Tell the Truth header

Tell the Truth cover

Tell The Truth © 1993 Capitol Records, Inc.
Produced by Mike Chapman

Produced by Mike Chapman
Recorded and mixed by Kevin Shirley, C.M.S.
Tracks recorded at Magic Shop, Clinton & the Power Station
Overdubs: Electric Lady, Magic Shop, RPM & the Power Station
Mixed at Second City (Glen Cove L.I.) & Electric Lady
…recorded in New York City

Assistants: Hal Belknap, Jenni Bette, Neil Dignon, Suzanne Dyer, Derrick Garrett, Marc Glass, Mike Krowiak, Robert Smith, Angelo Valensisi, Joe Warda, Michael White …& Joshua Shirley

Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk

Billy Squier: electric & acoustic guitars, Rick 12,vocals
Jeff Golub:
 guitar, classical guitar & dobro
Matthew Smith:
 guitar
Steve Conte:
 guitar
Carmine Rojas:
 bass, fretless bass
Laura McDonald:
 bass
Lonnie Hillyer:
 bass
Mark Clarke:
 bass
David Palmer:
 drums
Tony James:
 drums
Bobby Chouinard:
 drums
Chuck Kentis:
 keyboards & synthesizers, organ, all else (Lovin’ You Ain’t So Hard)
Alan St. Jon : ARP solo, piano, keyboards & synthesizers
Jim Yaeger: synthesizers
Mike Chapman: psycho-synth
…& featuring a near-appearanace by Charlie Drayton

Background vocals & their arrangement: Kyf Brewer & Steve Conte (alias “Ropey” & “Dicky”) w/ Billy

Additional musicians & singers:
Baby Floyd & Robin Clark – backing vocals “Not a Color”
Lisa Fisher – guest vocal “Time-Bomb” (appears courtesy of Elektra Entertainment, Inc.)
Sammy Figueroa – percussion (appears courtesy of messidor musik GmbH, Frankfurt am Main)

Pre-production: Musician Express (sorry to see you go)
sonic assistance in the first degree: Artie Smith

Capitol A & R: Simon Potts

Management: “Colonel” Tom Mohler / KAOS, Inc.
Supreme assistant to Mr. Squier: Judy Miller
Legal beagle: Barry Slotnick
High Finance: Art Robbins

Cover concept: Billy Squier
Art direction: Tommy Steele
Design: Andy Engel
Photography: Ron Slenzak

All songs written by Billy Squier

Copyright ©1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Thanks in advance to Hale Milgrim & the staffs at Capitol Records & CEMA Distribution


Billy and Simon 1993
Billy and Simon, 1993

This CD (sadly, there were no more LP’s at this point) is significant for several reasons. It marked the end of my long-standing relationship with Capitol Records, and the first time I deliberately set out to put together a specific band for each song. (I did use other musicians extensively on “Hear & Now,” but that was more a result of scheduling conflicts and not a premeditated change in my approach to the project.)

By the time of this release, I was on my fourth label president. He’d had no connection with my previous successes at Capitol and was clearly intent on putting his own imprint on the label. This was sadly indicative of the direction the business has turned over the last two decades – artists (and I use the term loosely) were chosen for what they could deliver in the moment, which generally meant following up on a current trend. Pedigree or past success were irrelevant. 

As I was to find out upon delivering “Truth” to the label, this project was dead in the water from the start. I was told by the new “resident genius” that although this release was the best product the label would be releasing over the course of the following months, they would do nothing to support it. In effect, what he was saying was, “I want you off this label to make room for my agenda.” Subsequently, “Angry” (the first radio release) received the most adds of ANY release in my history, after which Capitol buried it by refusing to advertise in any medium (including the all-important MTV). So, an ironic tip of the hat to Gary Gersh for single-handedly driving me out of the music business. I mean really, who’d want to put up with this shit? Under the heading, “Turnabout is fair play,” Gersh was summarily fired shortly thereafter, having led the label directly to the bottom of the charts

