Squeeze – In Concert at Oxford Polytechnic – Recorded by BBC Radio 1 for In Concert series – 1981 – BBC Radio 1
Squeeze to kick off this rather hair-raising week. In concert from Oxford Polytechnic and recorded by BBC Radio 1 on May 15, 1981.
Squeeze came to prominence in the United Kingdom during the new wave period of the late 1970s, and continued recording in the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s. In the UK, their singles “Cool for Cats”, “Up the Junction” and “Labelled with Love” were top-ten chart hits. Though not as commercially successful in the United States, Squeeze had American hits with “Tempted”, “Hourglass” and “853-5937”, and were considered a part of the Second British Invasion.
In the United States and Canada, the band and album were dubbed UK Squeeze owing to legal conflicts arising from a contemporary American band called “Tight Squeeze”. The “U.K.” was dropped for all subsequent releases. In Australia, the same name change was used due to legal conflicts arising from an existing Sydney-based band also called “Squeeze”. Albums in Australia were credited to UK Squeeze up to and including 1985’s Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.
The band’s second album, Cool for Cats (1979), contained the band’s two highest charting UK singles in “Cool For Cats” and “Up The Junction”, both of which peaked at No. 2. John Bentley replaced Harry Kakoulli on bass in 1979 following the release of the LP.
Argybargy (1980), the band’s third album, was also a UK hit. It was additionally a mild breakthrough in North America, as the single “Another Nail in My Heart” was a No. 56 hit in Canada, and second single “Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)” received airplay on US rock radio stations. The video for the former was frequently shown on independent video music shows in the US.
Keyboardist Jools Holland left the band for a solo career in 1980. Keyboard duties were taken over by highly rated singer-keyboardist Paul Carrack, a former member of both British soul-pop band Ace and progressive rock band Roxy Music.
In 1981, the band released East Side Story. It was produced by Elvis Costello and Roger Bechirian, and featured Carrack’s lead vocals on the radio hit “Tempted”. Carrack himself left after the release of East Side Story, and was replaced by Don Snow. This line-up recorded the Sweets from a Stranger LP in 1982. Negative reviews, the stresses of touring, and conflict between band members led Difford and Tilbrook to break up the band later that year, after releasing a final single, “Annie Get Your Gun”.
In case you missed them the first time – hit the Play button and crank this one up. Goes well with morning coffee.