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Creatures cover

Creatures of Habit © 1991 Capitol Records, Inc.
Produced by Godfrey Diamond and Billy Squier

Billy Squier: vocals & guitars
Bobby Chouinard:
 drums
Jeff Golub:
 guitars
Mark Clarke:
 bass
Alan St. Jon:
 keyboards & synthesizers

Additional musicians:
Kenny Aaronson: lap steel “Facts of Life”
Jimmy Bralower: drum programming “Conscience Point”

Special appearance by Slippery B: “The Rap”/”Hands of Seduction” (motivated by LLPJ)
Additional Grooves: Freddie Bastone
Background vocals and their arrangement: Doug Lubahn, Billy Squier, and Alan St. Jon (the B.A.D. boys)

All songs by Billy Squier except: “She Goes Down” written by Billy Squier / L. McDonald

Recorded and mixed at Power Station, NYC
Preproduction: S.I.R./NYC
Tracks recorded by: Bill Scheniman
Overdubs and mixing: Alex Haas
Additional recording: Steve Boyer and Dave O’Donnell
Chief assistant: Ben Fowler
Additional assistance provided by Victor Deyglio and Dave Asofsky

Mastered at Sterling Sound by George Marino
“Pre-mastering”: Scott Hull / Masterdisk (with relief provided by Lou Reed and Bob Ludwig)

Drum tech and instrument savvy: Artie Smith
Staff: Judy Miller (no assistance necessary)
Capitol A & R: Simon Potts (welcome!)
Management: Tom Mohler / KAOS, Inc…
Thanks here to Kris Haines (we’ll miss you)
Cartage: Musician Express

Front cover illustration: Paul Rivoche
Photography: Mark Weiss / MWA
Art direction: Billy Squier / Tommy Steele
Design: Walberg Design
Billy Squier uses only Ernie Ball Strings

Thanks to Russ Titelman for encouragement down the stretch


Facts of Life 1991
Facts of Life single, 1991

Creatures Of Habit
Now here’s a title that covers a multitude of sins – but for me, it only seemed fitting for my seventh album in nine years. The previous two efforts had been quite laborious, and I was determined to adopt a more immediate, somewhat less precious approach to “Creatures…”

True to the title (don’t remember at what stage of the project I actually came up with it), I moved back into Power Station with the cast of characters that had finished up “Hear & Now.” One noteworthy change was, I had Jeff Golub back in the ‘stage left’ guitar slot. Over the years, he and I have often reminisced about this album producing some of our best collaborations…I was happy to have him back! Sure enough, the project ran quite smoothly, and I didn’t have to mortgage my apartment or sell one of my prized guitars to pay the studio bill. I recall it being a lot of fun.

Jeff came into the band at the start of the “Don’t Say No” tour in ’81. We played a lot together over the next few years, and developed a real instinct for each other’s playing (maybe I should credit Jeff with developing an instinct for my playing). Jeff started out taking a lot of direction from me, but really came into his own as the recordings and tours progressed. He contributed more and more…and as I saw what he was capable of, I tried to avail myself of his particular strengths. We’re different players in many ways, but we’ve always found a common ground in the music. And we formed a close friendship that’s endured to this day.

There’s no real playbook in songwriting, contrary to what you might be led to believe from the incessant deluge of crap regurgitated by the elite class of behind-the-scenes songwriters and their offspring. With “She Goes Down,” I thought I’d stumbled upon a perfect sequel to “The Stroke”—a sexually provocative title masking what, in fact, was an ode to strong women…thereby earning me rock’s coveted x-rating while preserving my credibility as a socially conscious writer. Throw in the big guitar riff…and BINGO—HIT RECORD!

Not. What I thought was close to a sure thing didn’t work out according to plan. Shows you how much I know. I still think it was a good idea, it just didn’t translate at the time. Other songs on the album were less cryptic and more autobiographical: “Lover,” “Facts of Life,” “Four-Letter Word,” to name a few, found me wearing my heart on my sleeve to some extent. This was a somewhat different lyrical approach for me, and I’ve always been happy with the results. Musically, we covered a fair bit of ground – I’m not always sure if this is desirable from a fan’s perspective, but it keeps things interesting for me. Anyway, it still wears well, and I’m looking forward to pulling a few numbers off of “Creatures…” for the summer tour.

