Squeeze

Squeeze

Squeeze are an English band that came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the New Wave period of the late 1970s, and continued recording successfully in the 1980s and 1990s. They are known in the UK for their hit songs "Cool for Cats," "Up the Junction," "Tempted," "Black Coffee In Bed," "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," and "Hourglass." They were far less successful in America, but have a dedicated following there and continue to attract new fans. All of Squeeze's hits were written by band members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford.

The group formed in London in 1974, and first broke up in 1982. Squeeze then reformed in 1985, and broke up again in 1999. The band has reunited for tours through the United States and United Kingdom in 2007 and 2008.

Career

First incarnation: 1974–82

The band's founding members in March 1974 were Chris Difford (guitar, vocals, lyrics), Glenn Tilbrook (vocals, guitar, music), Jools Holland (keyboards), and Paul Gunn (drums). The group played under several names, most frequently "Captain Trundlow's Sky Company" or "Skyco", before selecting the band name "Squeeze" as a facetious tribute to The Velvet Underground's oft-derided 1973 album of the same name.

Gilson Lavis replaced Gunn on drums and Harry Kakoulli joined on bass in 1976.

Squeeze's early career was spent around Deptford in SE London, where they were part of a lively local music scene which included Alternative TV and Dire Straits. The group's early singles and debut EP, 1977's Packet of Three, were released on the Deptford Fun City Label.

Squeeze's first EP and most of its self-titled debut album (1978) were produced by John Cale for A&M Records. However, the debut album's two hit singles ("Take Me I'm Yours" and "Bang Bang") were produced by the band themselves, as the label found Cale's recordings uncommercial.

In the United States and Canada, the band and album were dubbed U.K. Squeeze due to legal conflicts arising from a contemporary American band called "Tight Squeeze". The "U.K." was dropped for all subsequent releases. In Australia, the same name change was used due to legal conflicts arising from an existing Sydney-based band also called "Squeeze". Albums in Australia were credited to U.K. Squeeze up to and including Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.

The band's second album, Cool for Cats (1979), contained the band's two highest charting UK singles in "Cool For Cats" and "Up The Junction", both of which peaked at #2. John Bentley replaced Harry Kakoulli on bass in 1979 following the release of the LP.

Argybargy (1980), the band's third album, was also a UK hit. It was additionally a mild breakthrough in North America, as the single "Another Nail In My Heart" was a #56 hit in Canada, and second single "Pulling Mussels From The Shell" received airplay on US Rock stations.

Keyboardist Jools Holland left the band for a solo career in 1980. Keyboard duties were taken over by highly-rated singer-keyboardist Paul Carrack, a former member of British soul-pop band Ace, who scored a major international hit with the song "How Long." Carrack had also been a member of Roxy Music.

In 1981 the band cut perhaps their best-known album, East Side Story. It was produced by Elvis Costello and Roger Bechirian, and featured Carrack's lead vocals on the radio hit "Tempted". Carrack himself left after the release of East Side Story, and was replaced by Don Snow. This line-up recorded the Sweets From A Stranger LP in 1982. Negative reviews, the stresses of touring, and conflict between band members led Difford and Tilbrook to break up the band later that year, after releasing a final single, "Annie Get Your Gun".

Difford and Tilbrook years: 1983–84

Difford and Tilbrook continued to work together, and released one self-titled album as the duo Difford & Tilbrook in 1984. Although it is not officially a Squeeze album, to many fans Difford & Tilbrook is considered a "lost" Squeeze LP because Difford and Tilbrook were themselves the only constant members of Squeeze. Several Difford & Tilbrook tracks have been featured on officially-sanctioned Squeeze compilations.

The duo also contributed to a musical written and staged in Deptford during this period, entitled Labelled with Love and based in large part on the music of Squeeze.

Second incarnation: 1985–99

Squeeze re-formed to play a one night charity gig in 1985, with all five members from the 1980 Argybargy period -- Difford, Tilbrook, Holland, Lavis, and Bentley. The performance was such a success that the band unanimously agreed to resume recording and touring as Squeeze. Searching for a different sound, the band replaced Bentley with bassist Keith Wilkinson from the Difford & Tilbrook sessions. This line-up released the 1985 LP Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.

