The peroxide singer, who enjoyed solo success with WHITE WEDDING and REBEL YELL, believes the anarchic 1970s era gave punk rock more substance than it boasts now.
Idol says, "We had something else going for us - the fire of the time. That's the only thing that's missing a little bit.
"It's not the first time it's been done but it's still a valid way of discussing the world."
But he adds of today's bands, "They're all quite good musicians and I don't know if we were quite up to that standard."