Thursday, March 19, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 76)

76. "Some Fantastic Place"
Artist: Squeeze
Year: 1993

We all loved Squeeze. By this time, however, I imagine there are quite a few of you out there that had given up on the band. For me, I threw in the towel with the release of 'Babylon and On.' Man, I didn't like that one. I won't deny there were a couple of fine moments on 'Frank' and 'Play,' but I didn't find that out until years after their releases. This is the song that brought me back into the fold. "Some Fantastic Place" is a very personal song about an old friend (I think she was called Maxine) Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook knew from their earliest days together. She was Tilbrook's first girlfriend, and the one that made him answer Difford's ad put up in a shop window requesting a guitar player influenced by the Kinks, Velvet Underground and Glenn Miller. She passed away from leukemia, and this beautiful song is a moving tribute to her and her optimistic view, especially in the face of such a grim prognosis. I find this one quite uplifting. So, I'm including all of the lyrics below.

'Some Fantastic Place' was the first album without Gilson Lavis. In his place on drums was Pete Thomas from the Attractions. Jools Holland was absent as well, but Paul Carrack made a triumphant return on keyboard for the first time since 'East Side Story.' Difford and Tilbrook have gone on record that this is their favorite Squeeze song. Oh, and for those of you that did lose track of Squeeze, you might be surprised to learn both Difford and Tilbrook have put out some excellent solo albums this millennium.

She gave to me her tenderness
Her friendship and her love
I see her face from time to time
There in the sky above

We grew up learning as we went
What a voyage our life could be
It took us through a wilderness
Into the calmest sea

Her smile could lift me from the pain
I often found within
She said some things I won't forget
She made a few bells ring

So simple her humility
Her beauty found in grace
Today she lives another life
In some fantastic place

She showed me how to raise a smile
Out of her bed of gloom
And in her garden sanctuary
A life began to bloom

She visualized a world ahead
And planned how it would be
She left behind the strongest love
That lives eternally

I have the hope that when it's time
For me to come her way
That she'll be there to show me round
Whenever comes that day

Her love was life and happiness
And in her steps I trace
The way to live a better life
In some fantastic place


1001Songs said...

Beautiful song. And yes, the album's actually among their best. Love "Third Rail" too.

The Swede said...

A song that effortlessly overcomes lyrics that might appear clunky if written and sung by anyone else (eg 'Whenever comes that day'). Here, every word is perfect. Beautiful.

McPop said...

Love Squeeze and this song is fantastic! I think Argybargy and East Side Story are their best proper albums but I still have a soft spot for Singles 45s and Under. It was my first exposure to the band and listened to that cassette over and over during the summer of '83.

By the way if you haven't heard it they have a great song called "Maidstone" which I have on a 2 disc compilation and I think it was a non album track but it's really good!

friend of rachel worth said...

Chris Difford's debut solo lp is especially good

Uncle E said...

Love this song. Unfortunately this and its parent album came out after the band peaked and was kind of ignored. Shame.

Brian said...

Fellas, first off, thanks for chiming in. I didn't think anybody would care about this one. Second, yes, yes and more yes. I have lots to agree with here.

FORW, I Didn't Get Where I Am was one of the albums I was thinking of when I said I liked their solo albums a lot.

McPop, Singles 45 and Under is one of the most important collections from my childhood. I bet there are a lot of us that say that. There is absolutely no filler on Argybargy and East Side Story. In fact, my favorite songs from those albums weren't even singles. Anyway, they are both in my top 3 Squeeze albums. The somewhat dark and forgotten Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti would be right there too. "Maidstone" doesn't sound familiar, but I'm going to look into it as soon as I'm done here.

1001 Songs and Uncle E, Pleased to hear you stuck with the band longer than most. Third Rail is great. Do you know If It's Love from Frank? If that was just a few months younger I would have considered it for this list.

Swede, What a vocal delivery! You're right. Could be clunky if sung by someone else.

george said...

Brian, never heard this before, or any Squeeze after about 1984. But this is a great pop song. Not that the dog or cat in this room are showing ANY interest at all!

Brett Alan said...

1001Songs kind of beat me to it, but much as I like this, "Third Rail" (which directly follows it on the album) is the finest Squeeze song of the 90s, and up there with their best ever.