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BILLY SQUIER ‘Tale of the Tape/Don't Say No’
Beat Goes On BGOCD624(2004)

Two bona fide classics and `must have' albums for any fan of melodic rock/AOR. Billy Squier helped pave the way for the 80's boom in melodic rock and he toured with many of the big names like Journey and Foreigner. He had a US hit single in `The Stroke' (and some controversy as well regarding the lyrics!) and these two albums, of which `Don't Say No' really put him on the map in the US.

Tale of the Tape came out in 1980 and features Bruce Kulick (ex- Kiss) on guitar along with drummer Bobby Chouinard, who has a big drum sound a la John Bonham/Cozy Powell. Produced by Eddie Offord (of Yes fame), its full of radio friendly anthems including one of my all time favourate songs, `Calley Oh'. This song has it all - catchy chorus, stunning vocals and big guitar riffs.

`The Big Beat' tips a nod to Led Zep especially in the drum sound and Squier's Robert Plant like vocal delivery. Squier can also deliver the weepies as well like `Who Knows What A Love Can Do'. Squier's songs and vocals compare similarly with Sammy Hagar's solo work of that time and fans of Hagar should grab a listen to this album particularly.

Don't Say No followed in 1981 and this time Queen producer Mack took the production helm (Freddie Mercury also appeared on a later Squier album). As a result the drums are to the fore and there are plenty of layered electronic effects like on the hit single `The Stroke'. `My Kinda Lover' is a breezy pop rock tune and `Lonely Is The Night' is another prime time slice of AOR.

Extensive sleeve notes plus both albums are one CD (like the best AOR albums the tunes did their work in under four minutes!). Sadly no bonus material but an essential addition to any rock fans collection.


Review by Jason Ritchie

Label website

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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