Tuesday, January 24, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter D, Part 15)

I wish I was celebrating the solo work of Chris Difford with this post. Unfortunately, I don't have any of those albums on vinyl. I'll have the same problem when I get to the letter T and want to talk up the talents of Glenn Tilbrook... all CD. What I do have in the D section is the self-titled album by Difford & Tilbrook (as well as a 12" single), and it's pure pop worth remembering.

Many call 'Difford & Tilbrook' the lost Squeeze album. To these ears, though, there was a grown-up sophistication to these songs not prevalent on 1982 album 'Sweets From a Stranger,' the last before Squeeze (temporarily) broke up. I think 1984 album 'Difford & Tilbrook' was the bridge between the old sound we all loved and the darker atmosphere to come on reunion album 'Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti' in 1985. I'm not sure how much we owe to producer Tony Visconti for 'Difford & Tilbrook,' but it wouldn't surprise me if it was a lot.

I was looking up the charts today to see how 'Difford & Tilbrook' and the singles from the album fared. I remembered seeing the video for first single "Love's Crashing Waves" a few times in the summer of '84 (when I was watching MTV every waking moment). So I was a bit surprised when I didn't find it anywhere on the Billboard Hot 100. "Love's Crashing Waves" did a little better in the UK, but still peaked at a somewhat anemic No. 57. It deserved a better fate. Let's give the 12" extended remix an airing. There aren't too many of those mid-'80s remix flourishes that sound so bad today. The other song is a non-album B-side with a country tinge. I didn't really remember hearing the song before today, but it's not at all bad for a flip side.

"Love's Crashing Waves" (Extended Remix)
"Within These Walls of Without You"


Rol said...

I've got a few Squeeze albums and some solo records by both Glenn and Chris... but I didn't even know this one existed. Thanks for the tip off.

(I saw Glenn live once. It was a very good gig... apart from one very annoying thing he did. I might have to write a post about that.)

The Swede said...

I'm not sure what the availability situation is now, but I do remember that the 'Difford & Tilbrook' was difficult to get hold of at the time and was deleted fairly quickly by A&M.

Brian said...

Swede, that's how I remember it too.
Rol, been thinking about these two a lot this week. If I'm honest, one of my all-time favorite songwriting teams. Let's hear your story soon.