The new LP featured complex double-tracked keyboard parts which could not be duplicated by a single keyboard player in a live setting, so Jools' brother Chris Holland played a few gigs as a second keyboardist in 1985. However, Chris Holland was quickly replaced by an official new member Andy Metcalfe of the Soft Boys and The Egyptians. A bassist in those groups, Metcalfe would play keyboards with Squeeze. His tenure as the band's sixth member would last until 1988.

In 1987, the sextet recorded the album Babylon And On. A successful release on both sides of the Atlantic, this album contained the band's only US top 40 hits in "Hourglass" and "853-5937"

Metcalfe left the band in 1988, leaving the Difford/Tilbrook/Holland/Wilkinson/Lavis line-up to record 1989's Frank. The LP was a commercial disappointment that spun off no charting singles in the UK, and the band was dropped from their long-time A&M label.

Adding a new second keyboard player in the person of Matt Irving, the band issued the live album A Round And A Bout on I.R.S. Records in March 1990. Jools Holland left Squeeze again in early 1990, and was not immediately replaced. In his stead, the band used session musicians such as Irving (who was no longer an official band member), Snow, Steve Nieve, Bruce Hornsby and Carol Isaacs for the 1991 release Play, which came out on the Reprise label. This release again spawned no UK hits, although in the US the singles "Satisfied" and "Crying In Your Sleep" received significant airplay on modern rock stations, and in Canada "Satisfied" was a top 50 hit. However, Reprise dropped the band after this one album. Then drummer Gilson Lavis was let go in 1992, and replaced by Nieve's fellow Attractions band mate Pete Thomas. Paul Carrack also returned to the band in 1993, although by this point Squeeze was not so much a band as it was a trade name for Difford and Tilbrook plus sidemen.

Perhaps surprisingly, Squeeze re-signed to A&M in time for 1993's Some Fantastic Place. After a period of commercial decline in the UK, lead single "Third Rail" hit #39, becoming Squeeze's first UK top 40 hit in six years.

Squeeze's lineup during the mid-1990s changed constantly. Though not an official Squeeze member, Aimee Mann was featured on vocals and guitar at many Squeeze shows during 1994. Thomas also exited the band that year, and Carrack doubled on snare and keyboards for a few gigs before session drummer Andy Newmark was brought in. Then - still in 1994 - Carrack left, which allowed keyboardist Andy Metcalfe to return to the band for a short spell, playing on some live dates. Drummer Kevin Wilkinson (no relation to bassist Keith), formerly of The Waterboys, was also added around this time, replacing Newmark. He lasted through the 1995 album Ridiculous, which was recorded by the quartet of Difford, Tilbrook, Wilkinson and Wilkinson. The album spun off three minor hits in the UK: "This Summer", "Electric Trains" and "Heaven Knows". As well, a minimally remixed version of "This Summer" became a #32 UK hit in 1996, a year after the original version peaked at #36. Despite this, A&M once again dropped Squeeze from their roster in late 1996.

Following the release of Ridiculous, Don Snow (now known as Jon Savannah) returned to Squeeze yet again as their touring keyboard player, but by 1997, the Squeeze line-up had officially dwindled down to just Difford and Tilbrook. That year the duo, billed as Squeeze, released the non-album single "Down In The Valley" as a fundraising single for the Charlton Football Club. Tilbrook formed the Quixotic label for this and future Squeeze-related releases, as well as releases by other artists.

For the 1998 album Domino, the band was again a quintet consisting of Difford, Tilbrook, bassist Hilaire Penda, ex-Del Amitri drummer Ashley Soan, and yet another returning keyboardist in the person of Chris Holland. Nick Harper often performed with this version of Squeeze, providing additional guitar and vocals. In January 1999, just days before a planned tour, Chris Difford suddenly announced that he was taking a 'hiatus' from Squeeze. The last venue for Squeeze with Chris was The Charlotte, Leicester, England. The band subsequently continued as a quartet led by Tilbrook, with Jim Kimberley replacing Soan on some tour dates, and Chris Holland exiting in the autumn to be replaced by Tilbrook's other frequent writing partner Chris Braide.

