Album Focus: Squeeze - Argybargy

This is for all non-EC or peripheral-EC topics. We all know how much we love talking about 'The Man' but sometimes we have other interests.
User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Album Focus: Squeeze - Argybargy

Postby Jackson Monk » Thu May 27, 2004 3:59 pm

I'd always liked the Squeeze singles, but the first album I could afford to buy was East Side Story (another true classic). I went back to get Argybargy several years after it was released (1980) and I had the same feeling I had when I bought TYM in 1983......what have I been missing all these years?

1979's 'Cool for Cats' was vastly superior to their epoymously titled debut album. However, ArgyBargy improved even more on it's predecessor. Although they retained their distinctly British sound, Squeeze put together an astonishly catchy set of tunes that, despite the bleak landscapes, embodied lively, effervescent pop music, that was truly endearing to most fans of 'honest' music and melody.

Difford's sharp and penetrating reflections of day-to-day living in Thatcherite Britain was as rich and intense as Tilbrook's melodies were gorgeous. The double entendre of the plaintive classic single "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," which describes details of the characters on a typical English seaside holiday. The highlight (of which there are many) is the often forgotten "Vicky Verky," which is in the same league as "Up the Junction" for it's simple magnificent tale of breaking up and young heartbreak.

ArgyBargy is full to the brim with perfect, ageless pop music and is probably the band's finest moment and most astounding achievement. Although a landmark recording of the early 80s, it is by no mean dated and is as refreshing today as it ever was. What makes it so special is the economy of the lyrics and the 'pocket rocket' length of the songs. In each song, the 'story' is told very quickly but with precise descriptions-and a full-speed- ahead performance that is bona fide rock-and-roll. It is bulging with humour and very,very clever lyrical gems.

Squeeze released three more classic albums;the aforementioned East Side Story in 1981 (produced by another very cool lyricist!) and two of the best albums of the 90s - 'Play' and 'Some Fantastic Place'. They were great records, but Argybargy was and is their greatest hour.


Running Order:

1. Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) :D
2. Another Nail in My Heart :D
3. Separate Beds :D
4. Misadventure 8) :D
5. I Think I'm Gonna Go 8) 8)
6. If I Didn't Love You :lol: :D 8)
7. Farfisa Beat :lol:
8. Here Comes That Feeling :?
9. Vicky Verky :D :D :D :D :D 8)
10. Wrong Side of the Moon 8) 8) :D
11. There at the Top :lol: :D 8)
corruptio optimi pessima

User avatar
BlueChair
Posts: 5959
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 5:41 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Postby BlueChair » Thu May 27, 2004 4:05 pm

When I first heard Glen Tilbrook's voice on Trust, I knew I had to investigate Squeeze. I only own two of their albums: East Side Story and Argybargy, both on vinyl. And honestly, I feel like these two albums provide me with enough Squeeze, though I'm sure at some point I'll expand a bit.

Argybargy is simply a great album with great singing and great songwriting. "Seperate Beds" is a song which describes young relationships brilliantly. "Wrong Side Of The Moon" is a great vehicle for Jools Holland to take the microphone. The highpoint for me though, is "Pulling Mussels (From A Shell)." The lyrics are fantastically unique:

"Squinting faces at the sky
A Harold Robbins paperback
Surfers drop their boards and dry
And everybody wants a hat"
This morning you've got time for a hot, home-cooked breakfast! Delicious and piping hot in only 3 microwave minutes.

User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Postby Jackson Monk » Thu May 27, 2004 4:18 pm

You should buy or borrow 'Play' BC.