Be there.

signature

Lyrics

Young At Heart
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

So you’re out to change the world
You can do it none too fast
You don’t want to see your future
Wash away into the past
Now a change is gonna come
Say it’s written on the streets
But there’s a monkey on your back
Try to put him on a shelf
And you try to find in others
What you hide inside yourself

And you worry ’bout the war
And you try to understand
But forget about tomorrow
When you’re playin’ in the band

Stay young at heart
Stay young at heart
Stay young at heart
Stay young at heart

Now you’ve been around the world
Seen the shape of things to come
You begin to feel the damage
From the crazy things we’ve done
Now the lines are overdrawn
See ’em bleedin’ down your face
And there’s a sore and scary monster
Comin’ after you

Stay young at heart
Stay young at heart
You can’t be too wise
So open your eyes
Stay young at heart

Now you’re weary from the war
But it’s time to start again
And you don’t know what you’re fightin’ for
But you’ll fight until the end
Now forget about the future
Don’tcha try to understand
There’s no need to fear tomorrow
Just keep playin’ in the band

Stay young at heart
Stay young at heart
You can’t be too wise
So open your eyes
Stay young… stay young
Stay young at heart


She Goes Down
Billy Squier/L. McDonald, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

She… walks into your life so effortlessly
Makes you swallow… she go down

She make you look – she’s trouble boy, oh yeah
She’ll take your life into her hands, oh yeah

She goes down – she never gets enough
She goes down – she never gives it up

She… laughs at all the things you pretend to be
You’re a gone boy… she’s the one

She got the look – she’s soul attraction
She’ll lead you out across the line
She got the love that comes in colors
She got the touch that’s hard to find

She wrote the book – spells trouble boy, oh yeah
Run for life – she’ll make your plans, oh yeah

She goes down – she never gets enough
She goes down – she’ll never give it up
Cause she makes you… she go down
Say she’ll take you… she go down

She acts out all your dreams
She’ll be your fantasy
You’re a schoolboy in her arms and
She’ll teach you
She got the love that comes in colors
She got the touch that’s hard to find
She got the gun – she’s got the power
She’ll shoot it up do you dare to try

She makes you… she go down
And she’ll break you… stick around

She goes down – she never gets enough
She goes down – she’ll never let you up
And she’ll take you… she goes down
And she’ll make you… she goes down


Lover
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

I was green in my younger days
Full of plans but not much knowin’
Tried my hand at the game of love
But I was so naive
From the shelter of mama’s wings
Learned to fly but I was broken
By a woman of 25
When I was just 19

Didn’t know where to find myself
The rules they were not so simple
Makes no sense tryin’ to face this world
‘Til you’re old enough to fight

Lover… you’re the reason I’ll be home tonight
Lover… never thought that I would see the light

I was hungry in ’81
For a time I thought I’d found her
Found myself on the road again
Freezin’ from the cold
Fortune found me in ’82
With a girl from way down under
She seemed like the natural thing
I thought I knew for sure

Tried to hold her – I could not see
Past her eyes was a spell unbroken
Battered visions and frozen dreams
That would never see the light

Lover… you’re the reason I’ll be home tonight
Lover… someone told me it comes once in a lifetime
Lover… never thought that I would see the light
Lover… you’re the reason I’ll be home tonight

It’s a long road to salvation
People say nothin’ lasts forever
But when it comes to the bottom line
When I make it I’ll see you there… see you there

Now we’re lookin’ on better times
It seems like a miracle
But I’ll never forget those days
I’m ready now to fight… for you my

Lover… you’re the reason I’ll be home tonight
Lover… someone told me it comes once in a lifetime
Lover… never thought that I would see the light
Lover… you’re the reason I’ll be home tonight


Hollywood
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Heaven… everything you wanted
You know what you came for
Tell me what you got right now
Ain’t it funny… they all come for money
From Maine to Arizona
And a star out on the Walk of Fame

Do you like it… go and shout it
Play it harder… never doubt it

Now in a world of constant change
Nothin’ stays the same
They’ll run you outa here – that’s Hollywood
And though you think you’ll never change
You’re not quite the same
It all seems so sincere – in Hollywood

Winnin’… winnin’ makes you over
The glory days roll by you
You’re leavin’ all the clouds behind
And the losers don’t have much to offer
But they can drag you under
As fast as you can draw the line

And though you’re really not to blame
You fall into your fame
The flames are oh so near… in Hollywood
And when you think you know their game
Somethin’ quite so strange
No one knows you’re here… in Hollywood

So you’re dancin’ on the dotted line
They got you workin’ workin’ overtime
It’s a shame – shame – shame

You can’t fight it… don’t deny it
You can’t hide it
The way you do the things you do
They say that some things never change
The plot remains the same
No one wins out here… in Hollywood
And though you think you’re not to blame
You fall into your fame
Flames are oh so near… in Hollywood
And with the real world out of range
Can you make the change
And walk on outa here… that’s Hollywood


Conscience Point
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Freedom rider… though you’ve tried
Words are not enough for you now
It’s hard on your pride
I can’t find you… though I know you
You are just a step out of line
Come closer to me

When the lines are drawn
And no one comes to break us down
And the walls that stood between us
Tumble to the ground
It’s time to find someone to run to