As for the music, “Truth” has always been one of my favorites. First off, it was produced by Mike Chapman, an immensely talented fellow with a list of writing and producing credits as long as your arm. Mike was a huge asset, and we worked together extremely well. Engineer Kevin Shirley brought a very direct, in-your-face sound to the studio that, while somewhat different to my previous records, really fit the order of the day. As for the musicians themselves…talent abounds. Jeff Golub came up with the idea of trying out his buddies in Rod Stewart’s band. I’d liked Tony James since having him out with Maggie’s Dream on the Hear & Now tour. Similarly, I’d been impressed by Steve Conte’s work with Company of Wolves, discovered while mixing King Biscuit with Gary Lyons (Gary produced the Wolves for Polygram way back when). Others popped their heads in from time to time and the results were anything but boring. 

As I got to know the players individual styles, I put groups together that I felt would best suit each track. The results speak for themselves – “Truth” has a unique energy and feel unlike anything I’d done before. Of course, the original band turns in some characteristically fine performances on titles such as “The Girl’s All Right” and “Breakdown.” Oh yea, one more thing: not only did we mix and match players, we also moved studios regularly to take advantage of different acoustic and technical possibilities … quite a switch from the days when I’d move into Power Station for months on end. Never a dull moment!

“Tell The Truth” was sadly overlooked in its day. I hope that by featuring it here, we can give it a little bit of the attention it deserves. I’ll always remember it as a significant part of my recording career.

signature

Lyrics

Angry
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Get your master key… open up your doors
Set your servants free… they won’t come no more
Wrapped my life in chains… gave me everything
Learned to feel no pain… now every day I wake up

Angry… angry I said
Angry… angry I said

You pack me in your car… you drive my life away
But you only go so far… won’t take me all the way
I tried so hard to please… take my place in line
Begged you on my knees… now all I got makes me

Angry… angry I said
Angry… angry I said

Your mantle’s ’bout to fall
Your grip’s gonna come undone
Nobody hear you call… no flowers from anyone
I’m gettin’ down off the rack… I’m takin’ this baby back

I’ve wasted too much time
I’m gettin’ down off the rack
I’m packin’ up all my crimes… and I ain’t comin’ back
Your mantle’s ’bout to fall… your mantle’s bound to fall
No heaven after all… no heaven after all

Angry… no heaven after all
Angry… no one to break your fall
Angry… no heaven after all
Angry… no heaven after all


Tryin’ To Walk A Straight Line
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Are you lookin’ for adventure… are you lookin’ at me
Are you gettin’ enough… do you wanna break free
Look over your shoulder… you’re one step older
I said to myself, “Self, there must be more than this”
I wanna know… gotta step back from the fast-track heart attack
Can you stand up tall… you know it’s not an easy thing

Tryin’ to walk a straight line

Would you get up and fight when it all goes south
Would you dare to be right in the shadow of doubt
Resist temptation… face the nation
Can you know what you know… and still say ‘no’
C’mon… gotta get smart – make a new start – do your part
Turn it inside out… you know it’s not an easy thing

Tryin’ to walk a straight line

See the future walk past… now she’s too daze gone
And the first will be last… sing that same sad song
Behave your voice… behave your ass
Get into your cult… be good to yourself
Turn it inside out… you know it’s not an easy thing

Tryin’ to walk a straight line


Rhythm (A Bridge Too Far)
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Rhythm, rhythm… rhythm, oh-oh
Rhythm, rhythm… rhythm, oh-oh

It’s the rhythm of the changing tides
Or the stars against a moonless night
When two bodies move as one
It can bring you back where you belong

To the rhythm, rhythm… rhythm, oh-oh
Rhythm, rhythm… rhythm, oh-oh

It’s the changing of the day to night
It’s the color of the grass in spring
When you’re wrong it’s tryin’ to make it right
You can be just what you want to be

Feel the rhythm… rhythm, rhythm
Rhythm… rhythm, oh-oh

Now I have travelled far
To wrap my world around you, oh-oh
And I have lingered on
To find the colors of my rainbow
Now I have soldiered on
To build a bridge between us, oh-oh
And I have lingered long
To find the colors in your rainbow

