Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review

Chicks Dig Squeeze And So Should You

I never thought Squeeze would be a divisive band, but I thought wrong.

Whenever the band appears in conversation, it’s accompanied by a chorus of groans.

According to a certain subset of the population, Squeeze is a girl’s band.

Did the band garner an audience of young women? Of course they did; they were halfway decent-looking young men singing love songs.

But how does that change the sonic validity of a group?

Historically, teenage girls have always been on the cusp of greatness with who gets their fandom.

Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, Duran Duran, Madonna and Taylor Swift all captured teenage imaginations and were partially propelled to stardom because of it.

Now, we socially recognize the legitimacy of some of these artists as important to the fabric of pop-culture, but that was only until they gained a more adult audience.

So, what makes Squeeze different?

They ran in the same circles as Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello, being produced by the former and the latter appearing on 1981’s “Tempted” and “There’s no Tomorrow” and 1982’s “Black Coffee in Bed.”

The Official Music Video for “Tempted” by Squeeze from the Squeeze YouTube page.
Audio for “There’s No Tomorrow’ by Squeeze from the Squeeze YouTube page.
The Official Music Video for “Black Coffee in Bed” by Squeeze from the Squeeze YouTube page.


For all intents and purposes, they ran with a cool crowd and played cool music. But because of their designation as a radio pop band for teenagers, they lost their luster.

I was going through my own record collection, and I stumbled upon my beat up copy of “Argybargy,” the band’s third studio album released in 1980 – and I fell in love.

It was a dollar bin lark because I liked “Pulling Muscles (From the Shell)” — a slightly dirty ditty about naughty diversions at the beach — but I never really listened to it until I pulled it from the stacks.

And goddamn was it good.

With “Argybargy,” the band enjoyed a brief flash of global domination and to quote Chris Jones of the BBC, “If you’re going to own at least one Squeeze album, this has to be the one.”

It’s jazzy, it’s fun, there’s almost a doo-wop flair to the dueling vocals of Glen Tilbrook and Chris Difford and there’s a delightfully working class flair to the stories they tell — even with inconsistent songs — across the board it was a fun listen.

The album did well; they found an audience as young and spunky as their sound and they found their stride – good for them, because other bands would kill for a glimpse of that success.

So yeah, chicks dig squeeze (this chick certainly does) and maybe you should, too.

Perhaps we put too much weight on how popularity affects the “coolness” of something — a prevalent WKNC conversation — but I beg that something is popular for a reason…

You can call Squeeze whatever you want — New Wave, Pop, Airheaded-Teenie-Bopper-Love-Songs — whatever you want, but if the music sounds good and the band is respected by contemporaries, maybe we should respect it, too.

– Bodhi

By Bodhi

Human Dewey Decimal System for all things music and movies, purveyor of useless knowledge.