November 01, 1982 12:00 PM

Billy Squier

There is a kind of rock ‘n’ roll syndrome which causes long-struggling performers who suddenly hit it big to lament uncontrollably about how unsatisfactory success is. Squier, whose 1981 album Don’t Say No was a breakthrough, has fallen victim. On this LP there are tunes called Everybody Wants You (“You got your glory—you paid for it all/ You take your pension in loneliness and alcohol”), Keep Me Satisfied (“Runnin’ for the money…layin’ out the green/ It’s a tax accountant’s nightmare—it’s a rock ‘n’ roll dream”) and It Keeps You Rock in’ (“On a hot night you feel all right—you’re wound up tight/ On the next day you overplay, wanna fade away”). Is it really such a drag, Billy? For all the apparent self-pity, Squier does have an energetic band, and his lyrics are literate, if humorless. And while his singing style is a bit on the screeching side, it’s much more attractive when he’s singing about women—One Good Woman, She’s a Runner—than when he’s wailing about his problems.

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