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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squeezed full of tunes
When I was a kid, I remember buying 'Up The Junction' on 7" mauve coloured vinyl with 'It's So Dirty' on the B-side. Fast forward to the present day and I hear that this is Lily Allen's favourite song.

The songwriting partnership of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are quintessentially English in their writing which is typically about kitchen sink dramas. We...
Published on 2 May 2007 by Richard

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent
There are quite a few compilations available touting the wares of this unfashionable South London rock group, who were named after the Velvet Underground's largely unloved final album of 1973. This career-spanning budget overview from 2006 tries to distinguish itself from that crowd with an 'essential' tag. Does it live up to that boastful adjective?

The first...
Published 8 days ago by S. Bailey


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squeezed full of tunes, 2 May 2007
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This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
When I was a kid, I remember buying 'Up The Junction' on 7" mauve coloured vinyl with 'It's So Dirty' on the B-side. Fast forward to the present day and I hear that this is Lily Allen's favourite song.

The songwriting partnership of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are quintessentially English in their writing which is typically about kitchen sink dramas. We have a great British tradition of this sort of thing ranging from: Ray Davies/The Kinks, Paul Weller, Morrissey and Blur etc.

This compilation has a really crisp clear sound to it, which brings out fully, the hooks melodies and harmonies of the band. It also has two previously unreleased tracks that have been lovingly remixed by Glenn Tilbrook.

This is 100% freshly 'squeezed' pop perfection, so I guess you could say that "the past has been bottled and labelled with love" straight onto this one cd 'Best Of'.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNDERATED GEMS FROM DEPTFORD, 29 Feb 2008
This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
Squeeze - a great band with supreme songwriters and a live reputation second to none. They slogged their way accross the UK and most of America in the late 70's & early 80's. Most of the record buying public didn't even realise they were still releasing albums throughout the late 80's and 90's. The quality of their albums went up whilst their sales went down. Harsh but true.
But of course that is not the whole story. This compilation goes a long way to redressing the balance and highlights not only the major hits - Up The Junction, Cool For Cats, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted - but also the quality of later singles such as Last Time Forever, Some Fantastic Place and This Summer. Songwriters Difford & Tilbrook were masters of many genre's and could effortlessly handle soul, rockabilly, Beatlesque pop, country and powerpop.
The songs on this compilation are all remastered and the sound quality is pristine - Is That Love, Pulling Muscles From A Shell and Black Coffee In Bed still sound wonderful a full two decades later.
The only complaint i have with Essential Squeeze is that the Big Squeeze compilation did the same job and added a few extra key tracks that are missing from this release - where are Electric Trains and Footprints ? - plus it also had all the key b-sides - but for sound quality alone this is great stuff.
To summarise - if you like your pop/rock with brains, great lyrics and big Beatlesque melodies then Squeeze will be a revelation.

cw
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 1 May 2007
This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
One of the best bands this country has ever produced and certainly one of the most underated. Although they have now produced probably more greatest hits albums than original albums this is worth getting if you are new to Squeeze to hear their varied material, great lyrics and tunes. This also has two unreleased tracks which are great to listen too. They will be releasing all their old albums during this year so worth getting those too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some fantastic, 14 Oct 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
A mere half dozen reasons why this is one of the best Best Ofs you`ll ever hear:
Labelled With Love... Tempted... Up The Junction... Another Nail In My Heart... Is That Love... Black Coffee In Bed... Loving You Tonight... ah well, never was that good at maths. Some other tempting reasons might be Cool For Cats, Annie Get Your Gun, Some Fantastic Place, Goodbye Girl, Last Time Forever, Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)... just typing the titles fills me with intense pleasure, such is the lustre of these tremendously good songs.
There are a generous twenty tracks to lose yourself in, from the early synth-soaked Take Me I`m Yours (I wouldn`t have begun with this downbeat Chris Difford-sung number, but they never ask me to compile these things) to later delights which include a blissful, too little known charmer, sung with soulfulness to spare by sometime member Paul Carrack, the gorgeous Loving You Tonight. He also sings most of Tempted, one of Squeeze`s finest songs, as is the miraculous Labelled With Love. I`d go so far as to say that if you don`t like these last two, then something must surely be seriously lacking in your make-up.
Over exactly 75 minutes the band prove their entitlement to the crown abdicated by the Beatles a few years before Squeeze formed in London, that of the best British pop group of their time - except by then pop had become rock. They came out of the same rich melting-pot as Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Madness and the rest of the pub-rock crush, which also included Costello and Dr Feelgood as honorary members. So much talent, bursting to be heard! Dury was a wordsmith of genius, as is Costello, but so is Difford, and as for great vocalists, Glenn Tilbrook was and is not only one of the most scintillating singers Britain has thrown up, but a writer of tunes to die for. His intricate melodies to Difford`s lyrics are of an incredible consistency. They truly are the Lennon-McCartney of their day - and they`re about to tour again as I write!
This single-CD compilation is a terrific taster for anybody who hasn`t heard much of this wonderful band. And then you`ll want to get hold of Cool For Cats, East Side Story, Frank, Play, Ridiculous, Some Fantastic Place...
You lucky people!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb blast from the past, 24 Jun 2010
By 
s "s" (north west) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
I watched Squeeze far too many years ago at the Liverpool Royal Court.Three things stood out,the amazing voice of Glenn Tilbrook,the amazing Jools Holland on Piano and then the appalling language from Jools that continued throughout the entire concert!The music has stood the test of time because the quality of the band shines thro' on every track.This album is at a giveaway price,worth every penny and i just hope Squeeze carry on entertaining in their own unique,quirky way that wants you to hear them time and time again.It's wrong to highlight individual tracks 'cos the whole CD is great.I especially enjoyed hearing the tracks as they were.In recent times,the band has twiddled with the songs,which is fine but it's nice to hear them as they were originally played.Buy & enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 27 Mar 2010
By 
R. Clegg "Rockin Rob" (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
Never really appreciated hwo good this band were till recently + how many great songs they have to their name. Timeless clasics !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for your ears. Pop Music Like it Used to be., 9 Sep 2011
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
Squeeze. Nothing complex, just straight down the middle pop music - and the very best of that genre.

"Cool for Cats" and "Up the Junction" can still be heard on oldies radio stations on a regular basis, but there is more too. Squeeze carried on making pop singles in the classic style well into the 90s and noughties. A shame that some more of their offerings from that period (such as "Electric Trains") are not featured here. However, we do get the perfectly formed "This Summer" from 1995 - a classic of its type, and it would have been a worldwide top seller if it had been released ten years earlier. As it was, it charted low down briefly - it was all but lost in the incoming rush of various kinds of dance music.

On this album you've got most of the singles, hits and otherwise. I highly recommend "Black Coffee in Bed", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Tempted" and my all time Squeeze favourite "Pulling Muscles (From the Shell)". Lyrical imagery coupled with catchy tunes and spot-on arrangements. If "Labelled with Love" doesn't make you just a teeny bit choked up, then you have no soul!

Bands like Squeeze - who made classic pop songs by the barrow load (sample "Goodbye Girl", "Another Nail for my Heart" or "Hourglass" if you're only familiar with the biggest hits mentioned above) lost out in the stardom stakes when pop music fragmented in the 90s.

Suddenly there wasn't just Radio 1, Top of the Pops and the top 40 chart, suddenly there were dozens of popular genres and scores of genre-specific outlets for them. Pop music ceased to have a single easily understood identity and channel in the way it had since the 1940s. That was good in many ways, because it broke the stranglehold on music that the major record companies and broadcasters had had (see Louis Barfe's book Where Have all the Good Times Gone?: The Rise and Fall of the Record Industry, but products of the old "pop star system" such as Squeeze lost out.

It's hard to shed any salty tears for some of the no-talent bums who got propelled to stardom by the old system, but Squeeze always had that certain something that made you think of them differently; so I say it's a shame that the profound changes in the music industry bit them in the back catalogue so hard.

Anyway, if you want to rediscover Squeeze, or if you're really lucky and have just discovered them for the first time, then this silver platter will do your ears a lot of good.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Summer Have Confidence Have Faith, 4 Sep 2007
This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
Perhaps its too late for that this year, wonder how the lyrics would have fared if they had written it in 2007 ? Maybe to compensate try bringing some sunshine in with this essential collection from Squeeze. As the previous excellent reviewers have stated, this timely release is worthy of its name. A must album for both old and new fans of this London band.

Their music stands the test of time with Chris Difford's brilliant aspects of all human life stories within his lyrics, coupled with Glenn Tillbrook's ability to create a strong hook-laden melody and jangley guitars that just grabs at your soul.

Obviously all fans have different favourites and personally I would have loved Its Over and Electric Trains on board. At least included are my essentials in Some Fantastic Place, Up The Junction and Another Nail In My Heart. But hey, with 74 minutes and 2 new tracks of which Last Call For Love with its string laden backing is the stronger of the two, we must salute this worthy band.

UK tour in November/December.

Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent, 14 Sep 2014
By 
S. Bailey - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
There are quite a few compilations available touting the wares of this unfashionable South London rock group, who were named after the Velvet Underground's largely unloved final album of 1973. This career-spanning budget overview from 2006 tries to distinguish itself from that crowd with an 'essential' tag. Does it live up to that boastful adjective?

The first half strongly suggests that it does. This 20 track CD begins with the heady run of evocative pop singles that they chalked up in the late 1970s and first half of the 1980s, including Top 20 hits: 'Take Me I'm Yours'; 'Cool For Cats'; 'Up The Junction'; 'Another Nail In My Heart', and 'Labelled With Love'. Those melodious vignettes suggest the often made comparisons between the partnership enjoyed by the group's principal songwriters Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook, and that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, weren't complete and utter hyperbole.

But with the thrilling exceptions of 'Black Coffee In Bed', and 'Hourglass', the latter half of this broadly chronological collection is rather less convincing. 'Loving You Tonight', 'This Summer', and 'Without You Here', demonstrate that by the 1990s the group, who had changed bass players and keyboardists as often as they put out albums, were on a slow slide downwards, with their much remarked upon cleverness now taking on a self-satisfied cast. Whilst the previously unreleased tracks from the early 1980s, 'Library Girl' and 'Last Call For Love', are an unremarkable pair that provide an inauspicious conclusion to Essential Squeeze.

Wrapped up in typically unappealing cover art (viz. Squeeze, Argybargy, East Side Story), and liner notes that are printed in a ill-judged tiny font size, this is an inconsistent collection that doesn't live up to its burdensome title.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Essential Squeeze (Audio CD)
catchy tunes and a great listen throughout, i've not bought any of thier music before but knew some of the better known tunes which are all on and i'm pleasantly surprised by the songs i didn't know, i'm now playing the album pretty much non stop
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