Squeeze: “Slap & Tickle” (1979)

Pretty much “Take Me, I’m Yours” but with a nice boy-meets-girl story behind it.

Kronomyth 2.2: Pickled dates and lonely nights.

The first song on their second album, Slap & Tickle felt like a conscious attempt to duplicate the sound and success of their first big single, “Take Me, I’m Yours.” The rapid-fire vocals and clever wordplay are classic Squeeze, but the synth-heavy production is something they would thankfully abandon (at least until Difford & Tilbrook). A&M initially pressed the first 50,000 copies on red vinyl; I don’t have a red vinyl copy myself, but a YouTube recording of one plays at a noticeably slower speed than the black vinyl or elpee versions. Definitely a discovery for the rainy-day folder…

The B side is another tempting nonalbum track, All’s Well. Sung by Jools Holland, it’s a typical (for Squeeze) boogie woogie piano song about a rake on a boat. Just the sort of thing you would expect from Dave Edmunds, whose career would intersect (inevitably) with Squeeze on the in-all-ways-brilliant East Side Story. And if this all sounds a bit familiar, Squeeze tried the same trick with the B side to “Take Me, I’m Yours,” “Night Nurse.”

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Original 7-inch single version

A1. Slap & Tickle (Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook) (4:19)
B1. All’s Well (Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook) (2:25)

The Players

Chris Difford (rhythm guitar, vocals), Jools Holland (keyboards), Harry Kakoulli (bass), Gilson Lavis (drums), Glenn Tilbrook (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals). Produced by Squeeze and John Wood.

The Pictures

Photography by Ron Shone.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch and red vinyl 7-inch single on August 31, 1979 in the UK (A&M, AMS 7466) with picture sleeve; reached #24 on the UK charts (charted on September 8, 1979 for 8 weeks).

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