If only for the fact that it contains the best breaking up tune ever - 'Letting Go' -

She plaits her hair, I bite my nails
We balance love on the scales
I wind the clock and go to bed
Our love is hanging on a thread
She gets undressed, I undress too
The draft is cold in my bedroom
We cuddle up and say goodnight
It's all the love there is tonight.
I can't be brave enough
She cannot say what we're feeling
Day after day
We're going through the motions
We find it hard to let each other go

She boils the eggs, I make the tea
Outside the sun shines on the street
We're at that point here love has gone
The fuse is lit, it won't be long
I take a walk, she cleans the house
This is the end, I'm in no doubt
But neither one of us can show
The slightest sign of letting go
I can't be brave enough
She cannot say what we're feeling
Day after day
We're going through the motions
We find it hard to let each other go
corruptio optimi pessima

norman brain
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 7:34 pm
Location: Greenville, NC USA

Postby norman brain » Thu May 27, 2004 4:18 pm

ARGYBARGY is my favorite hour by Squeeze, too! Pure pop from start to finish. I have a fondness for COOL FOR CATS and EAST SIDE STORY as well. I own every LP through SWEETS FROM A STRANGER, and there's good songs to be found on all of 'em.

After that, I've only heard FRANK, which wasn't bad. I need to go back and fill in the holes in that collection. They're definitely worth it.

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Thu May 27, 2004 5:09 pm

I've been craving Squeeze that doesn't sound dated.

Didn't Elvis produce this? I'll have to check it out.
Image

User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Postby Jackson Monk » Fri May 28, 2004 2:15 am

WHAR

Elvis produced 'East Side Story', which is also great. Very poppy and more slickly produced than Argybargy. East Side Story has a superb collection of songs.

The 'dated' stuff you refer to is probably the stuff from 'Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti' and 'Babylon and On' - some good stuff on those records, but with a distinctly 80s in sound, that I only occasionally revisit.
corruptio optimi pessima

User avatar
verbal gymnastics
Posts: 12388
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 6:44 am
Location: here at Traitors Gate

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri May 28, 2004 3:58 am

Personally my favourite album is Play. Wicked and Cruel, Walk A Straight Line and Glenn's singing on Third Rail. Marvellous.

I think Squeeze and Elvis are very similar in that they never really got the recognitions they deserved. They were also more in tune with success on their own terms rather than commercially. Squeeze could bang out pop stuff like Cool for Cats in the same way Elvis could have banged out Oliver's Army. It's no surprise they were the same bedfellows.

Blue - invest in Play and Some Fantastic Place. You won't be disappointed.
Love is the one thing we can save

User avatar
DrJ
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:47 pm
Location: London, apparently.

Postby DrJ » Fri May 28, 2004 5:23 am

Play is fantastic, but it's currently deleted, I found my copy in a cut out bin in Ocean City, Maryland in 1995.

SFP is a good album, and has Pete Thomas, which is nice.

As for Argybargy, I just want to highlight Vicky Verky. An amazing song.

DrJ
Tlentifini Maarhaysu

User avatar
Smallfaces1
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:45 am
Location: Salisbury,England
Contact:

Postby Smallfaces1 » Fri May 28, 2004 2:58 pm

buy excess moderation, thats all you'll ever need! oh and sweets from a stranger, babylon and on and ridiculus and get the DVD too it rocks!
"Do you remember rick astley? he had a big fat hit it was ghastly, he said i'm never gonna give you up or let you down, well i'm here to tell you that dick's a clown"

User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Postby Jackson Monk » Fri May 28, 2004 3:15 pm

Yeah....Smallfaces...excellent point....'Excess Moderation' covers so many of Squeeze's forgotten gems...Maidstone...Revue....Piccadilly....I could so on all night...
corruptio optimi pessima

User avatar
PlaythingOrPet
Posts: 959
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 9:42 am

Postby PlaythingOrPet » Sat May 29, 2004 10:14 am

I've been humming the song Glenn played on last week's Later... all week. V. good. Ok, so out of all of them, which is the one to get first? I'm afraid I've only ever got as far as the recent Best Of.

Useless info alert! I was watching my brother's 'Girls on Top' DVD recently and noticed Glenn and Chris wrote the theme tune. Very 80s-sounding, which = crap.

User avatar
DrJ
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:47 pm
Location: London, apparently.

Postby DrJ » Sat May 29, 2004 6:07 pm

"Girls on Top" the c.1984 sitcom with French & Saunders, Tracey Ullman and Ruby Wax? That's cool. That should have been used in the trivia thread.

DrJ
Tlentifini Maarhaysu

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:57 am

I love the first half of this album. The second half hasn't grown on me yet.
Image

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Mon Jun 07, 2004 7:50 pm

The first 8 tracks are the greatest.

