Thursday, February 25, 2010

Squeeze



2-25-10 Squeeze

I certainly never collected the group Squeeze in the 80’s; I guess I relegated them to being a group that I only needed a “best of” LP / CD. Lately, I have been having good luck with their UK 45’s, so I am a bit more interested in them now.


7" ANOTHER NAIL IN MY HEART / PRETTY THING A&M UK AMS 7507

1980 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7" BLACK COFFEE IN BED A&M UK AMS 8219

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo – 6 minute A-side!

7" CHRISTMAS DAY / GOING CRAZY A&M UK AMS 7495

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, white vinyl

7" GOODBYE GIRL / SAINTS ALIVE A&M UK AMS 7398

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

10" HEARTBREAKING WORLD A&M UK AMY 291

1985 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" IF I DIDN'T LOVE YOU A&M US AM-1616-S

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, 5" disc

7" LABELLED WITH LOVE A&M UK AMS 8166

1981 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

CD MILLENNIUM COLLECTION A&M US 213338.2

2006 12 TRK Collection; 'Singles 45 & Under'

7" PULLING MUSSELS (FROM THE SHELL) A&M UK AMS 7523

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, red vinyl

7" PULLING MUSSELS (FROM THE SHELL) A&M US AM-2247

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP SINGLES - 45 & UNDER A&M NZ L 37955

1982 12 TRK Collection

7" TEMPTED / TRUST A&M US AM-2345

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD U.K. SQUEEZE A&M US 3185.2

1978 12 TRKS ('95 issue) debut

7" UP THE JUNCTION / IT'S SO DIRTY A&M UK AMS 7444

1979 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo


I would really like to find their “Cool For Cats” A&M UK 45! Never saw or heard their debut, “Packet of Three” on the Deptford Fun City label. Would love to find a copy!


I remember reading about how Difford & Tilbrook were being compared to Lennon & McCartney. Um, not quite. Always rather amused about how Jools Holland has hosted many TV shows in England for ages.


A&M seems to have hosted a number of bands over the years that inevitably get ‘past their prime’, Squeeze being an example. All those late 80’s albums are never more than $1 or $2. I don’t remember the label change – to Warners / Reprise? Wherever they went, it didn’t happen.

Still, very very good band. British pop music of a fairly high order. Good singing, playing. Nicely produced. Lots of picture sleeves, some colored vinyl. A few gimmick releases (the 5” single, for instance).

4 comments:

REVO said...

I never cared much for Squeeze. The only track I really liked by them was "Take Me I'm Yours" from their debut album produced by John Cale (though not this track). I remember when the "UK Squeeze" album got serviced as a red vinyl promo at my high school radio station. The station director smashed it into pieces and made a collage on the walls with the pieces of this "punk" record. He later ended up a Squeeze fan, as I recall. They were just too drab for me with all of that shiny, dynamic and contrived post-punk in the air at that time.

As good as Lennon/McCartney? Well, they're about as boring as Lennon/McCartney to me, so no, I have no problem with that assessment on the aesthetic level. As successful as Lennon/McCartney - never. Those guys were first out of the "rock" starting block and due to their being in the right place at the right time, no one else will ever be as successful.

Brian Ware said...

I've always appreciated Squeeze. Really solid tuneful songs, and having played a few of them I totally respect their composing skills. "Tempted" is certainly one of my all time favorite songs. Also bonus points for doing their own Stars on 45 medley called "Squabs On Forty Fab".

There was always that Split Enz comparison - great melodies, both on A&M, colorful graphics and marketing, and of course their albums usually right behind Split Enz when browsing the record bins.

I confess I didn't really follow them as they trucked on through the 90s, but quite a few bands fell through the cracks at that point. Part of the fun of the 00s and beyond is tracking down all that stuff inexpensively now and listening at a more leisurely pace.

Ron Kane said...

"Leisurely pace", indeed! My thoughts exactly. In the 80's, I was so busy with Australia and New Zealand...I didn't have time for commercial UK stuff. I have always had the "Best Of" LP from Squeeze, but am now enjoying finding their 7" UK singles.

REVO said...

Mr. Ware.

Wise to point out the proximity factor between Split Enz and Squeeze. That reminds me of back when I was trying to finish off my Visage collection. I would always run across records by The Virgin Prunes.

After a while I couldn't help but notice that some of these records looked like Visage records. So after a few years, I figured, what the hell, and bought some. I figured that unheard post-punk couldn't be that bad, right? They were amazing, extreme records! Much more left field and aggressive than Visage, in spite of Gavin Friday's resemblance to Steve Strange.

http://991.com/newgallery/Virgin-Prunes-Love-Lasts-Foreve-116801.jpg

If I had to make any comparisons, it would be to Associates. At their harshest, the Prunes were comparable to the extreme, air-frying sound to be found on "Fourth Drawer Down" while Friday's post-Prunes career has resembled the latter portions of Associates vocalist Billy MacKenzie's artistic path, at least the cabaret-styled segments of it. Friday has nothing on MacKenzie as a vocalist, however! MacKenzie could literally entrance you by singing the phone book. Thank goodness, his extensive vocal gifts were coupled with a perverse, headstrong artistic vision which saw him usually taking the clean, difficult way instead of the easy option. Which only happened once with the tepid "Wild & Lonely" album.

At least I had the good fortune to see Gavin Friday perform in Orlando once (at the Sapphire Supper Club). Good lord, he could have taught Bowie a thing or two about presence and staging!