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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars

on 13 October 2017
Bought the CD as it was missing from my CD collection, although not my vinyl collection. I'd forgotten how great this album is with wondrous tunes and fabulous lyrics as well as immaculate playing from the guys. I like still can't help but love 'If It's Love' but this is stuffed full of great songs that make you smile or pull at your heart-strings and sometimes both. The wit and sadness combined in 'Slaughtered, Gutted and Heartbroken' and 'Melody Motel' is extraordinary. If you've never listened to this album - juts buy it. If you have then I assume that you have.
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on 7 December 2014
Good album, some classics on here.
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on 11 April 2008
Now I love Squeeze and although I always liked their singles it wasn't until a friend lent me their early album releases that I really began to appreciate them. In the late eighties I eagerly awaited their reformation for the disappointing Cosi Fan Tuti but as their albums continued to flow they gradually got better.

Frank is one of those forgotten albums from those days. The singles that came from it are not fondly remembered and its songs don't generally litter the numerous compilation albums that you can buy, but, well but, the first side of the original vinyl is just the most powerful Squeeze studio performance. From "Is it love", through "Peyton Place", "Rose I Said" and onto the sublime "Slaughtered, Gutted and Heartbroken" you are put through all loves' drama and tragedy in less then fifteen minutes.

And there's more. The second side has the psychaedelic feel of "Love Circles" and followed by the tragedy of "Melody Motel" and then there is (in my view) the most perfect Squeeze song of all time. "Can of Worms", amazing lyrics as the complexities of modern family life are dissected and laid bare.Jools has his moment in the sun with a fantastic slice of boogie "Dr Jazz" and the vinyl album finished with another boogie number "It's too late".

The old Side two is patchier than Side one but it has (for me) the stand-out track of the album.

The expanded material here is interesting because it was either extremely rare, being b-sides of singles than sold badly or was never released. They manage to keep the boogie feel going with "Red Light", "Frank"s Bag" is about as raucous an instrumental that Squeeze have produced especially with Jools starting things off with "nice Piano intro, rip the a*** off it". "Good things bring me down" is a fantastic piece of blues and then we're into a couple of curios and unplugged versions of "She doesn't have to shave" and "Melody Motel" from the Beeb to finish it off.

Great. Just great.
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Bit of a curious one, this album. It sold relatively poorly, leading to A&M dropping them from the label and yet it received quite a lot of critical acclaim at the time and, to me, it's one of their underrated gems. I bought it back in 2008, just after the remastered and expanded version was released on CD and so have an extra eight tracks in addition to the original album. The songs are really very strong, as both master wordsmith Difford and musical maestro Tilbrook are in great form. It was also piano and keyboard virtuoso Jools Holland's last studio album with the band, bringing his second stint to a close on a very positive note. The singles, "If It's Love" and "Love Circles" are excellent, the former having some very funny, touching lyrics about the giddiness of new love, backed by an upbeat, melodic, inventive piece of music, the latter being a beautifully bittersweet song about falling in and out of love and the regrets afterwards. In my opinion, it's one of their most overlooked songs, possibly because it's a Chris Difford vocal and has quite an understated feel to it, but it really is a very emotive and powerful composition.

Now, if this album was all about the singles and was full of filler, I could understand it being a commercial flop, but it's actually a superb album from start to finish. There are some songs that probably should have been singles ("Melody Motel" is one that springs immediately to mind) and it's brilliantly produced, with a very strong sound, leaving the softer synth sounds of the eighties well and truly behind. There are so many brilliant songs on "Frank". The loved-up "Peyton Place" has a jazzy, soulful feel to it and "Rose I Said" is classic Squeeze with superb, descriptive lyrics ("Yes I cried the moment that her hand slapped my face/A mouth full of sandwich went all over the place") about the protagonist caught cheating with the girl across the street, Rose. "Slaughtered, Gutted and Heartbroken" is deceptively upbeat, a jazzy little piece sung by Chris which tells a tale of heartbreak and rejection, "Melody Motel", as I mentioned before, is outstanding, a dark tale of deception and murder to the soundtrack of an upbeat country-rock foot-tapper and "Can Of Worms" is also utterly magnificent, with a sharply observed description of what it is like for a man coming into the life of a woman who has children and the awkwardness of certain relationships within that dynamic. The music is rather beautiful, too.

