Billy Squier – “Enough Is Enough” (1986)

billy-squierBilly Squier’s career peaked in the early eighties thanks to the smash success of Don’t Say No (1981) and Emotions In Motion (1982).  He became an arena headliner during his tour for Emotions In Motion.  Unfortunately, that’s where things started to turn.  By Squier’s own admission, he was upstaged on that tour by his opening act Def Leppard (who were white-hot at the time while supporting their colossus Pyromania album).  Squier’s 1984 album Signs Of Life would be his last platinum album.  His dubious video for Rock Me Tonite (which featured Billy dancing effeminately around his bedroom) was a disastrous blow to his reputation.  By the time he followed up Signs Of Life with 1986’s Enough Is Enough, only a small fraction of his fan base remained.  Once the most important rock act on his record label (Capitol Records), Squier now watched as his preferential treatment faded with each passing year.

In past reviews, I’ve kind of whined that Billy Squier’s albums were over-produced.  There is some truth there — especially with Emotions In Motion and Signs Of Life.  However, on the flip side, Squier certainly made the most of his studio time.  Billy used every tool he had at his disposal in the studio.  On albums such as Enough Is Enough, you have to admire all the details that went into producing these tracks.  Listen on headphones and you’ll hear lots of cool effects, different instruments, and superb backing vocals.  These songs were totally fleshed out.  You can tell that Billy and producer Peter Collins were anal retentive about making Enough Is Enough sound perfect.  In fact, that’s how the album got its name.  Squier had tweaked the album to the point of exhaustion, whereby he finally proclaimed “enough is enough” and deemed the record fit for release.  Billy Squier really was a genius in the studio.

With Enough Is Enough Billy Squier impresses once again with his patented rock-meets-pop style. Though the album lacked a can’t miss hit, there are numerous highlights.  Love Is A Hero, which features backing vocals by Freddie Mercury, is the album’s most immediate ear-grabber.  However, a few more gems start to shine through after a couple play-throughs.  Powerhouse has a driving beat and booming chorus.  ‘Til It’s Over starts off with a little Hendrix-style riff before making an about-face to a mellow tune with a sea shanty vibe.  Wink Of An Eye is an expertly arranged dynamo that closes the album on a high note.  My score: A


2 thoughts on “Billy Squier – “Enough Is Enough” (1986)

  1. I’ve always meant to check this album. I was in England when it came out so it passed me by. Like I once said, Billy Squier is the best American Rock Artist not to have made it in the UK.

  2. I remember thinking “Tied Up” was still rockin’ in the late 80’s when he could barely get airplay. In the the early 80’s they loved him. Underrated singer, composer, guitarist. Walked a line between heavy (metal influenced) hard rock/pop and that first hit “Stroke” even had a big disco beat.

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