Piper

Can't Wait

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The promise of the first Piper album's classic track "Who's Your Boyfriend" is realized with the title song from Piper's second and last disc before Billy Squier found fame and fortune on his own, Can't Wait. Co-written by Squier and Boston magazine contributor/liner note essayist for Frank Sinatra, James Isaacs, everything is turned up a notch, starting with this sublime pop sensation, the song "Can't Wait." Billy Squier sounds more comfortable singing lead, and where his future producer Eddie Kramer mixed the first album, future Rolling Stones engineer Chris Kimsey does the boards and co-production on this disc. "Anyday" and "Blues for the Common Man" certainly have that early to mid-'70s Rolling Stones feel, as does the beautiful "Now Aint the Time." Hindsight is always 20/20, but Piper had the potential to breakthrough as Heart, Cheap Trick, and other star acts of the time garnered mainstream acceptance and longevity. Who's to say that Squier's stardom as an arena rocker would be matched had he evolved with these musicians. It is tough to compete with drummer extraordinaire, the late Bobby Chouinard, and guitarist Jeff Golub, who worked with Squier shortly after this, but songs like "Drop By and Stay" have an appeal that works for both the metal heads and housewives content to hear something poppy on the radio. "Drop By and Stay" was co-written by Squier and former Elektra A&R rep, Maxanne Sartori. Sartori was instrumental in the success of Aerosmith and the Cars, and "Drop By And Stay" is one of the albums highlights. "See Me Through" may not be as intense as the Stroke, but that is its charm. The band really sparkles and shines on this collection. "Little Miss Intent" is a precursor to "Everybody Wants You," Squier's 1982 Top 35 hit. Where John Cougar performing a cover of the Doors "Crystal Ship" on MCA prior to his success is an embarrassment, this early material by Billy Squier is not only something to be proud of, it stands the test of time and should be recognized as important music, not just the early work by an '80s star.

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