Jools Holland's showpiece, "Dr. Jazz" is good, although it sounds more like solo Holland than Squeeze and is almost out of place on the album (the catchy, up-tempo "Is It Too Late" which follows it gives it a little more context), but it does feature some really tasty work on the keys. Many of the bonus tracks also feature Jools' distinctive style and influence on the band, too. "Red Light" is a sultry jazz minor-key shuffle, "Good Times Bring Me Down", again, could easily be a Jools Holland solo track, with his superb piano taking centre stage on this rock 'n' roll/boogie-woogie instrumental and "Any Other Day" is a truly magnificent jazz/blues ballad. All of these tracks would have enhanced the original album, but would definitely have given it an entirely different character. "Who's That" is a nice composition, performed with just piano and vocal and "If I'm Dead" is like the zombie version of "If It's Love", with a slightly disjointed feel. The other tracks are all decent additions to the disc, as well and, quite unusually for an expanded release, there is nothing I'd rather hadn't have been included.

To surmise, I'm rather taken aback that this isn't generally considered one of Squeeze's best and that the lack of interest in it led to them having to seek a new record label. Whilst I wouldn't go as far to say that it's their best album bar none, it's certainly amongst their best releases and it boasts the songwriting team of Difford and Tilbrook at their collective and individual best. Other, lesser, bands would sell their own Grandmothers for songs as complete and as superb as these and yet, at the time, "Frank" was all but ignored. Maybe they were, as my own Grandmother used to say, "too clever for their own good", but I've never really understood that phrase, just as I don't understand why, in 1989, the world wasn't falling to its knees in admiration of the boys from Deptford. To be frank, I never will.
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on 16 September 2008
Definitely one of my all time favourite Squeeze albums - often overlooked, it's a real cracker packed with melodious gems and Chris Difford's lyrics have never been more acutely observant and incisive....and downright brilliant! From the ashes of a doomed extra-marital affair (Rose I Said) to being joyously & newly loved-up (This Could Be The Last Time) to observing the daily realities of a modern relationship (Can Of Worms). Add to that the sheer joy of Glenn Tilbrook's melodies being at their catchy best (If It's Love, Peyton Place, She Doesn't Have To Shave, Is It Too Late, Melody Motel......all excellent). A definate bona-fide Squeeze cracker!
Jool Holland makes a welcome return to the band on this album - and boy, he's on top form here! Listen out for the sublime piano solo on Peyton Place or Jools' catchy sing-a-long vocals on Dr. Jazz. Fantastic stuff.
Also included on this remastered reissue are some great bonus tracks & b-sides: Who's That and Red Light being two stand out tracks.
Essentially, to these ears, this album sounds like the band having FUN again - and it shows in the resulting superb musicianship on show here... top notch.

If you're new to Squeeze and don't already own this album, trust me, you can't go far wrong with this album. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed...!!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 October 2012
Of course, the above pun only works if you pronounce it like "tortus" rather than
"tortoyz", but that`s beside the point. The point is, this is another wonderful album by the wonderful Squeeze, a band in a million.
It begins with some jaunty banter from "new" member Jools, Prince of Holland. After this fol-de-rol the real matter in hand gets under way, to wit: witty, intelligent, joyous, varied songs by the greatest pop/rock group since the Beatles.
Unlike, say, East Side Story, this isn`t a parade of "Greatest Hits", but it is packed with marvellous songs, mostly sung by Wonderboy himself, the thrillingly talented Glenn Tilbrook, though Jools shines on one of the excellent Extras, the bluesy Good Times Bring Me Down. Never heard him sing so well.
They had something to prove on Frank, and whatever it was, they proved it and then some. What sets Squeeze apart - apart from their all-round exceptional brilliance, that is - is their mixing of a sixties pop sensibility with a kind of "controlled shambles" typical of seventies pub-rock, the milieu from which they sprang. They seldom lost that sense of the sheer pleasure of writing memorable songs and making exultant music. Whenever they got too slick - on a couple of albums - they returned to the source.
Chris Difford, lyricist of the gods, sings the downbeat Slaughtered, Gutted And Heartbroken:

And oh my dear, I find myself
a stitch short of a tapestry

Words like that appear to flow from diffident Difford like honey from a hive. Think of all the great and good Squeeze songs and their scintillating lyrics. We have St Christopher to thank for them, or at least most of them. The man is close to being a genius. Glenn & Chris, two near-geniuses in one band!
Enough. Remastered, and with a big booklet including notes by David Bailey (that David Bailey?) and a generous bundle of most welcome bonus tracks, one of which - Who`s That? - being as fine a song as they`ve ever come up with, this is yet another bounteously rewarding, utterly wondrous, absolutely essential album by - I give you: Squeeze!
To be frank, I guess what they tortoise is that, for those with ears to hear, pop music really can be this good.
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on 13 April 2009
This album gets a four-star rating because of all the hard work that's been put into it, including the bonus tracks, of which "Who's That" and "Good Times" are the obvious stand-outs.