I’ve got a place in mind
It’s known as Conscience Point
It’s where the clouds roll by
They say that nothin’ really matters
I’m goin’ out to find
Why people come this way
And leave the past behind
Because there really is a reason

Changing faces… trading places
Nothing lasts anymore
It’s hard when you try
Star-crossed lovers run for cover
I don’t know if it’s right
But I know how I feel

When you’re tired of all those things
You never said before
And although you’ve tried
You never opened that door
It’s time to find someone to run to

We’ll run the roads tonite
We’ll go to Conscience Point
I look into your eyes
You say that nothin’ really matters
If I could change your mind
If you would look my way
And leave it all behind
You’d know you really mean so much to me

When you’ve tired of all those things
You’ve never done before
And you never took the time
To fall in love before
You’ve got to find someone to… yeah

We’ll run the roads tonite
We’ll meet at Conscience Point
I’ll look into your eyes
And know that somethin’ really matters
‘Cause we can change our minds
And we can find our way
And leave it all behind
‘Cause you really mean that much to me

Conscience Point… take a walk with me
And put it all behind
We’ll make some history


Nerves On Ice
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

You don’t need the papers to read between the lines
And you don’t need the grapevine to say what’s on your mind
Hangin’ on the corner in the opera of the street
Eyes of imitation on everyone you meet
Dance to the music – sing to my song
Come to the party and bring your friends along

Roll over… get down
Gonna make you… right now
So heavy… so nice
We’ll put your nerves on ice

I been to the banker and I been to see the queen
Six of seven wonders have I made out of my dreams
I could be a junkie – I could be like you
We could be together… then what would we do
Life for the takin’ is just outside your door
Time is the one thing that no one can afford

Listen…
Roll over… right now
Gonna make you… get down
So heavy… s’all right
We’ll put your nerves on ice

Don’t let them bring you down
Don’t let them turn you upside down
Only the strong survive
And no one here gets out alive

Call for the doctor – you can call out for a priest
But you can’t take it with you when they’re taggin’ your disease
There’re no easy lessons – and there’s no guarantees
But you can go the distance – be what you want to be
Stand where you’re able… leave with your pride
Come to the table and throw down for your side

Roll over… get down
You’re gonna like it… and how
So heavy… so right
We’ll put your nerves on ice

Don’t let them bring you down
Don’t let them turn you upside down
Don’t think twice
Nerves on ice
Don’t let them bring you down
Don’t let them leave you on the edge of town
Don’t think twice
Nerves on ice


Hands Of Seduction
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Love… it’s that one big step you take
Eyes… watchin’ every move you make
When the fear lifts you up… you won’t back down
Be careful what you say
Beware of the dark… they’ll steal your heart away

It’s illogical… psychological
It can change your world – make it all work out
So illogical…

Hands of seduction… hands of seduction
Hands of seduction… workin’ workin’ overtime
Hands of seduction

Crimes of the heart are hard to take
Lies can’t defend your first mistake

When you’re vulnerable… it’s improbable
You can face your world… make it all work out
You’re so vulnerable…

Hands of seduction
Creepy fingers through your mind

Hands of seduction… hands of seduction
Hands of seduction… workin’ workin’ overtime
Hands of seduction

It’s illogical… psychological
It can change your world – make it all work out
So illogical…

Hands of seduction… know the secrets in your mind
Hands of seduction
Hands of seduction… workin’ workin’ overtime
Hands of seduction

So you say you owe the sands of time
If you don’t look now your life won’t lie
Jack and Jill conquered the hill
But even still they had to pay the bill
For their father’s sins
Like a poor boy… you just can’t win
In the hands of the devil there’s double trouble
You got it comin’… no use in runnin’
Now I’ve always known there’s a price you pay
Like when I see you babe
I wanna take you all the way… all the way
To a place you’ve never known
Beyond your heart… beyond a home
Way beyond your shame
Your hands seduce me


Facts Of Life,
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

These are the golden years
When people do what they want
And you can be one of them
‘Cause you’re old enough to burn

So you earn your star – you run from the pack
Sell the clothes from off of your back
And you’ll go far – you’ll never look back
Your dreams can never die

Welcome to the facts of life

Life on the edge of town…
No one could get near you
But one day you call to them
When they find you where it hurts

You can fall so far you never come up
All you’ve got is never enough
And just one word can make it so tough
Your dreams were not so wise

You’re runnin’ through the facts of life

Oh you’re runnin’ from the facts of life
Oh you’re runnin’ from the facts of life
Oh you’re runnin’ from the facts of life
Oh you’re runnin’ from the facts of life

The first time I saw you
You were untouchable
You walked on the poet’s heels
No one could deny you

Now you’re lookin’ for better things
Someone to get close to
A song everybody knows
When you find out what it’s worth

