"Hear and Now" (Capitol; 1989)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

The best thing about reviewing "older" CDs is getting to revisit the distinguished discographies and recalling the songs that have so many memories attached to them that a personal chapter could be written about each track. Billy Squier is one of those 80s artists that delivered more hits than Mike Tyson and, even though he isn’t on any music industry radar today, his ship still holds anchor to some great music.

“Hear And Now” was released as Billy was being ushered out of arena rock stardom so heavier bands could occupy the stage. At least he wasn’t yanked off with a vaudeville hook and he still continues to write and play music with confidence. His time may be past but without his contribution a lot of bands that followed wouldn’t have had any such blueprint to expand on. Just ask The Black Crowes, Def Leppard or the Damn Yankees.

This CD didn’t have as many radio hits as his previous releases did but the album is still solid. Billy could use synthesizers, keys and sax to create a great song. His guitar playing always stood above the others because at times he was a one man show. His name was on the marquee and his guitar was in hand ... nothing like putting yourself out there.

I know that veteran artists are often glanced over because their contribution to music is based on their last corporate effort, but I usually like to find the roots of music and see what the tree looks like.

The best songs here are “Don’t Say You Love Me,” “Don’t Let Me Go,” “Tied Up,” and “(I Put A) Spell On You.”

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400.