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Sunday, April 22, 2007

A difficult choice

Over at myspace.com/squeezeofficial they're running a little poll.

What are the five best Squeeze songs?

That's tough. It's like asking what are the five best glasses of wine you've had in your life? I've had so many good ones....

But I like this sort of game, so let's play.

Two are easy for me:

Up The Junction - Hands down, one of the best songs ever written. It's got a story, it's got some wicked images in the lyric, and the music complements it so completely.

Maidstone - The hidden gem of pop music. A throw-away B-side (note to kids: We used to buy small vinyl records that played on a turntable. They had one song on each side, the "single" and the "B-side.") that should never have been thrown away. It combines the best of Difford and Tilbrook: a fistful of chords that drags you into a story, a wistful lyric about young love, and a sense of place. We're so lucky this has been on best-of compilations. It could have been lost forever.

The next three are harder to pick. They're probably more dependent on my background with Squeeze's music.

Another Nail In My Heart - It's New Wave, it's got the octave-apart vocals thing, it's got the country music drunk and lost love thing, it's got Jools playing every key on the piano, how can one group cram so much into one song? They do. Amazing. I remember spinning the Argybargy album, wondering whether the Gs were hard or soft, and listening to this song and knowing that my life was going to be different because of it.

Labelled With Love - It's hard to believe some guys from London could write one of the best country songs ever, but they did. And they didn't even mean to. Chris wrote the lyric, passed it to Glenn, and for some reason he put it to some old honky-tonk--type tune. Love, loss, and drunkenness: you can't go wrong those as your themes.

Electric Trains - For every Squeeze fan, I think what we really want is to be Chris Difford's friend. Really. He writes such interesting words, he must be the most interesting person to sit down and chat with. What he's been through and where he's going just fascinate me.

So Chris lets us in a little to his life and see some of his childhood. It's got the octave-apart thing. A piercingly personal lyric. Soaring music. I could listen to it every day for a million years and not get tired of it.

Anyway, so there you go. Those are my five, what are yours?

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3 Comments:

Blogger H.Sidney said...

as i am a myspace dropout, and i cannot add to this discussion on that forum, ill be the first to chime in here.

heaven
the knack
womans world
another nail in my heart
take me im yours

2-5 in no particular order

honorable mentions too close to call:
separate bed
in todays room
cigarette of a single man
slightly drunk

30 April, 2007 04:20  
Anonymous Steve Casburn said...

Rob: Here are my picks.

Special Mention: "Vanity Fair". Not Difford's finest moment. The music and the idea of this song are both great, and throwing away any sort of regular meter was the right idea, but the lyrics don't deliver on the promise of everything that surrounds them. Having said that, "She poses foot on a chair / Coconut shy but vanity fair" is a pretty and evocative couplet.

5: "F-Hole". It has a compellingly creepy quality that I can't resist.

4: "Is That Love". I love the way Squeeze makes pop songs about reality rather than about dreams and hopes and somedays.

3: "Slap and Tickle". Cheeky.

2: "Cigarette of a Single Man". It would go too far to say that this is "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" set to music, but not ridiculously too far. As a single man myself, "What you got to go home to?" does go through my mind frequently.

1: "Tempted". The cliched choice, yes. But it is one of the great pop songs of our time -- four minutes of perfection.

24 May, 2007 05:10  
Blogger Tom said...

1. Annie get your gun. The greatest power pop ever written
2. Sunday street. I dont understand why this song is so ignored. It is such a squeezy sound with brilliantly complementary melody and lyric.
3. She doesnt have to shave. Frank version is a bit sterile but the Around and About live version is stunningly played - another killer melody
4. Womans world - beatlesque at its best
5. ELectric trains - Archetypal squeeze at thier best

27 May, 2007 12:59  

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