classic raver instrumental -- and the same weird female vocal clip from Scooter's deadly Hyper Hyper from 1994. Does it all work as a package? Yes, yes, it does. The framework of "Rebel Yell" from 1983 fits well within a rave foundation, resulting in a madhouse of happy beats that make you want to both wave your arms in the air AND headbang simultaneously, if possible. The Extended Mix helps push things along a bit, with a few extra lyricisms from H.P., but nothing notably extra beyond what's available in the Radio Edit. And to conclude things, we get a nifty B-Side in the form of Euphoria, a gradual blending of all different instruments to form yet another raver's delight, effectively rounding out the package with another solid tune.
Whether you loved or hated Billy Idol back in the 1980s, as well as just this song, is no longer relevant as, aside from H.P.'s lyrics, the song sounds completely different. It's an odd twist on a now classic rock track but definitely one worth checking out if you can.