On 27 November 1999 in Aberdeen, Scotland, Squeeze played their final gig before breaking up again. Difford and Tilbrook embarked on separate solo careers shortly thereafter.

Solo years: 2000–06

In 2003 Difford and Tilbrook collaborated on a song for the first time since Domino. The track, "Where I Can Be Your Friend," appeared on Tilbrook's well-reviewed second solo album, Transatlantic Ping Pong. In 2004 the pair worked with music journalist Jim Drury on the retrospective Squeeze: Song By Song. In this book they declared they had become better friends since breaking up the band than they ever were while Squeeze was together.

However, a 2004 attempt by the VH1 show Bands Reunited to reassemble the mid-1980s line-up of Squeeze (Difford, Tilbrook, Holland, Wilkinson and Lavis) ended in failure. While bassist Keith Wilkinson was game and drummer Gilson Lavis expressed some interest, Jools Holland felt he was too busy with current projects to participate, and, crucially, both Tilbrook and Difford expressed reservations about working together in a band context at that point in time.

Still, Difford and Tilbrook's friendship continued, and in December 2005 Difford sat in for a few songs at a Glenn Tilbrook solo gig in Glasgow.

Third incarnation: 2007-present

In early 2007 it was announced that Difford and Tilbrook would reform Squeeze for a series of shows throughout the latter half of the year, in support of Universal and Warner's re-issuing of the band's back catalogue and the release of a new 'best of' album, Essential Squeeze, on April 30th. Jools Holland and Gilson Lavis were unable to take part in the series of shows, as they were touring under the "Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra" name for most of the year. Instead, John Bentley re-joined on bass for the first time since Squeeze's last reunion show in 1985. The rest of the lineup was fleshed out by members of Tilbrook's touring band, The Fluffers: Stephen Large (keyboards) and Simon Hanson (drums).

On 7 July 2007, at the "Return to the Summer of Love Party," at Hawkhurst, Kent, UK, Difford and Tilbrook, each singing and playing acoustic guitars, played a 7-song set of Squeeze classics to an enthusiastic reception. They played, in order, "Take Me I'm Yours," "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," "Is that Love?," "Tempted," "Labelled with Love," "Cool for Cats," and "Up the Junction." The first actual full-band Squeeze show since 1999 took place a week later at GuilFest 2007. They toured the U.S. in August 2007, supported on various dates by Fountains of Wayne, Will Hoge, Big Head Todd And The Monsters, and Cheap Trick.

In November 2007, the band released 5 Live, a live CD consisting of recordings from the American tour. The title referred to the number of people in the band, not the number of tracks on the 19-song CD.

Television appearances and live shows in the US and UK followed throughout 2008, including a headline appearance at Beautiful Days on 15th August.

Band member timeline

1974-1982

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Colors =

 id:lead        value:orange       legend:Lead Guitar
 id:guitar      value:tan1         legend:Guitar
 id:bass        value:gray(0.8)    legend:Bass
 id:drums       value:yellowgreen  legend:Drums
 id:keys        value:powderblue2  legend:Keyboards

Legend = orientation:horizontal position:bottom

ScaleMajor = increment:2 start:1974

PlotData=

 width:20 textcolor:black align:left anchor:from shift:(10,-4)

 bar:Glenn Tilbrook from:01/01/1974 till:31/12/1982 color:lead
 bar:Chris Difford from:01/01/1974 till:31/12/1982 color:guitar
 bar:Jools Holland from:01/01/1974 till:31/12/1980 color:keys
 bar:Paul Carrack from:01/01/1981 till:31/12/1981 color:keys
 bar:Don Snow from:01/01/1982 till:31/12/1982 color:keys
 bar:Harry Kakouli from:01/01/1974 till:31/12/1979 color:bass
 bar:John Bentley from:01/01/1980 till:31/12/1982 color:bass
 bar:Paul Gunn from:01/01/1974 till:31/12/1976 color:drums
 bar:Gilson Lavis from:01/01/1977 till:end color:drums

