Since mainstream hard rocker Billy Squier concluded his 13-year, eight-album tenure at Capitol Records with 1993's Tell the Truth, the label has anthologized his work several times. First there was 1995's 16 Strokes, then the 1996 two-disc set Reach for the Sky: The Anthology, and in 1998 CEMA Special Markets weighed in with the budget set The Best of Billy Squier. Classic Masters, a midline-priced compilation, may offer the best selection yet, despite the repetition. (All 12 tracks are also on 16 Strokes and all of The Best of Billy Squier's ten tracks are here, while nine of the 12 turn up among the 34 tracks on Reach for the Sky.) The set presents all 11 of Squier's chart singles, from "The Stroke" in 1981 to "Don't Say You Love Me" in 1989, plus "Tied Up," a 1989 single that did not chart. The tracks have been given 24-bit digital remastering so that this collection offers a sonic upgrade from its predecessors. If you already have one of the earlier compilations you don't need to get this one, but if you are looking for a basic Squier sampler, this is the one to buy.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann