Friday, March 26, 2010

Squeeze Returns to the Stage

If you have been looking for a reason to travel across the pond, book your trip for the holiday season. For the first time in a decade, Squeeze is going on tour but, for now, it is only in the UK and only this November and December. No Jools Holland, but the lineup is still stellar: Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford, John Bentley, Simon Hanson and Stephen Large. If you're curious about how they sound these days, as well as more details about the tour, check out the clip above.

Now is as good a time as any to express my feelings about Squeeze. As I mentioned earlier this year, 'Singles - 45 And Under' is one of the best compilations of all time. Squeeze is a great singles band, and they also had a handful of great albums. 'Argybargy' and 'East Side Story' are are must-have records that most know about, but there is one more Squeeze album that, for me, falls into that category.

The underrated 'Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti,' from 1985, was the band's sixth album and the first since reuniting after breaking up in 1982. Difford and Tilbrook wrote the album and were backed by keyboardist Holland, drummer Gilson Lavis and bassist Keith Wilkinson. 'Cosi' sounds completely different than any other Squeeze album. This is not pure pop. It's a moody piece dominated by Wilkinson's bass lines and complex percussion by Lavis. Holland's keyboard arrangements were so intricate it took two people to play them on the road. I'm a big fan of the vibraphone, and the instrument is all over this album. 'Cosi' was not commercially successful. It reached No. 31 in the UK and No. 61 here in America. It spawned six singles, but only one of them charted ("Last Time Forever," No, 45 in the UK). Who cares? For me, this is Squeeze at its best. Here are a few tracks from my favorite Squeeze album.

Squeeze - Big Beng (mp3)
Squeeze - By Your Side (mp3)
Squeeze - Last Time Forever (mp3)

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