Great Metal Albums of 1981: Billy Squier- Don’t Say No

Billy_Squier_-_Don't_Say_NoYou’ve all been waiting with baited breath for this, okay, maybe not but here it is. After all my ramblings about great British artists who never really made it in America, it’s time for the best American artist not to have made it in Britain. That’s right, the award goes to Billy Squier. I know from feedback from British readers of “Rock and Roll Children” that this is the case. Since one of his concerts appears early in the story, several British readers have said, that they never knew him or even heard of him. This is true, I never heard his name mentioned in UK metal circles, heard any of his songs on the radio or seen his videos on the Kerrang or Scuzz channels. His only real association with the UK is the fact that he played the 1982 Reading Rock Festival but other than that, very little. This is a shame because Squier is an excellent musician with several fine albums including this 1981 release: “Don’t Say No.”

For all my goings on about my paranoia about the singles being the opening song on the album, I must say that Billy Squier goes even further on “Don’t Say No” by having all three released singles as the first three tracks on the album. This is not a bad thing in this case. I continue to listen to “In the Dark” and his biggest hit, “The Stroke” which even got played on AM radio back in 1981 but the third single, “My Kinda Lover” got the memories flowing. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter about where you put the singles on the track list because the rest of the album is definitely not filler. “Lonely Is the Night” could also have been released as a single, especially as I like the intro in that one. “Too Daze Gone” and “Whadda You Want From Me” are also very strong tracks and his tribute to John Lennon, “Nobody Knows.” I do think his vocals are a bit too high on that song but that is offset by a cool guitar solo. The songs on here don’t disappoint so once again I find myself asking, Why wasn’t this album better received in the UK?

Track Listing:

1. In the Dark

2. The Stroke

3. My Kinda Lover

4. You Know What I Like

5. Too Daze Gone

6. Lonely Is the Night

7. Whadda You Want From Me

8. Nobody Knows

9. Need You

10. Don’t Say No

Billy Squier

Billy Squier

Billy Squier- vocals, guitar, piano, percussion

Cary Sharaf- guitars

Alan St John- keyboards

Mark Clark- bass

Bobby Chouinard- drums

What I am hoping is that everyone in the UK reading this will rush out and buy this album or at least listen to it on YouTube. That will go a long way in making up for an opportunity that was missed over thirty years ago. By all means, Americans take it out, dust it off and listen to it once more. Then remember what a great album “Don’t Say No” really was. I thought it was a great way to end the journey through 1981.

Next post: A Tribute to Some True Heroines

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18 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1981: Billy Squier- Don’t Say No”

  1. One of my favorite albums of all time. And one of the greatest artists that never really made it but should have. Great post!



  2. Loved this album from the first time I listened to it back in ’81. I still remember the DJ introducing “Lonely Is The Night” with “here’s a new one from Billy ‘Zeppelin’ Squier.” Only a year after the death of John Bonham and the dissolution of my favorite band, I was eager to check out anything that was in a similar vein and this didn’t disappoint. He had a big run of hits (both commercial and rock radio) for a few years in the ’80s, but his questionable video for “Rock Me Tonight” caused a lot of fans to jump ship (even though it’s a great song). Thanks for shining a light on this amazing album. Hopefully some of your readers will give it a shot.


  3. Squier had a great run. This is a great review and it’s cool that guys like Rich speak highly of it and I do as well. My fav though is Hear and Now which i reviewed early on in my blogging career(3 months ago..hahaha) check it out if ya like!


  4. I’m one of the ignorant Brits here, I’m afraid.


  5. One of the best rock albums of the 80’s, period. As for the “Rock Me Tonite” video, I think his awful dancing and PINK t-shirt were more the source of derision than the bed sheets. Regardless, that song was still his biggest selling single, bad video or not. I don’t think that particular video killed his career but rather the bane of true rockers and metalheads everywhere – Grunge. In that era of two chord songs of misery, ol’ Billy was just too talented and happy, which is why we all loved him in the first place. Rock on Billy and please come back!


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