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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

12. Squeeze: Singles-45's and Under

Squeeze's Singles--45's and Under is the first compilation album I've posted on Marc, Turn That Down! I first enjoyed Squeeze thanks to my cousin Kevin back in the early eighties. I remember hearing them on his cassette player while we were competing to see who could stuff the most popcorn into our mouths (the contest proved to be endless since the popcorn melts...the last number I remember was 114 pieces). 45's and Under was released in 1982 and contains hits from the band's first five albums. This includes five songs from the seventies, so it's also the first album spanning two decades.

Squeeze was a U.K. pop band breaking into the music scene during the beginnings of the new wave era. Over the years, the band has gone through numerous lineup changes, but Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford remain the constants. Throughout their lengthy career (which continues even today), they have enjoyed moderate success in the United States, but 45's and Under is packed with tracks that have charted all over the world. Eleven of the twelve songs broke into the top 100 somewhere (with the U.K. Singles Chart leading the way). The only song never to crack the charts is "If I Didn't Love You", which, to me, is one of the better songs on the album.

The album is organized chronologically, beginning with 1978's "Take Me I'm Yours", which showcases the trademark dual vocals of Difford singing an octave lower than Tilbrook. The bubble-gum pop sounding "Goodbye Girl" follows, then two very hip songs "Cool For Cats" (during which, my Sebastian says, "Why does this English guy talk so fast? I can't understand him...too fast for me!") and "Up The Junction". Soon after, we hear a group of their best, "Another Nail For My Heart", "Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)", "If I Didn't Love You", "Is That Love", and the track reaching the highest chart position in the U.S. (from this album), "Tempted". "Tempted" is, I believe, the only song sung by a band member other than Tilbrook or Difford. One time keyboardist Paul Carrack provides lead vocals here (you can also hear producer Elvis Costello in the second verse singing "...The people keep on crowding...").

Squeeze is a band that can be enjoyed in any company, at any time, and this compilation album exemplifies that point. If you've been interested enough to have read this far, you should definitely grab the 2004 DVD Glenn Tilbrook: One For The Road. This inspirational, uplifting documentary follows Tilbrook on his first solo tour around the U.S. in a crumbling motor home. It's wonderful, and it'll draw you closer to the band as you witness Tilbrook's passion for his music and his fans (he even accepts an impromptu invite to play in someone's home). Here, my friends, is the video for 1979's "Cool For Cats". Kudos to the band for making it through the whole song whilst the high-energy Squeeze Girls bounced around in their Squeeze jackets. See you in a couple of days!

2 comments:

  1. I always thought Pulling Mussels was about me....{for Michelle}....get it??!! I love this album; thanks for the post, Marc!

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  2. LOOOOVE this album!! My personal fave is Up the Junction.......I do think you can also hear Elvis C in the backup vocals of Black Coffee in Bed - just sayin :) Keep em coming Marc - love it !! (may I request some Cure please??)

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