Saturday, October 1, 2022

"Don't Say You Love Me" by Billy Squier

Song#:  3942
Date:  06/24/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  58
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Squier's career hit a bump in the road following his 1984 #11 platinum effort Signs of Life, which featured his final Pop Top 40 entry, the #15 "Rock Me Tonite." His follow-up album, '86's Enough Is Enough, failed to generate a significant hit and that left the album peaking at #61 and missing the gold level sales mark. It was a disappointing result and Squier knew he needed something better to get him back in the spotlight. He would spend more time working on his sixth studio album Hear & Now. Once it was finished, this first single was issued out. It would do well at Rock reaching #4, which was his first time back in the Top 10 since '84. The song was helped along by its associated video, which did well on MTV. The attention helped draw support from pop radio, but the single just didn't fully catch fire and it stopped shy of the halfway mark on the Pop chart. It would end up becoming Squier's final song to reach the Pop chart. Two other singles from the album would be minor entries on the Rock chart. Despite the success of this song at Rock, the album would stall at #63 and sell about the same as his previous effort. Overall, it wasn't quite the comeback that Squier was looking for.

ReduxReview:  Squier's attempt to lure back pop listeners was a pretty good effort. This rocker sounded more like the Squier of old. It was a hooky track that had solid crunchy produced and it easily found a home on rock radio. However, I think for the most part a straight-up rock tune like this one was going to be a hard sell in the late 80s. By that point in time hair metal was the taste o' tha day with college/alt rock artists coming up strong. While there were a few rockers from earlier in the 80s still hanging on, there wasn't much on the Pop chart that was in the vein of this Squier track. It was a good song, it just wasn't one that was going to get Squier a fifth Top 40 hit.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Squier's next album, 1991's Creatures of Habit, would spawn his last Rock Top 10 with the #4 "She Goes Down," but with zero mainstream support the album faltered at a minor #177; his worst showing since his 1980 debut album Tale of the Tape (#169). Despite the results, Squier went on to make another album for his long time label Capitol. 1993's Tell the Truth was basically DOA with only one song making the Rock chart, the #15 "Angry." Capitol put little into the promotion of the album and as a result it failed to chart. Squier then decided to pack it in and call it a day. Squier would continue to perform over the years on his own and with other artists. He would release one indie album in 1998 titled Happy Blue. It was a shift in sound to acoustic blues and even included a blues version of his 1981 #17 hit "The Stroke."


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