Squeeze have toned down the production on this album, letting their musicianship shine through - especially, perhaps, that of Jools Holland, his last outing (to date) with the band. In fact, in many ways, this is Jools' Squeeze album, his piano contributions giving unmistakeable, idiosyncratic character to the melodies provided by Glenn Tilbrook. It sounds, in places, as though it was Jools Holland's piano influence that shaped a lot of the melodies here.

There isn't a single poor song on this album. But while there's a whole lot of good songs here, and although the band do what they do best throughout the album - that is, perform as an ensemble, playing their pants off, with harmonies, cross-singing and important contributions all round - there aren't actually any tracks you could pick out as highlights of their long musical career. I do think that this album holds together as coherent piece, and they're clearly enjoying themselves here, but it sounds somehow empty. I get the feeling that a touch more production wouldn't have done Frank any harm at all.

I've bought Frank twice now - once when it first came out on wax cylinder, and then the CD version. I occasionally play it, but it's never the first one I go to when I fancy a bit of Squeeze. A friend of mine told me, years ago, "Oh, you like Squeeze? I have one of their albums - Frank", and I felt a little worried that he wouldn't rate the band as highly as I thought (and still think) they deserved.

If you're looking for Jools Holland before his current incarnation, this is a fine place to start your collection. If you have a Squeeze album and are thinking of buying another, this isn't a bad choice. It's better than "Squeeze", it's better than "Sweets From A Stranger", it's better than "Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti" and it's better than "Domino". But if there are others I haven't mentioned out there that you still haven't got, you might want to consider investing in one of those first. You won't be disappointed with "Frank", but I think there are other Squeeze albums you'll enjoy more.
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on 25 November 2010
This 1989 album followed on from 'Babylon and On' which gave Squeeze great chart success in the UK and the US. Although 'Frank' is lyrically superior to 'Babylon and On', it failed to produce any hits, partly due to lack of publicity from the band's label A and M.
'Frank' is an album of greatness, with the songs all expertly written and played, and is a must-own for any Squeeze fan. The wonderful 'If it's Love', 'Melody Motel' and the great 'Doctor Jazz' are all well worth a listen. x
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on 18 March 2008
Frank was Squeeze's 1989 low key follow up the big selling Babylon and on album and as such hopes were high for another hit record. There is no question that Frank was artistically superior to it's predecessor, but with no potential singles, an almost complete lack of studio polish and very little marketing, it's not suprising the album tanked.
This is a shame because the first 'side' of the record is stunning. 'If It's Love', 'Peyton Place' and 'Rose I Said' are an opening salvo of tracks up there with Difford & Tilbrooks best. 'Slaughtered, Gutted & Heartbroken' is a glorious vehicle for one Of Difford'd finest lead vocals, whilst Jools Holland's best Squeeze track ever 'Dr Jazz' gives the later half of the record a much needed kick.
So why no glowing review - Frank does lack cohesion and, despite the undoubted musicallity of Tilbrook, Holland, Lavis, Wilkinson and Difford, there is something lacking when compared to the magnificent 'Play' Or 'Some Fantastic Place'.
Of the 'new' tracks 'Who's That' had potential to appear on the album propper, 'Red Light' is a decent stab at rockabilly and Jools Hollands second offering for inclusion 'Good Times Bring Me Down' is nearly as good as 'Dr Jazz'.
Definately worth reinvestigation.

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on 4 February 2009
A great return to basics after the excesses of the mid 80's. This album is intimate, vibrant and thrilling. The remastering job is very good, not too loud / too compressed like all other reissues out there. But the usual flaws with expanded editions are there, mainly the missing track: of all the non-album songs released at the time (and there were not that much with only 2 singles with 2 b-sides each), all are there except the excellent bass/piano/vocal version of Vanity Fair which appeared as an extra track on the If It's Love 12" and CD single. So you'll still have to buy The Big Squeeze if you want that particular song.
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