The rise and fall of Billy Squire

Squier left the group to form the band Piper, which released a couple of albums in the mid ’70s, Piper and Can’t Wait, but broke off soon after. Bruce Kulick of KISS fame played with him during this period also. Upon reviewing the debut Piper, Circus magazine touted it as the greatest debut album ever produced by an American rock band.

Billy Squier’s third album for Capitol, Emotions in Motion, was released in 1982 and became nearly as successful as Don’t Say No. This album also climbed into Billboard’s Top 5 and sold nearly 3 million US copies. The lead single was the album’s title track, but the major hit was “Everybody Wants You” which hit #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart and #32 on the Hot 100. Squier was also popular on MTV. That same year, he recorded a song for the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Two years passed between Emotions in Motion and Squier’s next album Signs Of Life. It was his third consecutive Platinum album. The album’s first single release, “Rock Me Tonite” was Billy’s biggest pop hit. It reached #15 on Billboard’s Hot 100 – as well as #1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart – in late 1984. However, the video for the track (directed by Kenny Ortega – “Xanadu”, “High School Musical”) which shows Billy dancing around a bedroom in a pink tank top, frequently appears on “worst music video ever” lists.

Squier pushed on, even though his career was in a serious nosedive. This is what he pounded out, to get back on top:

In 1991, Billy Squier released Creatures of Habit, which yielded only one single, “She Goes Down,” which also peaked at #4 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The title of the track refers to oral sex, and the music video is a very rare item, mainly because it features nude females and sexual metaphors throughout.

So, with Nirvana taking over… Squier said, “Fuck it, I’m going balls to the wall and hoping for the best. i am releasing a song about blowjobs and a video with all kinds of nude shit, even though this is way different than my other material.” It was a valiant attempt, William, but no dice.


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