Billy Squier’s career caught on fire with the release of his second album “Don’t Say No”, which would ultimately achieve Triple Platinum status in record sales. The album featured such hits as “Lonely Is the Night”, “In the Dark”, “My Kinda Lover” and the smash hit “The Stroke”.
His third album “Emotions In Motion” sold well propelled by the hit single “Everybody Wants You” and would eventually go Double Platinum.
It was the video for the song “Rock Me Tonite” from Billy’s fourth album, released in 1984 that stirred a huge controversy at the time.
Needless to say, accepted social norms at the time were very different, including widely accepted gender roles for men and women. In the video, Squier appears in a pink tank top and dances in a manner that some described as effeminate. Rumors began to swirl immediately about Billy Squier’s sexuality and it seemed to impact his career somewhat at the time, even though the album went Platinum in sales. Squier had been a heartthrob of sorts for many of his female fans and was considered a hard rocker by a lot of the guys, some of whom now, questioned his masculinity after the video for “Rock Me Tonite” was released. The album featured a mix of pop and rock and relied more on synthesizers and keyboards, rather than just guitars, which also seemed to make many of his fans unsure about his status as a full-fledged rocker.
Others just seemed to think the video made Squier look goofy and awkward with his dance routine. If this video actually did hurt Squier’s career, it’s really a shame because he is a great musician, singer, and songwriter.
The album is hailed by critics today as a great creative turning point for Squier as an artist, and it’s considered to be one of the best albums of his career.
Squier went on to release many great albums afterward but none of them matched the success of his previous efforts.