And you come so far you’ll never turn back
The stones they throw – they roll off your back
They make it hard – you like it like that
Your dreams will never die

When you go so far you’ll never turn back
The stones they throw – you throw ’em right back
They play so hard – you like it like that
Our dreams become our lives
No more runnin’ from the facts of life

No more runnin’ from the facts of life
No more runnin’ from the facts of life
No more runnin’
No more runnin’
No more runnin’ from the facts of life


(L.O.V.E.) Four Letter Word
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

L-O-… whaddo I know
V-E-… she’s not comin’ back to me
L-O-… I can’t let go
V-E-… tell ya what that girl don’t mean to me
So you see my friend… love is just a four letter word

Once there were schoolyards with children at play
Once there was England… and one sunny day
One kinda woman for one kinda man
How could I know I was not in her plans

Say love… say love…
When I was soarin’ you urged me to fly
When I was hungry you fed me your lines
Led me to water… you sang me your song
One day when I woke up I found you were gone

Say love… say love…
Say love… say love…
Nobody told me… love is just a four letter word

L is for losin’ the love that you crave
And O is when it’s over and your heart can’t explain
V is for the victim… the victim of the crime and
E is every morning when you break down on time
So you see my friend… love is just a four letter word

L-O-… I can’t let go
V-E-… friends all say just let it be
L-O-… oo-oo
V-E-…

Forget your illusions… forget what they say
‘Cause all your dreams of happiness have just blown away
Once in a lifetime your spirit will fly
That’s what she told me ‘fore she told me goodbye

Love… say love
Love… say love
So you see my friend… love is just a four letter word

L is for losers when fortune turns blue
And O is overcomin’ what you know to be true
V is for the vengeance that’s left out in the rain and
E is each and every night you crumble in pain
So you see my friend… love is just a four letter word
So you see my friend…
I say “Stop – don’t say it”
So you see my friend… love is just a four letter word

L-O-… whaddo I know
V-E-… she’s not comin’ back to me
L-O-… I can’t let go
V-E-… tell ya what that girl don’t mean to me

We’re just the victims of the powers that be


Strange Fire
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

What’s that sound… this poundin’ in my head
The beat’s so loud… got me tossin’ in my bed
I been avoidin’ it for too long
I can love ’em and leave ’em
Then I can’t go wrong
But that kinda love don’t get you too far
Leaves you out by back door

It’s a strange strange fire
Burns me when I’m touchin’ you
It’s a strange strange fire
It’s a strange strange fire

What’s that sound… this ringin’ in my ears
The beat keeps poundin’… now my time is drawin’ near
Gotta get on with this emotion
Got my back to the wall
Your devotion makes me…
Cry like a baby… and I can’t let go

It’s a strange strange fire
Burns me when I’m touchin’ you
It’s a strange strange fire
It’s a strange strange fire
Standin’ on the edge of…
It’s a strange strange fire

I been watchin’ you… I found out where you sleep
I hear the names you call… and the company you keep
It’s an endless fight
For an endless love
Now I’m reachin’ down inside
Gonna find out what I want

It’s a strange strange fire
Burns me when I’m touchin’ you
It’s a strange strange fire
It’s a strange strange fire
Standin’ on the edge of…
It’s a strange strange fire

It’s a strange strange fire
It’s a strange strange fire
It’s a strange strange fire
Burn me baby It’s a strange strange fire


Alone In Your Dreams (Don’t Say Goodbye)
Billy Squier, © 1990 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

I saw you last night… alone in your dreams
You were so peaceful there… or that’s how it seemed
But something is wrong… you feel it inside
No one can reach you there… but still you can’t hide

‘Cause dreams never lie
You can’t if you try
It’s not often easy to wake up… sometimes
Don’t say goodbye… don’t say it’s over
Don’t say goodbye to the dreams of our love
Don’t say goodbye… keep dreamin’ for us

A shot in the dark… like ships in the night
So we’re both older now… well that’s all right
‘Cause visions live on where memories have died
We’ve walked that road before… we’ll get there this time

Now I know you tried
You tell me that you’ve had enough
You think it might be easier to just give up

Don’t say goodbye… don’t say it’s over
Don’t say goodbye to the dreams of our love
Don’t say goodbye… lean on my shoulder
Don’t say goodbye… keep dreamin’ for us

Tell ya baby… I can’t stop thinkin’
‘Bout all those times you walked on out that door
Now I don’t want you… say I don’t need it
But I’ll never – no never… let you go

Don’t say goodbye… and don’t look back
Don’t say goodbye to the dreams of our love
Don’t look back… and don’t say why
Don’t turn back… keep dreamin’ for us

Don’t don’t oh yeah
Don’t don’t say why
Keep on dreamin’
Keep dreamin’ for us