Putting The Squeeze On

 

I produce a lot of podcasts (and TV too), but I rarely appear on them because, well, let’s just say that I am aware of what I’m good at and what I’m not. But when Scot Bertram and Jeff Blehar, the long time hosts of the Political Beats podcast asked me to join them for a deep dive on Squeeze –one of my all time favorite bands– I could not resist.

For those of you who weren’t around in the 80’s and 90’s or were listening to something else, Squeeze had a magnificent run of albums during this time and were at one time the anointed successors to Lennon & McCartney (they weren’t, but not because they weren’t talented enough — we discuss why in depth on the podcast). Even if you aren’t familiar with their music, you’ve probably heard this song, which
was an anomaly in their discography (again, we discuss why on the podcast).

Thanks to Scot and Jeff for having me on. They’re a couple of very cool (for) cats.

 

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I don’t understand. They never ask me on to talk Bing Crosby…

     

    • #1
  2. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    EJHill (View Comment):

    I don’t understand. They never ask me on to talk Bing Crosby…

     

    Who?

    • #2
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Is that really 3 hours long? I don’t think I will make it, but after seeing this I did go to YouTube and listen to Cool for Cats, Up the Junction, and Pulling Mussels. Good stuff but . . . has it really been 40 years?

    • #3
  4. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Take it to the bridge, Yeti…

    • #4
  5. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    I saw the announcement this weekend. I don’t listen to every Political Beats episode but this one sounds interesting.

    • #5
  6. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Looking forward to it!

    • #6
  7. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    I look forward to listening to this. Squeeze – sorry, UK Squeeze was one of my favorite bands, and like my other hero of the era, Elvis C., the descent into baroque convoluted compositions was disheartening. But at their peak, they had more than enough: a great songwriting team, the striking clarity of Tilbrook’s vocals (matched with Difford’s amateurish but oddly adorable singing), a  powerhouse drummer, a clown for a keyboardist, and production that captured the sound of a band, not constituent parts working alone in a nice studio. 

    And I never liked Tempted. I think I argued with Yeti about the Sweets from a Stranger album once, calling it strained and over sweetened. I Can’t Hold On should be an absolute raver, but it’s so careful. 

    • #7
  8. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    I look forward to listening to this. Squeeze – sorry, UK Squeeze was one of my favorite bands, and like my other hero of the era, Elvis C., the descent into baroque convoluted compositions was disheartening. But at their peak, they had more than enough: a great songwriting team, the striking clarity of Tilbrook’s vocals (matched with Difford’s amateurish but oddly adorable singing), a powerhouse drummer, a clown for a keyboardist, and production that captured the sound of a band, not constituent parts working alone in a nice studio.

    And I never liked Tempted. I think I argued with Yeti about the Sweets from a Stranger album once, calling it strained and over sweetened. I Can’t Hold On should be an absolute raver, but it’s so careful.

    We cover all of these topics and more (I much prefer the live version of“Tempted“ with Tilbrook singing all of the parts).

    I don’t remember us having a conversation about “Sweets From a Stranger,“ but for sure I don’t think that album is in the same league as the previous three.

     

     

     

     

    • #8
  9. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    EJHill (View Comment):

    I don’t understand. They never ask me on to talk Bing Crosby…

     

    Maybe you’re on a shortlist somewhere? You could try hinting. Oh, right.

    • #9
  10. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    I don’t remember us having a conversation about “Sweets From a Stranger,“ but for sure I don’t think that album is in the same league as the previous three.

     

    Watch it, pal, you’re talking to a guy who has pdfs of his text messages from 2010 onward

    But you’re probably right. And no, it’s not in the same league. It’s a band running on fumes, unable to get mass acceptance, half-believing this album might do it, knowing it wouldn’t. 

    • #10
  11. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    I don’t remember us having a conversation about “Sweets From a Stranger,“ but for sure I don’t think that album is in the same league as the previous three.

     

    Watch it, pal, you’re talking to a guy who has pdfs of his text messages from 2010 onward

    But you’re probably right. And no, it’s not in the same league. It’s a band running on fumes, unable to get mass acceptance, half-believing this album might do it, knowing it wouldn’t.

    I didn’t say the conversation didn’t happen, only that I don’t remember it. We clearly could have had it — we certainly fit the profile, as it were.

    • #11
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