Generation X

Valley of the Dolls

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Billy Idol's solo posturing and Tony James' excruciating work with Sigue Sigue Sputnik have long provided cheap targets for rock critics (and cheap-seat entertainment for undiscriminating fans). But ridicule should not be so readily heaped on former employers, Generation X. Never in the same league as the Clash or the Pistols, the group nevertheless kicked up a fair amount of dust and recorded some memorable singles and a classy debut album. They were, after all, the first of the punk bands to truly embrace the rock industry and all its trappings. But on this, their second album, the band's limitations are self-evident. Produced by glitter rock veteran Ian Hunter, "King Rocker" and "Running With the Boss Sound" prove the only diverting moments in this bleak parade of glam punk by numbers.

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