Don't Say No (Except to the Videos)

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to Howard Stern and Billy Squire’s name came up. They were talking about a list they’d seen of the greatest guitar solos. The conversation drifted from that to former Journey front-man Steve Perry, and then to Billy Squire and what had happened to his career. The feeling in the studio was that it was some combination of the “Rock Me Tonight” video and the accompanying music that had finished Squire off (bottom of the page, “When Music Videos Go Badly,” if you want to read more). Squire later admitted as much on VH1’s “Ultimate Albums” show, saying his career never really recovered from that particular video.

That conversation made me think back to the early 80s and remember that at one time, before his two or three big songs were worn into the ground, I actually liked Billy Squire’s music. I also thought I remembered that he could put out a decent rock song alongside crowd-pleasers like “The Stroke.”

Bearing all that in mind, I dug through the record crates and found a couple of Billy Squire albums. Like everyone else, I only have the two “big hits”: Don’t Say No and Emotions In Motion. I kinda recall maybe at one time having some older Billy Squire and maybe even some Piper on cassette, but I finally dumped all my tapes last year, after not having had a cassette player for nearly 10 years.

I decided I’d go ahead and post some Billy Squire today, going for the harder-edged, seldom heard songs buried somewhere deep on side 2.

You Know What I Like.mp3 Don’t Say No 1981
Whadda You Want From Me.mp3 Don’t Say No 1981
Keep Me Satisfied.mp3 Emotions In Motion 1982

To bring you up to speed on Billy Squire’s latest doings, he is apparently living in New York, raking in profits from hip-hop sampling of a song called “The Big Beat,” which was on his 1980 debut solo album. In 2006, he toured with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band.

If you're feeling a little masochistic, YouTube has the video that ended Squire’s career.


At 11:27 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Someone should do a list of the greatest guitar solos by punk bands. Two of my favorite solos are James Honeyman-Scott's toggle-switching on the Pretenders' "Tattooed Love Boys", and the deliberately awful solo on the Bonzo Dog Band's "Canyons of Your Mind" (not a punk band, I know).

At 8:28 PM , Blogger aikin said...

cool idea. There's a song on the Dead Kennedys' Bedtime for Democracy album that mocks the heavy metal posturing with an over-the-top solo. I'm not sure if I still have that album or not. I'll have to check.


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