Before Billy Squier's career exploded (albeit briefly) with 1981's Don't Say No, the ex-Piper frontman issued an overlooked debut solo outing, 1980's Tale of the Tape, which has become increasingly hard to find over the years -- especially on CD. But longtime fans have reason to rejoice, as Squier's first two solo releases were compiled together as a "two for one" deal in the U.K. (but easily obtainable in the U.S. as an import) -- Tale of the Tape/Don't Say No. Additionally, it also doesn't hurt that these two albums were Squier's best solo outings. While not as commercially successful or renowned as, say, Emotions in Motion, Squier's solo debut contained quite a few standouts that measure up well against his later hits -- "Rich Kid," "You Should Be High Love," and "The Music's All Right" -- and set the stage perfectly for his breakthrough sophomore effort. Undoubtedly his best solo effort, Don't Say No shows Squier going more for a heavy Led Zeppelin-esque sound on the hit title track and "Lonely Is the Night," but also manages to slip in quite a few melodic, pop-based tunes as well, especially the album opening "In the Dark" and "My Kinda Lover." As of 2004, Tale of the Tape/Don't Say No is the only way to get Squier's first release on CD, and with a fair list price, it's just about what you'd shell out for two separate CDs anyway.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato