"Cradle of Love"
Single by Billy Idol
from the album Charmed Life
B-side"311 Man"
Released5 May 1990
Songwriter(s)Billy Idol, David Werner
Producer(s)Keith Forsey
Billy Idol singles chronology
"Mony Mony (live)"
"Cradle of Love"
"L.A. Woman"
Music video
"Cradle of Love" on YouTube

"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 No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind "Vision of Love" by Mariah Carey.[1] It was also Idol's first, and only No. 1 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. to date.[1] In the UK, it stalled at No. 34.[2]

Music and lyrics

"Cradle of Love" is a rock song composed in common time and in the key of Bb major.[3]

The song title is based on the saying "robbing the cradle."[4]

Music video

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The video, directed by David Fincher, features footage of Idol singing in large painting frames throughout an apartment. The director made the decision to film Idol from the waist up as he was unable to walk due to injuries from a February 1990 motorcycle crash.[5] The video also features Betsy Lynn George as Devin, 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 Grammys. An alternative version of the video does not feature the movie's footage, instead depicting a man playing the guitar as heard in the track.

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.[6]

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

Cover versions

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.

Formats and track listings

7": Chrysalis – IDOL 14 (UK)

  1. "Cradle of Love" (4:39)
  2. "311 Man" (3:51)

7": Chrysalis – IDOLDJ 14 (UK)

  1. "Cradle Of Love (DJ Edit)" (4:05)
  2. "311 Man" (3:51)

12": Chrysalis – IDOLX 14 (UK)

  1. "Cradle of Dub (extended remix)" (6:27)
  2. "Cradle of Love (LP version)" (4:39)
  3. "Rob The Cradle Of Dub (Extended Mix)" (5:07)
  4. "311 Man" (3:51)

CD: Chrysalis – IDOLCD 14 (UK)

  1. "Cradle Of Love (Edit)" (4:09)
  2. "Cradle of Dub (extended remix)" (6:27)
  3. "Rob The Cradle Of Dub (Extended Mix)" (5:07)
  4. "311 Man" (3:51)

His live performance of the song at the 1991 Grammy Awards was released on the 1994 album Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume I.[7]



Certifications for "Cradle of Love"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] Gold 35,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b "Billy Idol | Awards". AllMusic. 30 November 1955. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 266. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Sheet music for "Cradle of Love". Hal Leonard Publishing. 1990.
  4. ^ "Cradle of Love". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  5. ^ Prato, Greg "Biography of Billy Idol". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  6. ^ "Past Winners Database". Los Angeles Times. 1990. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  7. ^ "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume 1: Various Artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Billy Idol – Cradle Of Love". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly – Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 12 May 1990. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 163. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  12. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group - http://www.fireballmedia.ie. "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2 July 2017. ((cite web)): External link in |author= (help)
  13. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: I". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  14. ^ "J-WAVE WEBSITE : TOKIO HOT100". J-wave.co.jp. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Billy Idol – Cradle Of Love". charts.nz. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  16. ^ Steffen Hung. "Billy Idol – Cradle Of Love". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  17. ^ "billy idol | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "Billy Idol – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Top 40/Rock: June 30, 1990" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "germancharts.com – Billy Idol – Cradle Of Love". Germancharts.de. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  21. ^ a b "ARIA Top 50 Singles for 1990". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1990". RPM. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1990". Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
  24. ^ "American single certifications – Billy Idol – Cradle of Love". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 9 July 2021.