Have a squeeze

18:42 : Tuesday, 4 May 2021  | 


30 years ago, UK band Squeeze released their ninth album Play. This album marked a turning point in their career. Having been recently dropped by their long time label A&M (probably for not managing to shift as many copies as their fellow label-mate Janet Jackson), the band were then taken under the wing of US label Reprise.

Their sound also changed. Being in the care of an all-American label, their music was placed in the hands of American producer Tony Berg. This resulted in a less-British sound, if that makes any sense. This seemed to involve Chris Difford's baritone rasp being mixed at a lower level. There were guest appearances from legendary American artist Bruce Hornsby, and even Michael McKean and Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap fame.

In terms of songwriting, things really took off. A new maturity was in operation. Familiar song subjects of course remain, such as greyhound racing, the Sunday stroll in the park, the pub quiz, cheese on toast, and the tax return. All of this coupled with tremendous instrumentation and sleek production. There is so much more to them than just Up The Junction and Labelled With Love.

The CD can be had for a snip these days, while the vinyl edition is a slight more costly. My vinyl copy originated in Germany and was imported to me from France. Until you have obtained your copy (and that is an order!) here are three live renditions for you to enjoy:

Glenn Tilbrook - Letting Go (Anchor and Hope - 25th May 2010)
Squeeze - The Truth (Plymouth Pavilions - 25 September 2015)
Squeeze - Wicked and Cruel (Count Basie Theatre - 22 November 2017)

Squeeze - Play (Discogs - CD/LP/TC)
Squeeze - Play (Amazon UK - MP3/CD/LP/TC)
Squeeze - Play (Amazon USA - MP3/CD/LP/TC)

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