By Adam Waldman
On April 13, 1981, Billy Squier his second studio album, Don’t Say No. The album (which was the most successful of Squier’s career) cracked the top 5 on the Billboard 200, and remained on the chart for over two years.
Many rock artists are known to have suffered from the “sophomore jinx” after strong debut albums. While Squier’s debut (Tale Of The Tape) enjoyed some success, his sophomore release is the one that still resonates with rock music fans several decades later.
Don’t Say No features a number of hits songs, the most successful being “The Stroke,” which peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart. Other popular singles from the album include: “In The Dark,” “My Kinda Lover” and “Lonely Is The Night.”
Back in the early ‘80s, during the dawn of MTV, Squier was on top of the world. All four singles from Don’t Say No were featured regularly on the channel that was an obsession for most Gen Xers.
It’s hard to believe that a multi-platinum artist with strong ties to a band like Queen, and who helped expose Def Leppard to the masses when they opened for him on their Pyromania tour, would have a relatively short career. Def Leppard went on to become one of the most successful bands in rock history, regularly touring arenas throughout their career.
Billy Squier (with Def Leppard opening) was the third concert that I attended. I still remember the energy of the show, and the frenzy of the crowd when the headliner came on stage. During Def Lep’s set, we stood on the chairs about 20 rows back at the Nassau Coliseum. When Squier took the stage, we tried to get a better view, so we decided to try and balance ourselves on the backs of our chairs and the ones in the row in front of us. Best laid plans as the saying goes. It wasn’t long before one of my friend’s crashed to the ground as the chair collapsed. Despite the fall, it is still one of my favorite concert memories.
Listening to Don’t Say No again in its entirety brought back some great memories. No one could have predicted that Squier’s career would peak around this time.
My favorite Squier song of all-time still gets played on classic rock radio today…