[Review] Squeeze: Singles, 45’s and Under (1982)

A dozen golden moments squeezed into the band’s only platinum record.

Kronomyth 6.0: A gaggle of singles to ogle through goggles.

I’ve pretty much beaten the snot out of this elpee over the years: a well-handled cover, scratched vinyl and missing sleeve are silent testimony to the allure of Singles, 45’s and Under. Hard to believe that Singles marked the end of Squeeze. A farewell US appearance on Saturday Night Live, the muted release of “Annie Get Your Gun,” and the best pop band since The Beatles had broken up.

Their US fan base was just warming up (“Tempted” got them all toasty), so those who wanted to explore the Squeeze of yore did best to hook up with Singles. Presented in chronological order, this is the evolution of a brilliant pop band, from rough lads to half-erect human beings to clever commentators on les affaires du coeur. In fact, Singles nearly renders the earlier elpees unnecessary for the casual fan; certainly the best moments of their first three elpees are here. East Side Story is required listening and Sweets from a Stranger holds some surprises in store, but little else in the early trio will amaze you.

I never thought of Squeeze as a singles band (their singles simply didn’t do much in the US), yet there’s no denying that their singles were usually a cut above their elpee companions. Here, you can hear the band raise the bar from their first great song (“Goodbye Girl”) through to the clever “Annie Get Your Gun.” As compilations go, Singles, 45’s and Under is one of the best I own: the selection is unimpeachable, the chronological order is instructive, and the addition of a nonalbum track (“Annie Get Your Gun”) a carrot for long-standing fans. Make this the first Squeeze album you own, and I’ll wager it won’t be your last; even if it is, you’ll have the essential moments covered.

Original elpee version

A1. Take Me I’m Yours (2:48)
A2. Goodbye Girl (3:05)
A3. Cool for Cats (3:11)
A4. Up the Junction (3:40)
A5. Slap and Tickle (4:16)
A6. Another Nail in My Heart (2:55)
A7. Pulling Mussels (from the Shell) (3:57)
B1. If I Didn’t Love You (4:10)*
B2. Is That Love (2:31)
B3. Tempted (3:58)
B4. Black Coffee in Bed (6:11)
B5. Annie Get Your Gun (3:22)

All songs written by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook.

*In the UK, this track was replaced by “Labelled with Love” in the B3 position.

The Players

Previously released material except for “Annie Get Your Gun” – John Bentley, Chris Difford, Gilson Lavis, Don Snow, Glenn Tilbrook; produced by Alan Tarney.

The Pictures

Art direction by Michael Ross. Drawing by Marcus Hewitt.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette on October 22, 1982 in the UK and Greece (A&M, AMLH 68552), the US (A&M, SP/CS-4922), Australia (A&M, 37955) and Canada (A&M, VPCS-4922) with lyrics innersleeve. Reached #3 on the UK charts and #47 on the US charts (RIAA-certified platinum record).

  1. Re-issued on compact disc in the UK (A&M, CDA 64922) and the US (A&M, CD 4922).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in 1995 in the US (A&M, CD 3338).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *