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16 Strokes: The Best of Billy Squier

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  • Billy Squier’s anthology “16 Strokes” ought to be re-titled “8 Strokes and 8 Misses,” for that more adequately describes the music contained therin. Squier scored success in the early 1980s as a shaggy-dooed and somewhat less polished Bon Jovi, starting with the 1981 album “Don’t Say No,” and the huge hit “The Stroke,” (hence the title of the anthology). Arranged chronologically, the first half of the anthology is drawn from that album, as well as follow ups “Emotions and Motion” and “Signs of Life,” which contain all of Squier’s successful and semi-successful hit singles.After that, there is little that anyone other than a diehard fan would ever want to hear more than once. The latter songs sound exactly like the earlier hits–minus the catchy hooks. Even the song titles (examples: “Love is the Hero,” “Don’t Say You Love Me, “Don’t Let Me Go,” “(L.O.V.E.) Four Letter Word”) are tedious. Also, the CD booklet is remarkably skimpy, containing little information and no lyrics sheet.Overall, an overly generous anthology from a relatively minor hard rock artist.

    Posted on November 18, 2009