80’s Music: Squeeze

When I think of greatest hits records from the decade, I always think of the Pretenders and Squeeze.  Squeeze featured a Lennon/McCartney-like songwriting team in Difford/Tillbrook.  Their 3rd album was Argybargy. It came in 1980 and its 2 most played songs are If I Didn’t Love You and Pulling Mussels from the Shell.  Pop bliss.

Next up came the Elvis Costello-produced East Side Story, which had Paul Carrack joining the band.  Is that Love is excellent, but it’s Tempted that makes the record a classic. Tempted is one of my 10 favorite songs of all-time.

Their next record didn’t achieve the same highs, but it did have the great Black Coffee in Bed.  Here it is and the single they released on its own, Annie Get Your Gun.

After breaking up for a year, the band reformed in 1985 for Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.  While not as well-received as most of their other records, I like the challenging song cycle they brought to this record.  The production style is a bit dated, but it brings me back to the Paul Young/ABC style it apes.  Heartbreaking World is a beautiful single (check it out, as I can’t find it in video form) and Last Time Forever is almost as good.

Their 1987 Babylon and On was the most successful album the group ever had in America. It’s hit singles were 853-5937 and Hourglass.

My least favorite record by the band is 1989’s Frank, with only Is It Love good, and even this song sounds like a rip-off of themselves.

Finally, here is a brief cover/interview from the Shins doing Squeeze’s Goodbye Girl.

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