Cradle of Love

"Cradle of Love"
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Charmed Life
B-side "311 Man"
Released 1990
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1989
Length 4:39
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Billy Idol, David Werner
Producer Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology
"Mony Mony (live)"
"Cradle of Love"
"L.A. Woman"

"Cradle of Love" is a rock song written by Billy Idol and David Werner for Idol's 1990 fourth studio album Charmed Life. The song is the album's sixth track, and was released as its first single. The song became one of Idol's biggest hits in the United States, where it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but stalled at #34 in Idol's native UK. It was also Idol's first, and (so far) only #1 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. The song was also featured on the soundtrack of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. It was nominated for Rock Vocal Performance, Male at the 32nd Grammy Awards. It was well received by critics, and was frequently cited as a highlight of the album. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this song as the opening track to their 1991 album The Chipmunks Rock the House. In 1992, "Weird Al" Yankovic included the chorus as the first song in his polka medley "Polka Your Eyes Out" from his album Off the Deep End.


Music and lyrics

"Cradle of Love" is a rock song composed in common time and in the key of Bb major.[1]

The song title is based on the saying "robbing the cradle."[2]

Music video

The video, directed by David Fincher, features footage of Idol singing in large frames throughout an apartment. The director made the decision to film Idol from the waist up as he was unable to walk from a motorcycle accident that had happened in February 1990.[3] It also features Betsy Lynn George as a teenager who tries to seduce a modest and mild mannered businessman played by Joshua Townshend-Zellner. The film makes use of clips from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, but as Andrew Dice Clay (who played Fairlane) had been banned from MTV, he is not shown in any of the clips. The video was a huge hit and was placed in heavy rotation on MTV. Idol and George recreated the opening of the video for the 1991 American Music Awards.

At the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated for Best Male Video and Best Special Effects and won the award for Best Video from a Film.[4]

This video was voted #33 on VH1's 50 Sexiest Video Moments.

A photo of Billy Idol taken at the Cradle of Love Tour. Note, it is the same jacket he is wearing in the video.

Formats and track listings

  • 7" vinyl single
  1. "Cradle of Love"
  2. "311 Man"
  • 12" Maxi vinyl single
  1. "Cradle of Dub" (extended remix)
  2. "Cradle of Love" (LP version)
  3. "Rob the Cradle of Dub"
  4. "311 Man"

His live performance of the song at the 1991 Grammy Awards was released on the 1994 album Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume I.[5]


Chart [6] Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 10
Austrian Singles Chart 8
German Singles Chart 38
Swiss Singles Chart 11
UK Singles Chart 34
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 7
End of year chart (1990) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 9


  1. ^ Sheet music for "Cradle of Love". Hal Leonard Publishing. 1990.
  2. ^ "Cradle of Love". Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ Prato, Greg "Biography of Billy Idol". Allmusic. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
  4. ^ "Past Winners Database". Los Angeles Times. 1990. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
  5. ^ "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume 1: Various Artists". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  6. ^ "Official Swiss Charts". Official Swiss Charts. Retrieved November 3, 2007.
  7. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

External links

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