1985-1999

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Colors =

 id:lead        value:orange       legend:Lead Guitar
 id:guitar      value:tan1         legend:Guitar
 id:bass        value:gray(0.8)    legend:Bass
 id:drums       value:yellowgreen  legend:Drums
 id:keys        value:powderblue2  legend:Keyboards
 id:keys2       value:yellow       legend:Add'l Keyboards

Legend = orientation:horizontal position:bottom

ScaleMajor = increment:2 start:1985

PlotData=

 width:20 textcolor:black align:left anchor:from shift:(10,-4)

 bar:Glenn Tilbrook from:01/01/1985 till:end color:lead
 bar:Chris Difford from:01/01/1985 till:31/12/1998 color:guitar
 bar:Jools Holland from:01/01/1985 till:31/12/1990 color:keys
 bar:Andy Metcalfe from:10/10/1985 till:31/12/1987 color:keys2
 bar:Matt Irving from:09/09/1989 till:31/12/1990 color:keys2
 bar:Paul Carrack from:01/01/1992 till:31/08/1994 color:keys
 bar:Don Snow from:01/01/1996 till:31/12/1996 color:keys
 bar:Christopher Holland from:01/01/1998 till:31/08/1999 color:keys
 bar:Chris Braide from:01/09/1999 till:end color:keys
 bar:John Bentley from:01/01/1985 till:03/03/1985 color:bass
 bar:Keith Wilkinson from:04/01/1985 till:31/12/1996 color:bass
 bar:Hilaire Penda from:01/01/1998 till:end color:bass
 bar:Gilson Lavis from:01/01/1985 till:01/01/1993 color:drums
 bar:Pete Thomas from:01/01/1993 till:31/08/1994 color:drums
 bar:Andy Newmark from:01/09/1994 till:31/12/1994 color:drums
 bar:Kevin Wilkinson from:01/01/1995 till:31/12/1996 color:drums
 bar:Ash Soan from:01/01/1998 till:end color:drums

2007-2008

ImageSize = width:600 height:auto barincrement:25 PlotArea = left:100 bottom:60 top:0 right:50 Alignbars = justify DateFormat = dd/mm/yyyy Period = from:01/01/2007 till:31/12/2008 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal format:yyyy

Colors =

 id:lead        value:orange       legend:Lead Guitar
 id:guitar      value:tan1         legend:Guitar
 id:bass        value:gray(0.8)    legend:Bass
 id:drums       value:yellowgreen  legend:Drums
 id:keys        value:powderblue2  legend:Keyboards

Legend = orientation:horizontal position:bottom

ScaleMajor = increment:2 start:2007

PlotData=

 width:20 textcolor:black align:left anchor:from shift:(10,-4)

 bar:Glenn Tilbrook from:01/01/2007 till:31/12/2008 color:lead
 bar:Chris Difford from:01/01/2007 till:31/12/2008   color:guitar
 bar:Stephen Large from:01/01/2007 till:31/12/2008  color:keys
 bar:John Bentley from:01/01/2007 till:31/12/2008 color:bass
 bar:Simon Hanson from:01/01/2007 till:31/12/2008 color:drums

Discography

Studio albums

EPs

Live recordings

  • A Round and a Bout, March 1990 (UK #50, US #163)
  • Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1999
  • Five Live, November 2007

Compilations

  • 6 Squeeze Songs Crammed Into One Ten-Inch Record (incl. the 2 U.K. Squeeze singles, 3 remixed Cool For Cats singles, plus "Goodbye Girl" live), U.S. 1979
  • Singles - 45's and Under, November 1982 (UK #3, US #47)
  • Classics, Vol. 25, 1987
  • Greatest Hits, April 1992 (UK #6)
  • Piccadilly Collection, August 1996
  • Excess Moderation, November 1996
  • Six Of One... (6-CD box set), October 1997
  • Master Series, November 1998
  • Up The Junction, August 2000
  • Big Squeeze: The Very Best Of Squeeze, June 2002 (UK #8)
  • Gold (retitled North American issue of Big Squeeze), 2005
  • The Squeeze Story, June 2006
  • Essential Squeeze, April 2007 (UK #25)
  • The Complete Squeeze BBC Sessions, September 2008

Singles

Note that the three 1984 singles by Difford & Tilbrook are included on this chart. All these singles have been reissued on various Squeeze compilations, and are retroactively credited on these compilations as being by Squeeze.