ARGYBARGY!
Image

User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Postby Jackson Monk » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:13 am

Fucking hell WHAR.........we agree on something!!! :shock:

There is hope yet you old dog :lol:

Now go and buy East Side Story... 8)
corruptio optimi pessima

User avatar
verbal gymnastics
Posts: 12388
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 6:44 am
Location: here at Traitors Gate

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:32 am

Jackson Monk wrote:Fucking hell WHAR.........we agree on something!!! :shock:


Is it 1st April already? :lol:
Love is the one thing we can save

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Tue Jun 08, 2004 2:31 pm

Hah, Jackson, I downloaded "argybargy", "east side story", "sweets from a stranger", "difford and tilbrook", and a lot of acoustic/radio shows.

No worries, I'll definitly buy "argybargy", and I believe they have a live cd out as well.

"Argybargy" is pure genius. I haven't given "Eastside Story" a real chance yet, but "In Quintessence" is damn good.
Image

User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Postby Jackson Monk » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:21 pm

Great to see a convert. I'm impressed at your willingness to move on from your apparent entrenched view. Shows a degree of character and reminds me of when I finally realised the genius of Springsteen and Van the Man after years of denial.

Give the 90s stuff a listen too. 'Some Fantastic Place' and 'Play' are right up there....as is the Tilbrook solo album released a couple of years back.
corruptio optimi pessima

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:41 am

I can't believe how good this album is. I'm trying to not listen to it until I buy the album.

I hear "Argybargy" is out of print in the USA. Is this true? I'm screwed if so.

I hear good things about "Babylon and On" and "Frank", those two are coming in now.
Image

User avatar
Jackson Monk
Posts: 1919
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm
Location: At the other end of the telescope

Postby Jackson Monk » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:54 am

Both Babylon and On and Frank are good, but they are not in the same league as Some Fantastic Place, Play and Excess Moderation.
corruptio optimi pessima

User avatar
BlueChair
Posts: 5959
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 5:41 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Postby BlueChair » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:55 am

wehitandrun wrote:I can't believe how good this album is. I'm trying to not listen to it until I buy the album.

I hear "Argybargy" is out of print in the USA. Is this true? I'm screwed if so.

I hear good things about "Babylon and On" and "Frank", those two are coming in now.


I own Argybargy on vinyl.... go get a record player!
This morning you've got time for a hot, home-cooked breakfast! Delicious and piping hot in only 3 microwave minutes.

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:16 pm

I might have to. :!:
Image

User avatar
bobster
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:29 am
Location: North Hollywood, CA

Postby bobster » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:19 pm

My copy of "Argy-Bargy" was one of the many records lost in the great Peace March Bobster vinyl rip-off of 1985, nevertheless, my second favorite Squeeze album (well, I only owned three and the third one I didn't care for much, making my favorite, you guessed it, "East Side Story" -- but I really, really love that album). I have very fond memories of it as I actually won a promo copy as a door prize during my student orientation at UCLA. I was already a big EC fan, but hadn't heard them. Liked it right away and it made total sense when they all got together a couple of years later. My favorite cuts: "Pulling Mussels" and the piano-centric "Dark Side of the Moon".

An interesting, more recent moment -- hearing "Mussel" while playing craps at the El Cortez Casino in Reno, Nevada. I was convinced this would be a good sign, butm sadly, Glen, Chris and the gang had no apparent positive influence on the dice. Good music, sadly, does not automatically bring good luck.
http://www.forwardtoyesterday.com -- Where "hopelessly dated" is a compliment!

User avatar
wehitandrun
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Contact:

Postby wehitandrun » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:14 pm

I've had three people tell me that "East Side Story" is "BY FAR" their best Squeeze album. I love "In Quintessence" and "Tempted"... but "argybargy" is just so good.

I guess it's like "Armed Forces" and "Get Happy!!"...
Image

goodbyegirl
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:58 pm
Location: CT

Postby goodbyegirl » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:34 pm

Squeeze actually sparked my interest in Elvis Costello. It was East Side Story. I had heard of Elvis but wasn't familiar with his music. It has been nothin but love since!


Return to “The Annex”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 109 guests