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"Dancing with Myself" is a punk rock song written by singer Billy Idol and bassist Tony James, and first recorded by their band Generation X. The song was first released as a single and a 12" in 1980 and, a few weeks after the single release, was included on the band's last album—1981's Kiss Me Deadly. It would become one of the group's most well-known songs, but had limited success in its initial release.

In 1981, Idol remixed and re-released "Dancing with Myself" as a solo single, toning down its aggressive guitar sound and instead emphasizing its power pop or pop rock elements. 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 and recorded by Generation X. Since its release, the song has become something of a sports anthem.

Background[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The music video was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw MassacrePoltergeist).

Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones recorded the song with Idol. After recording the song, Jones had a seizure due to drug usage. Jones was rolled out of the studio on a stretcher.

Formats and track listingsEdit

Generation X release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

7": Chrysalis - CHS 2444 (UK)[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (3:30)
  2. "Ugly Rash" (4:30)

12": Chrysalis - CHS 12 2444 (UK)[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (4:06)
  2. "Loopy Dub" (5:08)
  3. "Ugly Dub" (3:05)

Billy Idol release[edit source | editbeta]Edit

7": Chrysalis - IDOL 1 (UK)[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (3:19) [Labelled as "Billy Idol featuring Generation X"]
  2. "Love Calling (Dub)" (5:33)

12": Chrysalis - IDOLX 1 (UK)[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  1. "Dancing With Myself" (6:05) [Labelled as "Billy Idol featuring Generation X"]
  2. "Love Calling (Dub)" (5:33)
  3. "White Wedding" (8:20)
  4. "Hot In The City" (5:20)
  • "White Wedding" is the 12" Shotgun mix, but not labelled as such.

In other media[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • It is featured in the 1987 film Can't Buy Me Love.
  • It is featured in the 1999 film Pushing Tin.
  • It is featured in the 2006 film Flushed Away.
  • It is featured in a 2008 advertisement for the French health insurance company La Mutuelle Générale.
  • A cover version by The Donnas is featured in the ending credits of the 2004 film Mean Girls.
  • It is featured in the TV series Gossip Girl.
  • It is featured in 2009 music video game Guitar Hero 5.
  • It is featured in the episode "Famous Last Words" of TV series Castle.
  • Artie from TV show Glee sings the Nouvelle Vague version of the song in the ninth episode, "Wheels" of Season 1.
  • In the episode of Chuck "Chuck Versus the Beard" it is played as Chuck is sat in castle going through a Most Wanted deck of cards.
  • It is closing song of an Ugly Betty episode ("Plus None", episode 5 of Season 4).
  • Nouvelle Vague version was used as the theme song for the first season of LA Ink.
  • It is heard in the background of the King of the Hill episode "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day" (aired 5/6/10).
  • An episode of Beavis and Butt-head shows the duo critiquing the music video for "Dancing with Myself", comparing it to masturbation ("Playing with myself").
  • Punk rock band Green Day covered "Dancing with Myself" on their 2009–2010 world tour, usually followed after the song "Scattered".
  • Rock/New Wave band The Aquabats reference sections of the song's lyrics in their 2011 song "Radio Down!".
  • It is used in the TV advertisement for the 2012 BMW 3 Series, where it serves as a backdrop to images of Olympic sportspersons and their "Winning Spirit".
  • It is featured in the 2009 film The Men Who Stare At Goats.
  • It is used at the promo of the fourth season of House.

Cover versions[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Charts[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Generation X version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1981) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 62

Billy Idol version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Chart (1981) Peak
position
U.S. BillboardHot Dance Club Play 27
U.S. BillboardBubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 2
Chart (1983) Peak
position
RIANZ New Zealand Singles Chart 9
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