Sunday, July 16, 2017

"All Night Long" by Billy Squier

Song#:  2102
Date:  10/27/1984
Debut:  78
Peak:  75
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Although Squier's first single from his Signs of Life LP, "Rock Me Tonight," would be his biggest hit at Pop (#15), the hubbub surrounding the song's associated video may have taken a toll on Squier and the album. Although it would end up being a platinum seller, it stopped short of the Top 10 at #11 and further singles like this one failed to do any real business at Pop. Rock gave this song a little love and sent it to #10, but it wasn't enough to keep the album's momentum going.

ReduxReview:  The dramatic opening of this song came courtesy of producer Jim Steinman who also used that same "knock-knock-knock" sound at the beginning on some of his other productions like Barbra Streisand's "Left in the Dark." And then there is a center keyboard break that he seemed to have lifted from a 1977 Styx song called "Castle Walls." Despite the reuse of material, Steinman provided a dense sound that elevated the song. I think the problem is that it just wasn't as hooky and commercially viable as some of Squier's best songs. It really doesn't sound like a hit and it wasn't. However, I kind a dug the track and it was one of the very few from the album that had any worth.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In addition to Squier's hits still getting airplay over the years, one of his early solo tracks has lived on via other songs. Squier's 1980 debut album The Tale of the Tape featured the opening track "The Big Beat." That song opens with a hefty drum beat sound play by Bobby Chouindard. That sound became popular with several rap/hip-hop producers and ended up being sampled and used on many tracks over the years. Two of the biggest songs to sample the track were Jay-Z's 2004 #10 Rap hit "99 Problems" and Alicia Keys' 2012 #11 Pop hit "Girl on Fire." Other artists to sample the song were Kanye West, Run-D.M.C., Puff Daddy, A Tribe Called Quest, Ice Cube, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


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