Squeeze are an English New Wave/pop-rock band from London, formed in 1974 and active through several iterations in the decades since. Between 1978 and 1982, the band released five albums on A&M Records. The songwriting team of guitarist/singers Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford briefly split the band to record as a duo. In 1985, a regrouped Squeeze released seven albums over the ensuing 13-year period.
Members: Glenn Tilbrook (guitar, vocals, keyboards, programming), Chris Difford (guitar, vocals, 1974-99, 2007-present), Jools Holland (keyboards, vocals, 1975-80, 1985-90), Harry Kakoulli (bass, vocals, 1975-79), Paul Gunn (drums, 1975-76), Gilson Lavis (drums, 1976-82, 1985-92), John Bentley (bass, vocals, 1979-82, 2007-15), Paul Carrack (keyboards, vocals, 1980-81, 1993-95), Don Snow (keyboards, vocals, 1981-82), Keith Wilkinson (bass, vocals, 1985-98), Andy Metcalfe (keyboards, horns, 1985-88), Matt Irving (keyboards, accordion, vocals, 1988-89)
Squeeze formed in early 1974 around a nascent songwriting partnership between composer Glenn Tilbrook (b. Aug. 31, 1957) and lyricist Chris Difford (b. Nov. 4, 1954). Keyboardist Jools Holland (b. Jan. 24, 1958) was the first long-serving member to join the pair, followed in early 1975 by drummer Gilson Lavis (b. June 27, 1951) and bassist Harry Kakoulli. Lavis had served as a touring drummer for several high-profile American acts (Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dolly Parton). Kakoulli hailed from DIY folksters England’s Glory alongside future-Only Ones frontman Peter Perrett.
In September 1975, Squeeze was singed by RCA but dropped five months later with no recordings to show for the liaison. The band gigged heavily in south-east London over the next 18 months and got swept into the New Wave.
In July 1977, Squeeze issued its vinyl debut Packet of Three on Miles Copeland’s Deptford Fun City label. It contains three songs: the mid-tempo hard-rocker “Cat On the Wall,” the uptempo neo-’50s rave-up “Night Ride,” and the punky barrel-house pummeller “Backtrack.” The first track, with its open-cadence power chords and windmill chorus, received considerable airplay on Radio Caroline. It also features on their 7/17/77 Peel session along with three songs that the band were developing: “Sex Master,” “Model,” and “All Fed Up.”
Squeeze secured a deal with A&M and issued “Take Me I’m Yours” as their first single in February 1978. With its metronomic precision, galloping 2/4 drum pattern, octave-unison vocals, and oozing synths, the song climbed to no. 19 on the UK singles chart. It was backed by the Jools-sung pub-punker “Night Nurse.”
- Squeeze (1978)
- Cool for Cats (1979)
- Argybargy (1980)
- East Side Story (1981)
- Sweets from a Stranger (1982)
- Difford & Tilbrook (1984 — released as Difford & Tilbrook)
- Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti (1985)
- Babylon and On (1987)
- Frank (1989)
- Play (1991)
- Some Fantastic Place (1993)
- Ridiculous (1995)
- Domino (1998)
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