March's Record Store Spotlight Album of the Month - Billy Squier - Don't Say No
B.T.R.C.'s March Spotlight Album of the Month - Billy Squier - Don't Say No
On April 13th, 1981, Billy Squier released Don't Say No, his second album since signing as a solo artist with Capitol Records. Squier's first record, Tale of the Tape, was only moderately successful. Although it peaked at #169 on the Billboard 200, it still spent three months on the chart at a time when the top 200 albums really meant something.
In need of a producer for his second album, Squier reached out to Queen guitarist Brian May, who had to decline due to scheduling. May suggested that Squier reach out to Reinhold Mack (longtime studio engineer for E.L.O.) who was currently producing Queen's The Game (which garnered a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) in 1981). So Squier met with Mack, and he ended up co-producing the record.
Don't Say No came out in a year where that saw Led Zeppelin break up after John Bonham's death (September of 1981). Foreigner released Foreigner 4, with its hard rock hits "Urgent", "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and the anthemic arena smash, "Juke Box Hero". The Rolling Stones released the single "Start Me Up". But Squier's release seemed to slide in easily as a hard rock, commercial, anthemic, arena rock album. In many peoples view, he picked up where Led Zeppelin left off and the album hit #5 on the Billboard 200.
The first single released to radio was "The Stroke". It went #3 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock, and #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was just a live performance, but MTV was brand new and Squier became a core artist at the young network. The song instantly became a rock anthem and eventually would hold regular rotation at Classic Rock Radio.
"The Dark" was the second release, and it reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, producing back to back Top 40 hits. The third single "My Kind of Lover" reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100, making him 3 for 3 at Top 40 radio. "Lonely Is The Night" was released to rock radio and went #28 on the Billboard Rock chart. This song was constantly compared to Led Zeppelin; specifically the track "Nobody's Fault But Mine".
The album was certified Gold in just three months and has since sold over three million copies. Squier also went one to release other smash hits off future releases like "Everybody Wants You" (Emotions in Motion, 1982) and "Rock Me Tonite" (Signs of Life, 1984). He has been a staple at AOR and Classic Rock formats for a long time, but it was Don't Say No that started it all!
For the repressing that is B.T.R.C.'s March Spotlight Album of the Month, the original LP art has been restored to a beautiful single-pocket gatefold and the old-style, 'tip-on' lp jacket.
B.T.R.C. - David W. Williams