Forget 'Rock Me Tonite' ... Our love for Billy Squier goes 'All Night Long'

Published Feb. 11, 2016

When I was lucky enough to be a guest on the Stuck in the '80s podcast in 2014, I sang the praises of dissed artists of the '80s like Billy Squier. With a solid catalog of albums, how often can one listen to Billy's '80s songs? The answer is All Night Long.

In my rant against people who fixate on Billy Squier's video of Rock Me Tonite and define his career by it, I countered with facts like Squier is one of rock's most sampled artists and has plenty of great non-Top 40 songs like The Big Beat. The backlash of Rock Me Tonite didn't start until after the song was a No. 15 hit in 1984. The next video Squier made after Rock Me Tonite was All Night Long. With a great riff, All Night Long was more rock than pop and only made it to No. 75 on the singles chart. It's video was straight performance and although Billy does his fair share of prancing around the stage, judging from the reactions of many of the female fans in the audience at the Philadelphia Forum videotaping, most did not find Squier's stage moves "gay" unlike the unfair judgment passed on Squier in the Kenny Ortega directed Rock Me Tonite.

While gaining its fair share of airplay on AOR radio in the '80s, All Night Long was the first of four consecutive Squier singles that hit the Top 100 but failed to reach the Top 40 and helped create the whole "the Rock Me Tonite video killed Billy Squier's career" narrative. Still Squier is a constant presence on Classic Rock/'80s-based radio and Rock Me Tonite plays somewhere every day while All Night Long has been forgotten.