It’s the color of the grass in spring
Or the stars against a moonless sky
When two bodies move as one
When two lovers groove on
You can be what you want to be
You can be most anything

Feel the rhythm

Now I have travelled far
To build a bridge between us, oh-oh
And I have lingered on
To find the colors in your rainbow
You turn me on… you tear me up
You tear me up… you turn me on
You turn me on… you set me up
You set me up… you turn me on


Hercules
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

I can’t stop… it always gets the best of me
I can’t stop… been holdin’ out so long
I can’t stop… whenever you get close to me
I can’t stop… I’m really not that strong

I don’t wanna grow apart
I don’t wanna drift away
I don’t wanna come apart
We can surely find a way

Now I don’t mind lookin’ at the photographs
I find myself holdin’ back the tears
And I don’t mind when I read the words you wrote to me
‘Cause I got time to silence all my fears

I don’t want us torn apart
I don’t wanna slip away
I don’t want us torn apart
Give me just another day

I don’t wanna throw it all away
I don’t wanna lose my hold
I don’t wanna throw it all away
I don’t wanna lose my…

I can’t stop holdin’ back the memories
But Hercules is not my middle name
Walls will fall and you’ll be standin’ next to me
And Hercules will never be the same

I don’t wanna fall apart
I don’t wanna fade away
I don’t wanna fall apart
Give me just another day

I don’t wanna throw it all away…


Lovin’ You Ain’t So Hard
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Oh… it’s all clear to me now
Oh, oh-oh… it all comes through to me now

Sleep-walkin’ through a frozen dream
Wakin’ up from a fantasy
Where happiness got the best of me
Those dreams only go so far
Some people have a place inside
Where you can run, but you just can’t hide
‘Til one fine day I put my fears aside

‘Cause lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Turn on your light… now I won’t go far
‘Cause lovin’ you ain’t so hard

Love… it’s not easy to know
Sometimes… it’s so hard to let go

Many times I tried to walk away
Listened long to what my friends would say
Only to find out at the end of the day
They’d taken me just so far
No more wanderin’… I’m almost home
Only a fool would walk this earth alone
When he could have your smile to call his own

Now lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Turn off your light… now I won’t get far
‘Cause lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Lovin’ you ain’t so hard

You cast your light out of the shadows
You spread your light in front of me
You cast your light out of the shadows
Shadow me

Lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Turn on your light… now I won’t go far
‘Cause lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Turn off your light… now I won’t get far
‘Cause lovin’ you ain’t so hard
Lovin’ you ain’t so hard…


Time-Bomb
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

There once was a young boy… a modestly done boy
Who seemed pretty normal on sight
Wantin’ for nothin’… wantin’ for somethin’
But mama made everything right
Inside her protection he learned of rejection
By a world that was not quite his own
He took his reward in a double-edged sword
Now the poor boy is always alone

He built himself a time-bomb
A ticking, talking time-bomb
It’s about to explode under me
His world is like a time-bomb
A walking, talking time-bomb
It’s about to explode under me

Now off on a new day… alone in her own way
A young girl waits by the phone
Longin’ for daddy… she’s missin’ him badly
She knows that he’s not comin’ home
So down by the levee… her heart weighin’ heavy
She knows that she’s got to break free
She falls when she sees him… she knows how to please him
They can’t see the woods for the trees

She built herself a time-bomb
A walking, talking time-bomb
It’s about to explode under me
She’s sittin’ on a time-bomb
A ticking, talking time-bomb
It’s about to explode under me

You gotta have faith late into the night
If there’s another day… try to make it right
Find another way… shine another light

So now they’re both older… their world growin’ colder
And nothin’ appears as it seemed
They look to their future… and the wound that they nurture
And try to hold on to their dreams
This terrible twosome have really been through some
Scenes that they both know by heart
Memories that jail them… support that has failed them
And they laugh but it tears them apart

