You can’t discount the success of Billy Squier during his 1980-1984 run. Three platinum selling albums including this one, all provide a telling statistic about the buying habits of middle America during this time frame.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Billy Squier
ALBUM: Signs Of Life
SERIAL: ST-51236 1
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Billy Squier – vocals, guitar, synclavier * Bobby Chouinard – drums * Alan St. Jon – keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals * Jeff Golub – guitar, slide guitar * Doug Lubahn – bass, backing vocals
Additional Musicians: Jimmy Maalen – percussion * Larry Fast, J.B. Moore – synthesizer * Eric Troyer, Rory Dodd, Alfa Anderson – backing vocals * Brian May – additional guitar (‘Another 1984’)
TRACK LISTING: 01 All Night Long * 02 Rock Me Tonite * 03 Eye On You * 04 Take A Look Behind Ya * 05 Reach For The Sky * 06 (Another) 1984 * 07 Fall For Love * 08 Can’t Get Next To You * 09 Hand Me Downs * 10 Sweet Release
WEBLINKS: Site Link
You can’t discount the success of Billy Squier during his 1980-1984 run. Three platinum selling albums including this one, all provide a telling statistic about the buying habits of middle America during this time frame. I still get the impression that ‘Signs Of Life’ may not have had the same profile as ‘Don’t Say No’ or ‘Emotions In Motion’, but the sales figures would say otherwise.
Containing the same personnel as previous albums, the Billy Squier sound is retained into 1984 with excellent results. A big booming producton thanks to Jim Steinman, ‘Signs Of Life’ would move more than two million units (double platinum).
There are a few synth dabbles here, which makes this LP sound a bit sterile and over-produced. I would’ve preferred it to be more of an organic rock ‘n’ roll record, but this was the dawning of the age for synths, electronic percussion and studio gimmickry.
Still, songs such as the single ‘Rock Me Tonite’ (which ended up being Billy’s biggest hit, believe it or not) and ‘(Another) 1984’ sound cool for what they are. The latter features Queen‘s Brian May.
‘Fall For You’ is a lukewarm ballad in the vein of Foreigner but nowhere near as good, and it’s not until the end of the LP with ‘Hand Me Downs’ that we get something akin to the gritty Billy Squier style. Though again, this could’ve been a Foreigner cast-off from ‘Agent Provocateur’, especially that chorus.
Obviously the big talking point about the album is the MTV video for ‘Rock Me Tonite’, which has been described as the one single event which ruined his career. That maybe the public perception, but Capitol Records didn’t think so, as they stuck by him for several more albums, right up until 1993’s ‘Tell The Truth’.
Billy Squier’s next LP 1986’s ‘Enough Is Enough’ was still pretty good but didn’t sell in the same region as his previous LP’s. This would be the pattern right through to the end of the decade.
Rock Me Tonite (Uncensored)
Entire Album (Select Tracks)