Billy Squier achieved his greatest commercial success in the early 80's, but had already been on the contemporary music scene for quite some time (first as leader of the A&M Records act, Piper, and later as a solo artist). His Emotions in Motion album, released in 1982, took him from reliable support act to bonafide arena-sized headliner.
Following that album, Squier began to have trouble with his long time record company, Capitol Records. Although the two parties had a mostly long and fruitful relationship, by 1983 Squier was starting to flex his artistic muscles and to wage battles on behalf of his art. And a big problem developed when he introduced "The Stroke." With its rock anthem chorus of "Stroke me, stroke me" (which label execs, stuffy programmers, and conservative watchdog groups said advocated masturbation), Capitol not only didn't want to service it to radio, they didn't even want it on the 1981 album Don't Say No. "The Stroke" eventually did get on the record, and after getting tested with late night audiences, crossed over to become one of Squier's biggest hits.
But soon after, Squier lost some of his closest his allies at Capitol, and he and the label went in different directions. He released a series of albums through the rest of the '80s and early '90s (Signs of Life, Enough Is Enough, Hear & Now, and Creatures of Habit) but none of them attained the success of Don't Say No and Emotions In Motion. By 1993, Squier had grown disgusted with the music business establishment.
Squier then spent the next two years writing screenplays before moving back into writing and recording new music. He went on to release several more solo albums, and has also toured as part of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band.