"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 popor 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.


 [hide*1 Background


The music video was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist). The set was borrowed from an L.A.-based production ofAnn Jellicoe's punk rock-themed play The Sport Of My Mad Mad Mother, produced by and starring Dan Shor.[1]

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 listings[edit]Edit

Generation X release[edit]Edit

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

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

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

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

Billy Idol release[edit]Edit

7": Chrysalis - IDOL 1 (UK)[edit]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]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.


Generation X version[edit]Edit

Chart (1981) Peak


UK Singles Chart[2] 62

Billy Idol version[edit]Edit

Chart (1981) Peak


U.S. BillboardHot Dance Club Play[3] 27
U.S. BillboardBubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 2
Chart (1983) Peak


RIANZ New Zealand Singles Chart 9
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