Squeeze: “When the Hangover Strikes” (1982)

Sweet’s most sophisticated moment was apparently too sober for the radio.

Kronomyth 4.2: Pour the coffee, I’ll draw the blinds.

This may be the most underrated song on Sweets from a Stranger. It’s perfectly executed, from its subdued jazz sensibilities and tasteful orchestration to its razor-sharp lyrical wit. That said, When the Hangover Strikes was a strange choice for a single and, together with “Black Coffee in Bed,” must have given the impression that Squeeze weren’t sure if they were making a new album or writing a new book.

The flip side, Elephant Girl, was recorded during the same sessions but didn’t make the final album cut. Maybe they thought two songs about elephant was one too many, or that listeners would catch on to what “The Elephant Ride” actually meant, since the two tracks are sequential scenes. “Elephant Girl” has a catchy beginning but fizzles soon after. Too bad Glenn Tilbrook didn’t take it back to the workshop and fine-tune it, since it could’ve been a winner.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. When the Hangover Strikes (Glenn Tilbrook/Chris Difford) (4:31)
B1. Elephant Girl (Glen Tilbrook/Chris Difford) (3:30)

The Players

Produced by Squeeze and Phil McDonald.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch and 7-inch picture disc single on July 30, 1982 in the UK (A&M, AMS/AMSX 8237) and Australia (A&M, K-8873) with regional picture sleeve.

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