Billy Idol Working On More, More, More New Material

Full-length LP, live gigs, VH1 'Storytellers' in offing for '80s icon.

Following a long silence, '80s sneer-rocker Billy Idol and his longtime collaborator, guitarist Steve Stevens, are ready to unleash an updated rebel yell.

After laying down a new cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" for Idol's just-released Greatest Hits, the duo are planning several live performances and are in the studio recording a full-length album.

Idol will perform April 23 on "The Late Show With David Letterman" and will play two shows the next day at storied New York nightclub the Bottom Line. The intimate shows are expected to include reworked arrangements of Idol hits that the rest of the world will get to hear on an upcoming episode of VH1's "Storytellers," according to his publicist.

Idol's new studio album, slated for release in 2002, will be his first LP of new material since 1993's ill-fated Cyberpunk.

The album, it seems, won't stray far from the combination of slick production, pop melodies and leftover punk attitude that characterized Idol's most famous releases.

"I don't think we're ever going to do something that doesn't sound like Billy Idol, I can tell you that much. It's not as if we're going to suddenly sound like every other band that's out there," Idol said in a written statement. "We're always going to do something that when you hear it, you're going to realize that it's Billy Idol."

In addition to "Don't You (Forget About Me)," which adheres closely to the song's original '80s sound — a style not far from Idol's own — Greatest Hits includes a previously unheard live acoustic version of "Rebel Yell."

Plans to include a new studio track, "Bitter Pill" (see "New Billy Idol Song On Greatest Hits"), were apparently scrapped.