Back in 1981, Billy Squier came screaming on to the scene with the classic track, “The Stroke”. This was the song that introduced me to him and kept me a fan all these years. The song did fairly well on the charts reaching #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the song comes from his second album ‘Don’t Say No’ which went on to be a triple platinum selling album.
Now admit it. You have always thought this song was about masturbation, didn’t you? “Put Your Right Hand Out / Give a firm handshake”…always led you to believe that Mr. Squier was manhandling his little…”guitar” for lack of a better word. Ok, I didn’t want to say dick, so there, now I have said it. However, the song is actually not about that at all.
The song is about the Music Business and how it treats it’s talent. How with “the stroke” of a pen, the musician signs their life away and becomes the property of the record label. They promise them the “big break”, get their music everywhere (“spread your ear pollution”) and promise fame and fortune. However, when the hits dry up, the label drops you (“when you’ve found you bled me / slip on by”). And when you look at the song from that perspective it is really a great song…okay…when you look at it the dirty way it is also a great song…either works!
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Disco era Kiss! Does it get any better than that?? Well, yes it actually does. Nonetheless, it was still Kiss and still awesome. I was out at my favorite little record spot and came across a 7″ single of Kiss and of course I had to have it. It was the 1979 single off the Dynasty album called “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”.
The single was only the band’s second Gold single and it went on to sell over a 1 million copies so needless to say, it was a hit. Which proved Gene and Paul correct that during the Disco era, anyone could write a disco song. Speaking of writing, this was the first time Kiss co-wrote a song with Desmond Child and it wouldn’t be the last. It was also Desmond’s first hit he ever had. The song was also written by Paul Stanley and Vini Poncia who played piano on the song and did backing vocals.
The really isn’t much to talk about in regards to the song. Think disco and you know what the song sounds like. You can get up and dance to it and sing along to the catchy, pop chorus. It is simple. One thing I guess I can talk about is that wikipedia has the 7″ single listed at 4:01, but my version has it at 3:57 which might not seem like a lot, but that is a big difference. The song is already cut down from the album version which was at 4:30. Not sure if I have a different version or wikipedia is just wrong.
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