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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suburban Bliss, 17 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
Ignore the official reviewer's championing of their hits album. East Side Story is very special. Squeeze had managed to ditch their early pop bombast and sound confidently at ease on this disc. Difford and Tillbrook's songwriting moves to where it's firmest; suburbia. Tiny snapshots of English life, teenage tears, middle-aged angst, old ladies living on memories, fumbling sexual liasons and hard decisions; it's all here. Like country and western but from an objective eye and with strong beaty tunes to back it up. As British as a bus shelter on a wet afternoon but far more enjoyable.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tempted to but it? You should., 6 Dec 2002
By 
N. D. Kearsley (Sutton Coldfield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
Lennon and McCartney, John and Taupin, Jagger and Richards... Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook follow in the long line of great English songwriting partnerships. Never was their craft so finely demonstrated than on their 1981 opus "East Side Story". Since 1978 they had released an album a year - the song quality improving each time. Before this was recorded they lost Jools Holland to a TV career but this led to a happy fringe benefit - the arrival of Paul Carrack. It is he who sings the lead on arguably their finest and certainly their most admired song "Tempted". But there is much more to enjoy besides this perfect pop nugget. "Picadilly" evokes the heady evenings around the West End of London including a taxi cab ride through Soho presumably heading back to their native Deptford, "Vanity Fair" contains some of the best lyrical rhymes Difford ever came up with (screw loose - pineapple juice) and "Is This Love" and huge hit "Labelled With Love" are no slouches either. The only (relatively minor) drawback is the presence of the faintly annoying "F-hole". The diamond in this bagful of gems is the brilliant "Woman's World". I am firmly of the opinion that there wasn't a better feminist pop song throughout the 80's.
Buy it and improve your world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New to Squeeze? Start With This Album!, 29 Mar 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
I was turned on by Cool For Cats as a young teenager, catching the very different sound, and the weird modern lyrics.(for early eighties Denmark, this sounded pretty advanced!!)
But if you're looking for a place to start, check out this record.
The smooth sound of Paul Carrack on "Tempted"'s worldclass!!!
Enjoy!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably their most complete album, 8 Jan 2011
By 
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
Had to point out the nonsense by the official review that states Carrack wrote Tempted - utter tosh!!!! You can actually hear Difford/Tilbrooks demo on Eccess Moderation - clearly not as good but most definately written by them. And F-Hole leads into Labelled with Love not Tempted!

That out of the way, In my opinion Squeeze wrote two very "complete" albums This one and "Play". Play was a really great album but released years later when they couldn't get arrested but well worth searching out. This one was released at their peak and contains the hits Tempted, Is That Love and Labelled with Love. This sums up the theme but this is no slushy love theme but a wonderful observation of the frailties of love both lost found and forbidden.

The great crime was this album was released with no lyric sheet as was the previous albums before it. This I cannot understand as the lyrics were fabulous if you could work them out -try keeping up with Piccadily!

Womans World is a real gem with its look at the drudgery faced by all mums that take the role of the housewife.

Vanity Fair -is a beautifuly arranged piece with just an orchestra - perhaps the sequel to She's leaving Home?!

Above all I love the tunes and am a big fan of Tilbrook and his ability to let Diffords words come to life is such a sympathetic and suitable way.

I have to say I miss the character of Jools Holland and the keys definately take a back seat compared to previous albums. Also the production is a little light i would have liked a bit more balls particualrly with the great drumming which is not high enough in the mix.

In summation a good solid album that really sounds like it is an album instead a collection of songs. I personally think Argybargy is the essense of Squeeze but this one is probably a more complete listening experience. Where's the deluxe version though? I would love to hear this remastered properly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no other!, 1 Mar 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
The epithet "perfect pop" is often overused, but in this case it fits exactly.

Difford & Tilbrook brought us, in their fourth studio album, a record of such lyrical and musical accomplishment that it's difficult to see how it didn't spawn half a dozen top-ten singles, instead of the one it unbelievably only did manage.

Of the three singles contained, only one made any significant impact on the charts at all - the lovely, rolling, melodic "Labelled With Love". Stuffed with poignant, witty lyrics, teasing us with rhymes that don't arrive (you'd think that after using the word "mittens", followed by the word "cat", we were all set for the mention of "kittens", but no!), its country-ballad sound echoed earlier classics such as "Goodbye Girl" and "Up The Junction" in that it was simple enough and tuneful enough to hit exactly the right spot. But the other two were woefully overlooked by the public at the time: the superb rocking, up-beat foot-stomper "Is That Love?" hardly tickled the top-40; while the classic "Tempted", their best-known number in America, didn't even make it that far.

But this is a surprise in a record packed with numbers that most bands would kill to include in their own back-catalogue. Why on earth the beautiful "Woman's World" wasn't chosen as a single, for instance, I have no idea; and "Piccadilly" sounds just as fresh and bouncy now as it did then - it brings a huge smile to my face every time I even think about it. In fact, I'm going to be bold and make the claim that there wasn't one single song on "East Side Story" that wasn't brilliant. A couple of reviewers have criticised "F-Hole" for letting the side down, but while I didn't like it when I first bought the album (years ago), I find these days that it's actually quite interesting, hypnotic even, and fits with the whole idea of experimentation that the band were obviously exploring at the time.

My only criticism of this edition of "ESS" is that the bonus tracks don't add anything. They're not really on a par with the original playlist, and you'd want your extras to add "something extra" to the package. But this is hardly a reason not to love the album. In fact, I can't think of any reason not to love the album.