We’re sittin’ on a time-bomb
A ticking, talking time-bomb
It’s about to explode under me
This world is like a time-bomb
A walking, talking time-bomb
It’s about to explode
The world is like a time-bomb
A ticking, talking time-bomb
We’re sittin’ on a time-bomb and it’s about to explode

I see the enemy and he looks like me
I see the enemy and he looks like me
Looks a lot like you – looks a lot like me
Looks a lot like you – looks a lot like me


Stranger To Myself
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

I don’t know where I’m goin’
But what I’m leavin’ behind… I already know
Run… the streets have no ending
But what I’m hopin’ to find… I just can’t ignore
I live to be strong… I want to be king
But I act so unwise – look how foolish I’ve been
When time after time I try to be me
But I look down inside – it’s the stranger I see

Stranger, stranger… stranger to myself
I was born on the other side of life, I’m just a
Stranger, stranger… stranger to myself
Never thought I’d ever cry
Never thought we’d ever be denied

Why are my thoughts so uncertain
Will I ever unwind this damage I’ve done
It’s a fight – it’s your life – it’s not over
Can you look at me now and show me I’m wrong
For once in my life I want to be good
But I’m playin’ the bad boy much more than I should
When time after time I try to explain
Those voices inside… they’re callin’ out again

Stranger, stranger… stranger to myself
I was born on the other side of life, I’m just a
Stranger, stranger… stranger to myself
Who’d have thought we’d ever hide
Who’d have thought we’d ever be denied

Now don’t ask me why… I don’t really know
But sure as I’m breathin’ I’ve got to let it go
The eyes of a man see the world of a child
The door it lies open – won’t you step inside and see the

Stranger… stranger to myself
I was born on the other side of life, I’m just a
Stranger… stranger to myself
Who’s to fall if you won’t try
Who’s to fall if you won’t try… you won’t try… you don’t wanna try
Stranger to myself


The Girl’s All Right
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Got myself a woman… or I should say I try
To keep the faith ‘fore it gets too late
Hold her down when she wants to fly
Always tryin’ to tell me how it ought to be
And if I treat her right then she won’t be the end of me
I don’t know why
She cast my life in shame
But every time she walk I seem
To fall down on my honor

She’s got rhythm… rocks me to my soul
Hey!… the girl’s all right
She’s got rhythm… steers me when I roll
Hey!… the girl’s all right

What’s she tryin’ to say… does she ever hear me at all
Every day there’s somethin’ that she wants
Tells me things that I can’t recall
Nails me down – she’s a hammer
Can’t see no way out
Of all the things you can run these days – you can’t outrun the mouth
I don’t know why
At times she can go on
But if by chance we meet I know
With her it won’t be wrong

She’s got rhythm… rocks me to my soul
Hey!… the girl’s all right
She’s got rhythm… scares me, then I know
Hey!… the girl’s all right

Sometimes I fail to notice… sometimes I play too rough
But when I feel I’m losin’ her
Well then I’ve had enough
Knows my limitations and she always calls my bluff
I take back what I said tonight

She’s got rhythm… rocks me to my soul
Hey!… the girl’s all right
She’s got rhythm… scares me, then I know
Hey!… the girl’s all right


Break Down
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

I found your note this mornin’… I didn’t want to know
I locked the doors around me and tried to let it go
But I think back to yesterday… to when I had a home

And I… oh-oh I break down
Oh-oh I… oh-oh I break down

I wish it could be different… and we hadn’t gone so far
And I could show my weakness… then you wouldn’t be so hard
Every time you walk away… now I fall down and I crawl

Oh-oh I… oh-oh I break down
Oh-oh I… oh-oh I break down

Catch me, I’m fallin’… I believe I’m fallin’
Catch me, I’m fallin’… right down
Catch me, I’m fallin’… I believe I’m fallin’
Catch me, I’m fallin’… right down

I’m scared to let you hold me… I’m scared to let you go
I’m scared that you might know me… in a way I’d never know
Every night I steal away… but comin’ back’s so hard

Oh-oh I… oh-oh I break down
Oh-oh I… oh-oh I break down

Catch me, I’m fallin’… believe I’m fallin’
Catch me, I’m fallin’… right down
Catch me, I’m fallin’… hear me I’m callin’
Catch me, I’m fallin’… right down