Year Title Chart positions
(N/R) = Not released as a single in that country
Album
UK Singles Chart Australia Canada Ireland US Hot 100 US Mainstream Rock US Modern Rock
1978 "Take Me, I'm Yours" #19 - - - - - - U.K. Squeeze
1978 "Bang Bang" #49 - - - - - - U.K. Squeeze
1978 "Goodbye Girl" #63 - - - - - - Cool for Cats
1979 "Cool for Cats" #2 #5 - #8 - - - Cool for Cats
1979 "Up the Junction" #2 - - #3 - - - Cool for Cats
1979 "Slap and Tickle" #24 - - - - - - Cool for Cats
1979 "Christmas Day" - - - - - - - Non-LP
1980 "Another Nail In My Heart" #17 - #56 #10 - - - Argybargy
1980 "If I Didn't Love You" (N/R) - - - - - - Argybargy
1980 "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)" #44 - - - - - - Argybargy
1980 "Farfisa Beat" (N/R) - - - - - - Argybargy
1981 "Is That Love" #35 - - #25 - - - East Side Story
1981 "Tempted" #41 #95 #45 - #49 #8 - East Side Story
1981 "Labelled With Love" #4 - - - - - - East Side Story
1981 "Messed Around" (N/R) - - - - - - East Side Story
1982 "Black Coffee in Bed" #51 - - - - #26 - Sweets From a Stranger
1982 "When the Hangover Strikes" - - - - - - - Sweets From a Stranger
1982 "I've Returned" (N/R) - - - - - - Sweets From a Stranger
1982 "Annie Get Your Gun" #43 #52 - #16 - #40 - Non-LP
1984 Difford & Tilbrook:
"Love's Crashing Waves"
#57
-
-
-
-
-
-
Difford & Tilbrook
1984 Difford & Tilbrook:
"Hope Fell Down"
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Difford & Tilbrook
1984 Difford & Tilbrook:
"Picking Up The Pieces"
'''(N/R)
-
-
-
-
-
-
Difford & Tilbrook
1985 "Last Time Forever" #45 - - - - - - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
1985 "No Place Like Home" #83 - - - - - - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
1985 "Hits of the Year" (N/R) #67 - - - #39 - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
1985 "Heartbreaking World" - - - - - - - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
1985 "By Your Side" (N/R) - - - - - - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
1986 "King George Street" - - - - - - - Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti
1987 "Hourglass" #16 #90 #23 #24 #15 #22 - Babylon and On
1987 "Trust Me To Open My Mouth" #72 - - - - - - Babylon and On
1987 "The Waiting Game" - - - - - - - Babylon and On
1988 "853-5937" #91 - #50 - #32 #37 - Babylon and On
1988 "Footprints" - - - - - - - Babylon and On
1989 "If It's Love" - - - - - - #7 Frank
1990 "Love Circles" - - - - - - - Frank
1990 "Annie Get Your Gun (live)" (N/R) - - - - - - A Round & A Bout
1991 "Sunday Street" - - - - - - - Play
1991 "Satisfied" - - #47 - - - #3 Play
1991 "Crying In My Sleep" (N/R) - - - - - #14 Play
1993 "Third Rail" #39 - - - - - - Some Fantastic Place
1993 "Everything In The World" (N/R) - - - - - #9 Some Fantastic Place
1993 "Some Fantastic Place" #73 - - - - - - Some Fantastic Place
1993 "Loving You Tonight" - - - - - - - Some Fantastic Place
1994 "It's Over" - - - - - - - Some Fantastic Place
1995 "This Summer" #36 - - - - - - Ridiculous
1995 "Electric Trains" #44 - - - - - - Ridiculous
1996 "Heaven Knows" #27 - - - - - - Ridiculous
1996 "This Summer (remix)" #32 - - - - - - Ridiculous
1998 "Down in the Valley" - - - - - - - Non-LP

References

External links

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