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Maybe the ‘Heirs to Lennon/McCartney’ Thing Didn’t Work Out, But Squeeze is Terrific

Here is the beginning of what Wikipedia says about Squeeze:

Squeeze are a British 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”, “Labelled With Love”, “Black Coffee In Bed”, “Another Nail in My Heart”,”Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” and “Hourglass”. Though not as commercially successful in the U.S., Squeeze had American chart hits with “Tempted”, “Hourglass” and “853-5937”, and they have a dedicated following there and continue to attract new fans.[1] All of Squeeze’s hits were written by band members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, with the former penning the lyrics and the latter handling the composition. The duo were hailed as “the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne” during their peak of popularity in the early 1980s.[2] Continue Reading…

AllMusic, as usual, had an insightful essay:

As one of the most traditional pop bands of the new wave, Squeeze provided one of the links between classic British guitar pop and post-punk. Inspired heavily by the Beatles and the Kinks, Squeeze was the vehicle for the songwriting of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, who were hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne during their heyday in the early ’80s. Unlike Lennon and McCartney, the partnership between Difford and Tilbrook was a genuine collaboration, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter providing the music. Squeeze never came close to matching the popularity of the Beatles, but the reason for that is part of their charm. Difford and Tilbrook were wry, subtle songwriters that subscribed to traditional pop songwriting values, but subverted them with literate lyrics and clever musical references. While their native Britain warmed to Squeeze immediately, sending singles like “Take Me I’m Yours” and “Up the Junction” into the Top Ten, the band had a difficult time gaining a foothold in the states; they didn’t have a U.S. Top 40 hit until 1987, nearly a decade after their debut album. Even if the group never had a hit in the U.S., Squeeze built a dedicated following that stayed with them into the late ’90s, and many of their songs — “Another Nail In My Heart,” “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” “Tempted,” “Black Coffee In Bed” — became pop classics of the new wave era, as the platinum status of their compilation Singles 45’s and Under indicates. (Continue Reading…)

The band’s website is here. Above is Cool for Cats and below is Up the Junction.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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