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Billy Squier - Don't Say No (1981)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Cosmic Harmony, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    I will forever state that Billy Squier is one of the most underrated artists in music. These days he is most remember for his hit "The Stroke" but I personally herald the album it's off, 1981's "Don't Say No", as one of the most fun rock releases of the 1980's.

    All ten songs on "Don't Say No" were written in perfect arena rock fashion and were composed solely by Billy himself where he plays guitar, harmonica, piano, and recorded all the vocals, lead and backup, on the album.


    1. "In the Dark"
    "In The Dark" has some absolutely powerful guitar (especially in the beginning), a good, prominent synth part throughout the song, and vocals that simply crave to be sang along with a stadium full of people.


    2. "The Stroke"
    "The Stroke" is Billy's biggest hit and of course also his more enduring song. This song is recognizable from the very start for it's distinctive drum part, which is actually being being played backwards. The story goes that when mixing the album they accidentally played the drum track backwards and thought that it sounded much better that way so kept it. This song is a MUST for any party and just an all around fun song that you'll just make you wanna cry out "Stroke me, stroke me!"
    A common misinterpretation about this song is that it's about wanking but "The Stroke" was actually written by Billy about the music business.

    3. "My Kinda Lover"
    Now while most believed "The Stroke" was about something naughty and where wrong "My Kinda Lover" is all about nooky without actually saying it. This song is centered around Billy's vocals and has very distinctive bass and drum parts (the later I find particularly fun).

    4. "You Know What I Like"
    This song has a great drive to it. The drums really push the song along with a beat that almost makes the song gallop with a good synth part complimenting it and a subtle chicken picking guitar part that resembles Joe Perry at times.

    5. "Too Daze Gone"
    "Too Daze Gone" catches your attention right away and the rhythm section keeps in until the chorus hits and all the time in between. A great sing-a-long song, hence why it is perfect for arena rock.

    6. "Lonely Is the Night"
    I really like the intro to "Lonely Is The Night". It's a simple little lick that starts the song before big chords and the vocals come in. This album does a fairly good job showcasing all the instruments throughout and this is one of songs that does so for the guitar with chords that compliment Billy's vocals perfectly and there even being a solid solo about three minutes in.

    7. "Whadda You Want from Me"
    "Whadda You Want From Me" sounds like a perfect driving song to me. It's got the right attitude and speed and sound just for doing 75 down the highway. Probably one of the most overshadowed songs on the album "Whadda You Want From Me" starts with an uptempo drum beat with guitar following suit with some cool riffs and even better fills that are probably the best on the album. A favorite of mine not only off this album but in Billy Squier's entire catalog.

    8. "Nobody Knows"
    "Nobody Knows" is not the song that I would've placed right after "Whadda You Want From Me" is the latter is one of the fastest songs on the album and this song is the only ballad on the record. It's written mainly for acoustic guitar and is join a little ways into the song by the rest of the band and has two guitar solos on electric. Overall this isn't a band song but I'd say it's not exactly memorable. Billy can do ballads but they aren't exactly his strong suit.

    9. "I Need You"
    "I Need You" starts with a good, walking bass riff before switching to acoustic guitar for the verses with the bass riff returning for the choruses. One park I really like with this song is the backup vocals in the bridge leading up to the chorus but overall I think this would be my least favorite song on the album.

    10. "Don't Say No"
    The title track fades in with it hitting full volume and the guitar entering just as Billy say "Don't Say No". This is a great throwback song with great parts from the keys and guitar. Right in the middle of the song it fades out and you think the record is over for a second but then the band kicks it into fully gear and really drives the song home.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  2. Lynch

    Lynch Rockin' Out

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    I can't argue with this at all, it's a GREAT album from start to finish.

    Good writeup :grinthumb
     
  3. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    Thank you Lynch. I am a big fan of Billy Squier and own two other albums by him ("Emotions In Motion" and "Signs of Life"), which are both good but not as great as this one. :)
     
  4. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    I have to agree, Cosmic, Billy doesn't get the praise he deserves. He is an extremely talented musician and this is my favorite album, too :grinthumb
     
  5. Cosmic Harmony

    Cosmic Harmony Senior Member

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    Glad you love Billy to Magic. So nice to know I'm not the only one who appreciates him. :)
     
  6. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier



    Heck yea! That is some awesome rock :) The drums, guitar licks, and vocals fit so perfectly together.
     
  7. ladyislingering

    ladyislingering retired

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    Fantastic. Definitely played the hell out of some of those tracks in high school.
     
  8. METALPRIEST

    METALPRIEST Senior Member

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    In my collection of madness I have this! :heheh:

    It is a great album and one everyone should own or at least check out.

    :phones:

     
  9. Astrid Kirchherr65

    Astrid Kirchherr65 Classic 60's Chick

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    I love the album ! Best thing I remember about 'Don't Say No" was dancing to "The Stroke" with a few friends and getting Kicked OUT of a Church dance ha ha ..What? It's about a GUITAR right ? ?? :wink:
     
  10. Fever

    Fever Senior Member

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    Re: Don't Say No ~~~ Billy Squier

    I am a big fan of Billy Squier.I first saw him in concert in 1982 opening for REO Speedwagon.The Stroke is probably my least favorite song on Don't Say No.:heheh: In The Dark,Lonely Is The Night and My Kinda Lover are my favorites.

    Just a couple a weeks ago I was looking for some music I hadn't listened to it a awhile and pulled out Emotions In Motion
     

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