Saturday, September 7, 2019

"Love Is the Hero" by Billy Squier

Song#:  2884
Date:  10/04/1986
Debut:  91
Peak:  80
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Squier's fourth album, Signs of Life, would be his third platinum seller in a row thanks to what would end up being his biggest Pop chart hit, the #15 "Rock Me Tonite" (#1 Rock). However, it came at a bit of a cost. The infamous video for "Rock Me Tonite," which had Squier prancing around in a pink tank top that he finally rips off didn't sit well with a good chunk of his rock fans. His image as a tough rock guy took a hit he was going to need something pretty fierce to gain back his audience. Two years after the video debacle, Squier came back with his new LP Enough Is Enough. This first single would set the tone for the album and unfortunately it wasn't a good one. The track did tepidly well at Rock getting to #17, but it was virtually ignored at Pop where it peaked near the bottom of the chart. A second single, "Shot o' Love," could only get to #30 at Rock while missing the Pop chart completely. With those results, the album stalled at a minor #61 and couldn't get close to gold-level sales. It was a major disappointment for Squier and it would take him nearly three years to release a new album and try to woo back his audience.

ReduxReview:  Squier definitely tried to be less flamboyant and colorful on the new album and made an attempt to get back to basics. Even the cover is sedate with just a brooding image of Squier and very little flare. He also kept the video to this song reined in and basically just did a performance video with his band. It all might have worked had the material been stronger. This song is okay and the appearance of Mercury is a nice add, but it just wasn't a strong single contender. Especially when you compare it to some of his earlier hit like "The Stroke." The balance of the album wasn't much better. He penned most of the LP himself and he probably would have benefited from having an of-the-moment songwriter to collaborate with such as Desmond Child. I think he could have overcame the backlash from the "Rock Me Tonite" video. He just needed an undeniable hit to do it and this one wasn't it.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Squier was certainly friendly with the members of Queen as some of them would lend a hand on three of Squier's albums. Both Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor supplied backing vocals on the title track of Squier's 1982 LP Emotions in Motion. Then on his next LP, 1984's Signs of Life, Brian May stopped by to do a guitar solo on the track "(Another) 1984." Then for Enough Is Enough, Freddie Mercury returned to do backing vocals for "Love Is the Hero" and he also co-wrote the album track "Lady with a Tenor Sax" with Squier.


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