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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Piper - 1977 Can't Wait
Piper - 1977 Can't Wait

ALBUM: Can't Wait
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2008, American Beat, 24882 (2 on 1 'Piper' and 'Can't Wait')


LINEUP: Billy Squier - lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, percussion * Alan Nolan - guitars, backing vocals * Tommy Gunn - guitars, backing vocals * Danny McGary - bass, backing vocals * Richie Fontana - drums, percussion, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can't Wait * 02 Drop By And Stay * 03 See Me Through * 04 Little Miss Intent * 05 Now Ain't The Time * 06 Bad Boy * 07 Comin' Down Off Your Love * 08 Anyday * 09 Blues For The Common Man


We all remember 80's rocker Billy Squier for his exploits during that decade. Eric in a previous review of Squier's former band Piper, were given a write-up in our 1976 section. Piper didn't die on the vine for just one album. No, they did kick on for a second set called 'Can't Wait' and died on the vine after that. However, we've decided to cover this second LP just to be the eternal completists that we are. A&M did give this band a big promotional push, but the debut didn't really have the songs nor the right production to send Piper into the big time, despite one critic labelling it one of the best rock debuts ever released in the U.S. Err yeah.. right.. Perhaps he forgot about a certain 'other' band from Boston who also released an album in 1976 which changed the course of melodic rock forever. Anyhow, 'Can't Wait' musically sounds marginally better than the debut, and overall the songs appeal to me just a bit more, but that's not really saying a lot.

The Songs
If you compare the real contenders in 1977, Piper were just in behind, their songs were good but not great. To really get the best out of this album, you really have to sit down with it and give it some time. It's gritty styled power-pop combined with some radio friendly jingle-jangle. The songs crank up eventually, as evidenced on the opening pair of 'Can't Wait' and 'Drop By And Stay'. As you work through the playlist, you're kinda hoping Piper will kick into high gear, but they don't quite make it. Perhaps we are unfairly biased because most of us are familiar with Squier's later solo material. 'Now Ain't The Time' heads off into rural territory, while 'Bad Boy' sounds totally inoffensive and kind, despite being one of the better tracks here. However, the award for best track goes to 'Comin' Down Off Your Love'. Now this is more like it! If the entire album had sounded like this, then it could've been one of the best albums of 1977! 'Blues For The Common Man' is energetic stuff, like Status Quo and the Rolling Stones bumping into each other in the parking lot!

In Summary
Ever the optimist, Squier could see a dead-end coming up with Piper, and ditched the band soon after. His solo career beckoned in 1980, and Capitol Records invested heavily with a string of LP's, hitting paydirt with 'Can't Say No', 'Emotions In Motion' and 'Signs Of Life' all selling by the crate-load, though you'd have to say his video for the 1984 track 'Rock Me Tonite' proved to be his death knell as a recording artist.

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#1 | Nick C on September 27 2015 11:20:23
I was (am) a huge Squier apreciatee (yes I can and do make up words!), when I first got the Piper albums on vinyl years ago I was a little unsure whether I was into them or not, but it didn't take too long for them to become indespensible to me. Eventually bought the 2 on 1 CD, I wonder if I kept the vinyl (at work so can't check!). But both great albums - I'd struggle to choose a fave between them. Bizarre timing here with mention of the video that supposedly killed his career as the exact same thing was mentioned on Planet Rock the other day although they didn't mention what video it was....unless I missed it, they had just played Everybody Wants You so I assumed it was that.
#2 | reyno-roxx on September 27 2015 11:32:17
I have always leaned more towards liking the debut record more than this one. They were better live, as a radio broadcast vinyl promo album I own proves (not a King Biscuit show, but something similar). Casablanca passed on signing Billy Squier. The book on the label reveals why.
#3 | Nick C on September 27 2015 11:49:58
Yeah I read that part - the lyrics to The Stroke I always thought were a tad odd in their perspective, and there was an interview I read where he got a bit touchy about the pronunciation of his second name.
#4 | Eric on September 27 2015 13:27:23
I saw Squier open for Queen and he was OK. I think their influence creeped into a lot of his work. 'The Stroke' included.
#5 | jefflynnefan on September 28 2015 00:08:39
First time I ever heard of Piper was by Paul Stanley in a old issue of Rock Scene. He said Squier was going places and later Billy proved him right.
#6 | Nick C on September 28 2015 05:47:53
Just watched the video for Rock Me Tonight...oh dear, can't believe I've never seen it before. I still can't fault most of his music even on his less successful albums. Tell the Truth being a personal fave. Pity he retreated from the public eye (forcibly or not) after it's release. Only Happy Blue released since, which is another album I really like with it's stripped down acoustic feel. Go Billy!
#7 | englandashes on September 28 2015 23:07:11
Yes, first time for me also, and the last time, what was he thinking, Even I have got better moves than Billy. Was he auditioning for Fame?
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