You'd be mad not to buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars East is best, 22 April 2008
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
'East Side Story' was a surprise success. Considered by some in 1981 as the best album of that year, albeit against less competition than usual, it ranks as the band's best album. Their moment appeared to have passed, their commercial peak having been 'Cool For Cats.' There had also been two personnel changes, but the important Difford/Tilbrook writing partnership was still intact. Squeeze had fitted neatly into the new wave atmosphere with their Beatle-influenced pop and streetwise Cockney Carry On lyrics. They were able to adapt because of a fashion for retro 1960s pop with a touch of soul, but mostly because they always had good quality songs.

On 'East Side Story' they retained their humorous and melodic elements, while widening the scope of their approach and putting more groove into their music. The revered 'Tempted,' for instance, is a more mature song, not instantly commercial, but one which crawls under your skin with its soulful plod and nerve-probing lyric. 'In Quintessence' sets off like Booker T & The MGs while 'Mess Around' ventures into rockabilly, another revived form of that era. Oddly, the first single and most instant, 'Is That Love,' failed to take the charts by the scruff, but the country ballad, 'Labelled With Love,' did. Elsewhere, the band experiment a little with songs like 'Heaven' and 'There's No Tomorrow,' with an approach reminiscent of XTC. Otherwise, the album is full of bright hooks, especially on 'Piccadilly' and 'Woman's World.' Even the bonuses are worthwhile, ending with the rousing 'Looking For A Love.' This is first class British pop.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The past has been bottled..., 13 Oct 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
...and labelled with love.
It sure has. At least four of Squeeze`s greatest songs are here: Tempted, and the afore-quoted Labelled With Love, along with one of their most beautiful, Vanity Fair, its gorgeous orchestral arrangement by Del Newman, and the superb Is That Love?
With its two bonus tracks, this is yet another stunning set of songs from the finest post-60s pop/rock band. (In hindsight, I honestly think there`s never been a more consistently brilliant group in British rock history. They are our Steely Dan or Crowded House.)
Tempted is sung by occasional Squeeze member Paul Carrack, with his tremendous voice like a smoother Paul Rodgers - and there can be no higher praise. It`s a number to die for, and Carrack sings this gift of a song with all the taste and soulfulness at his considerable command (with Tilbrook singing a few lines too). You`ll want to play it again immediately, then again just to be sure you`re not dreaming. Yep, it is that good.
Labelled With Love is similarly beyond praise, their `country` song. It`s sung by the utterly wonderful Glenn Tilbrook, the best British singer since Lennon in his mid-sixties heyday, in my opinion. How to sufficiently praise or adequately describe this man`s wanton, expressive, joyous voice? That`ll have to do.
Someone Else`s Bell is another tremendous song on an album packed with `em. As another reviewer has pointed out, this is a little like a Greatest Hits, such is its overall excellence. Chris Difford`s always scintillating, invariably surprising lyrics are a marvel, and the band play these glorious songs with pitch-perfect wit and aplomb.
I love Squeeze - had you noticed? - and I love this album. If you haven`t heard this remarkable band yet, also look out for the albums Some Fantastic Place, Play, Ridiculous, Frank, Cool For Cats...and all the rest. An excellent 1-CD compilation is Essential Squeeze.
It`s all essential, though - labelled with love...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album!, 24 Jan 2011
By 
C. P. Whiting "G Moonwalker" (Ipswich, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
I have to concur with the other positive reviews relating to this album, I own a copy on vinyl and it is superb - probably my most played Squeeze album (and I do own several others). Paul Carrack brings a new dimension to the band and goes some way to fill the gap left by a certain Julian (better know these days as "Jools") Holland on keys. The album goes well beyond the more familiar tracks that you will find on the numerous Squeeze 'Best Of' collections, such as Labelled With Love, Tempted and Is That Love. An enjoyable album to listen to. If you have a collection of Squeeze's hits, like what you hear and want to listen to more of their stuff, this is one of the albums I'd suggest you go for. Its one of the cheaper ones to pick up second hand (on vinyl) and probably one of their best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Tempted' to say this is one of the best albums ever produced..., 19 Oct 2010
By 
Hannah Stringfellow "Squeezefan4ever" (York, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
If you don't own/haven't heard this album, buy it! Seriously, you will not be disappointed. It is often described as 'Squeeze's finest hour' and no wonder, it is a true masterpiece, and is probably my favourite album of all time. Every song is amazing, from the classic, worldwide known hit 'Tempted' {HOW did it only reach number 41 in the charts!!!}, to the beautiful and touching 'Labelled with Love' and 'Vanity Fair'. The contrast between songs also makes every song unique, from the melancholy 'There's no Tomorrow' to the fabulous 'Someone else's Bell'. Buy it, or you will regret it! x
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And she might not be all there, but her dream's are vanity fair, 13 April 2010
By 
A. Willard (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: East Side Story (Audio CD)
Squeeze never quite made the mark they could and should have. They made some great singles but their albums were generally not strong enough. Except for this one - this one is their masterpiece.

Chris Difford was a wonderful, witty lyricist and here he pulls out all the stops. There are songs about infidelity and being alone in old age, but the best songs are about being young and growing up in London in the late 70's and early 80's (which I did). Songs about first dates, curries, stumbling into the wrong pub, drinking too much, hangovers; there's even a great song about that horrible sweaty feeling of realising you've `pulled' a wrong `un (`F-Hole'). The song `Vanity Fair' reminds me so strongly of a girl I used to know, I actually find it quite difficult to listen to.

Glenn Tilbrook backs it up with some good tunes and some good vocals, oh and of course there's Paul Carrack's number `Tempted', which is a great song, but somehow doesn't belong.

People compared Difford/Tilbrook to Lennon/McCartney but to me they're a south London version of the Kinks, and I can think of no finer compliment to pay than that. A great album.
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East Side Story
East Side Story by Squeeze (Audio CD - 1998)
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