Considered by many to be Billy Squier’s return to form record, Hear & Now is unquestionably a fan favorite. After a few years of Rock Me Tonight video fallout and a slightly less than stellar commercial performance with 1986’s Enough Is Enough, Billy returned in full force with an incredible collection of riff-laden, rock-pop hits, sweeping ballads, and a few deep cuts that continued his unique style of “articulate rock.” But did it hit? Why or why not?
And while we’re asking questions – what is the connection between this record and the film Deliverance? Between this record at The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping?!? Listen to find out as we continue our Songs of The Knight: A Billy Squier Retrospective series.
Joined by podcast friends Jon Lamoreaux of The Hustle Podcast and BJ Kramp of the Rock And/Or Roll Podcast, Eric and his co-hosts go in-depth and track by track with Billy’s sixth album. Warning: we do go off the rails a bit in the episode following a story Jon shares about his early discovery of, well, this record among other things. But we also continue our thoughtful deep analysis of this record, which is one of our collective favorites. Finally we wrap this episode with Eric’s personal ranking of Billy Squier’s entire discography.
What do you do to follow up a disastrous video that, although charted quite successfully, negatively impacted your career trajectory? How about when you’re stuck between label pressure in a changing landscape of hair metal and keyboard oriented rock? Well, if you’re Billy Squier you toil away on an album until you come up with Enough Is Enough. In this episode of the sidecast series, Songs of The Knight: A Billy Squier Retrospective, we take a detailed look at 1986’s Enough Is Enough. Joined by podcast friends Jon Lamoreaux of The Hustle Podcast and BJ Kramp of the Rock And/Or Roll Podcast, Eric and his co-hosts go in-depth and track by track with Billy’s fifth album. We get into the featured duet with Freddie Mercury, Love Is The Hero, the co-write he did with Freddie Lady With A Tenor Sax, our thoughts on the album cover, the fine art of singing Whoo-hooo, what challenges did Billy face at this time in his career, his guitar playing, his singing, his adventurous songwriting, and much more. Finally we wrap this episode in the series with Jon’s personal ranking of Billy Squier’s discography.
Danny Vaughn of Tyketto joins Eric in conversation to take a track by track look back at the band’s 1994 sophomore release, Strength In Numbers. Produced by legendary producer Kevin Elson, their follow-up to Don’t Come Easy had a difficult journey making it’s way onto shelves following the whole wave of grunge that displaced many bands of the time. Danny shares his personal memories and all the details behind the album’s creation and journey.
A solid fan favorite, Strength In Numbers features some songs that were should-have-been monstrous AOR hits of the day – Rescue Me, Catch My Fall, Standing Alone. But the album also demonstrated the band was interested in growing and branching out. They were writing deeper, smarter, and more varied songs at the time. There are some healthy and authentic dashes of blues, Springsteen-esque singer-songwriter, mandolins, harmonicas, Bo Diddly beats, sweeping almost-progressive rockers and so much more.
For the 25th anniversary of the album, Tyketto will be doing some touring where they’ll perform the full album in its entirety – get those details here. They also have a new live CD and DVD that captures and ambitious performance featuring horns and strings. On the solo front, Danny has a new super-interesting solo album of “odd songs” in the works and well as his duet project with Dan Reed of Dan Reed Network.
If you’re familiar with Tyketto, you’ll enjoy this in-depth discussion of this classic album. If you’re new to the band, hopefully you’ll listen and discover a truly solid rock album from 1994 that you may have missed the first time around.
Dave Meniketti of Y&T joins Eric in conversation to discuss the beginnings of his career, the early formation of Y&T, how he went from his dad’s record collection to discovering blues guitarists, early days songwriting, finding his confidence as a vocalist, the legendary Winterland 1974 show, memories of the original members that have since passed away, some anecdotes of touring with the enthusiastic partier that was Bon Scott, business struggles with A&M and Geffen in the 80s and 90s, bringing in Steve Smith on their Ten record, how Y&T kind of side stepped the grunge era and kept it together through the 90s, his solo career, discovering some classic tunes hidden in their vault, what led to their newest release, Acoustic Classix Volume 1, how he got involved in his other business, Meniketti Wines, will there be another proper Y&T album, what’s next for him and the band, and much more!
Liv Warfield of Roadcase Royale joins Eric in conversation to discuss the beginnings of her career, moving to Portland Oregon from Peoria Illinois to find her voice in a steady karaoke scene, becoming an independent artist with a charting single, how she connected with Prince, the funny story in waiting for the announced “Prince will call you” call that changed her life, how Prince influenced her confidence and songwriting on her next solo album, how the couple of songs they wrote together came about, is there anything she worked on with Prince in his legendary vault, what she wishes the world knew more about Prince, how she connected with Nancy Wilson to form Roadcase Royale, origins of their anthemic Get Loud, what it means to raise your voice as an artist, how have “Heart” audiences accepted her, what’s next for the band in terms of touring and recording, what’s next for her personally, and much more!
Jimmy Carter of The Blind Boys of Alabama joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early life connecting with his classmates to form The Blind Boys of Alabama, early memories of touring and recording, memories of contemporaries like Sam Cooke and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, experiencing the Civil Rights movement and the diversification of the Blind Boys’ audiences in the 80s, their appeal in the secular world, touring with Peter Gabriel, what it was like performing at The White House for Obama, memories of his final performance with longtime friend and partner Clarence Fountain, learning that their recording of Way Down In The Hole was used for the TV show The Wire, what his plans are for a new recording spanning the group’s 80 year career, what he plans to do in the second half of his life and much more!
Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early life discovering music and growing up with a musical family, how he got into discovering the keyboards via The Beatles, what the working structure was within The Thompson Twins in terms of creativity, are there any songs hidden in their vault, what it’s been like returning to the stage after 20+ years, was he nervous that the audience would still be there, the journey back to pop music in recent years, inspiration behind his song Come So Far, his first self-title debut solo album Science Fiction, will it be another 20 years before his next album, and much more!