memories of the ’80s – The Stroke by Billy Squier

In the early 1980s, rock musician Billy Squier landed his number one hit despite its racy connotations – The Stroke.

Growing up in Boston in the 1960s and 1970s, Squier hung out at nightclubs, eventually joining Magic Terry and the Universe and The Sidewinders.

In the mid 1970s, he formed the band Piper, but left soon after, to focus on his solo career. Squier released his first solo album in 1980 titled The Tale of the Tape. The album featured the singles You Should be High and Big Beat, the latter a popular song sampled by hip hop artists in the late ’80s/early ’90s.

Squier’s second album, Don’t Say No, for Capitol Records, was released in May 1981, and its lead single was The Stroke, and the first song by Squier to make the Billboard charts.

The distinctive drum and guitar opening of the song, along with Squier’s lyrics, made this song a popular choice for rock radio stations across North America and Europe.

Produced by Reinhold Mack, who had produced Queen’s The Game, the album and single put Squier on the charts in several countries, including the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Austria and the US, where it went to 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Billboard Rock Singles list.

Even though Squier continued to produce albums and music, his consequent albums never led him back to the charts, but as a song for teenagers of the time period, it was a welcome addition to everyone’s playlist.

 

memories of the ’70s – Maggie May by Rod Stewart

After a successful career with The Faces, Rod Stewart’s third solo album was the one that solidified his independent career.

The release of the single Maggie May from the album Every Picture Tells a Story was the song that still follows Stewart.

Recorded with all the members of The Faces in two takes, including guitarist Ronnie Wood, the song wasn’t edited for single release, but was pressed with its full length of 5.15.

The song was based on Stewart’s first sexual experience with an older woman, and co-written with classical musician Martin Quittenton.

Released as a the B side single to the song Reason to Believe, Maggie May was sent out to radio DJs in October 1971. In the United States, DJs liked Maggie May and started to play that song on the radio.

In the UK, the song spent five weeks at number on the singles charts, and confirmed the love of fans for the raspy sounding Brit singer.

Chosen by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 500 best Rock songs of all time, Maggie May is a classic rock standard, played endlessly on rock radio from the 20th century to the 21st century.