Billy Squier stormed the charts with both album and single sales in 1981 with Don’t Say No.
Speaking of singles how about that three-pack of songs that lead off Side 1. In The Dark, The Stroke, and My Kinda Lover. Of the three The Stroke I still hear on local crap radio and good on Billy as we all know he owns all the publishing on his music so whatever amount of dough is being paid out goes into his pocket directly! (which should be the case).
My buddy Muk bought Don’t Say No on vinyl basically upon its release and I quickly followed suit buying it on cassette tape for the good old Sony Walkman for those bike rides or walks to and from high school.
Billy crafted a real solid 10 pack of songs on what is his second major-label album (Tale of the Tape from 1980 didn’t go anywhere) which Squier know’s the fine art of writing songs to get played on the radio but keeping enough of a rock edge to satisfy young headbangers like me.
Some credit has to go to Reinhold Mack who co-produced Don’t Say No with Billy. Mack, as you may recall also co-produced the magnificent The Game album by Queen and worked with a bunch of acts ranging from Black Sabbath, ELO, Rainbow, and John T Snow’s homeboy David Coverdale amongst many others.
Mack dialed in the sonics so brilliantly that songs like The Stroke still sound good on radio! You can hear Mack’s production influence on this record and Billy’s next album Emotions In Motion. Mack had a big hand as Billy’s stuff sonically has that Queen style of production.
And it worked.
Such a great hard pop-rock album. The thing I also liked about Squier is that even though he was tagged as the solo artist Squier basically had the same backing band with him throughout the 80’s even into the early 90s. Nice to see continuity as we know of bands that had a rotating band member carousel back than ( take a bow Whitesnake).
Check out the video below of Billy and his posse from 1981 blasting a live version of the super cool track Whadda You Want From Me. Squier plays some slick slide guitar on it.
Come to think of it Squier was the first single-artist I had in my ever-growing tape/vinyl collection at the time(1981) as up to that point it was just bands.
Perhaps that’s why I have always dug what Billy has done. Oh yeah, plus his music is stellar!
For further listening check out the criminally underrated Hear And Now album from 1989!
Billy has a big bank account thanks to that Eminem fellow!
- The Stroke
- “Stroke Me” by Mickey Avalon
- “Berzerk” by Eminem from the album Marshall Mathers LP 2
- “My Kinda Lover”
- “Shady XV” by Eminem from the album Shady XV