Right down


Not A Color
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

Hey brother the sky is fallin’
Hey brother it all comes down
Soul-searchin’ amongst the ashes
There must be some way out of this old town

Sin-sister don’t curse your neighbor
No tellin’ (when) she might be you
Soul sister you’re not the only
Lonely girl who’s left with nothin’ to lose

Saw my future in yesterday
Someone told me it won’t be long
Turned my future in yesterday
Think it’s time that we move on

Love’s not a color… what does it matter to you
Love’s not a color… what would ya do if I were you, would ya do it

Hey brother your streets are burnin’
Loose talkin’ and the work’s all gone
Hey brother we best be learnin’
Don’t make it right doin’ somebody wrong

Soul sister I feel your sadness
Soul sister it hurts me too
Soul sister I share your anger
We got to make some peace between me and you

Heaven knows – not an easy thing
It’s not somethin’ to laugh about
Heaven knows – not an easy thing
Take my hand got to hold on

Love’s not a color… what does it matter to you
Love’s not a color… what would ya do if I were you, would ya do it
Not a color… what does it matter to you
Love’s not a color

Open your eyes to the sky and the mountains
Learn how to fly – I can take you anywhere
Lift your voice through the sounds of silence
Yeah… yeah… yeah

Not a color… does it matter to you
Not a color… does it matter to you


Mind-Machine
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

I saw you for the first time yesterday
You looked at me but somethin’ wasn’t right
A face I thought I’d come to know by heart
Now hidden by a mask with no reveal
Just when I thought I knew you

I can feel no pulse inside your mind machine
I can feel no pulse… you stripped my senses clean
i can feel no pulse… there’s just your mind-machine
I can feel no pulse… you broke my mind-machine

You say that you got feelin’s just like me
You prove it as you throw me out the door
I’m reelin’ from your sensitivity
Is this the shape of better things to come
I’m frightened for the future

I can feel no pulse inside your mind machine
I can feel no pulse… you stripped my senses clean
I can feel no pulse… there’s just your mind-machine
I can feel no pulse… you broke my mind-machine

Inside your world it’s cold and blue as ice
Where no one speaks and no one need reply
To questions that I’ve asked a thousand times
No answer to the riddles that you keep
It must be hard to be you

I can feel no pulse inside your mind machine
I can feel no pulse… you stripped my senses clean
I can feel no pulse… there’s just your mind-machine
I can feel no pulse… you broke my mind-machine


Shocked Straight
Billy Squier, © 1993 by Songs Of The Knight (BMI)

And so the knife comes down… another curtain falls
And no one hears the sound… and no one takes the call
From me and my anxiety… alone in these four walls

I come to you now I’m alone… with my defenses down
I tell you everything I need… I get down on the ground
I only know that when I go… that I’ll be back again

Shocked straight – doctor can you get my medicine
Shocked straight – doctor can’t you see the shape I’m in
Shocked straight – doctor when you gonna let me in

If I could listen to my mind and keep the world outside my door
But time has opened up my eyes and shown me somethin’ more
Now all I want is to be free… and get up off the floor

Why can’t you look into my heart… why can’t you ever let me know
You’re always takin’ me apart… you’re never lettin’ go
There’s always somethin’ on your mind… this ain’t reality

Shocked straight – doctor can you get my medicine
Shocked straight – doctor can’t you see the shape I’m in
Shocked straight – doctor when you gonna let me in
Why you be so hard
Why you be so hard
Why you be so hard

I know it’s gonna take some time for me to straighten out my head
To say what’s on my mind… to hear those words I said
And while I’m tryin’ to learn to feel… you keep on tellin’ me

Shocked straight – doctor can you get my medicine
Shocked straight – doctor can’t you see the shape I’m in
Shocked straight – doctor when you gonna let me in
Shocked straight…
Shocked straight…
Shocked straight…when you gonna let me in
Why you be so hard
Why you be so hard
Why you be so hard