Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD. The CD I listened to was a 2008 reissue with 8 bonus tracks.
After the comparatively over-produced slick stylings of Babylon and On and Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti, the band got back to the business of crafting clean 4 minute pop gems with wonderful melodies and out-of-left-field chord progressions. In terms of genres, the album isn't as unfocused as East Side Story, but there are a fair number of styles represented here. It's a good release, but a mostly live-in-studio album was strangely out of time in 1989, when most of what you heard on the radio included some sort of booming, electronically enhanced drums (i.e., Fine Young Cannibals, Milli Vanilli). If this had been released 5 years earlier, I probably would have listened to it and enjoyed it more. Now that I think about it, there are several cuts here that wouldn't be out of place on the 1984 Difford & Tilbrook album. If I were to rank Squeeze's 13 studio albums, this would fall somewhere in the middle.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #113
Tracks: I like most all the tracks here, but tracks like Rose I Said, Slaughtered Gutted And Heartbroken, and Love Circles are better than (This Could Be) The Last Time and Melody Motel.
Bonus tracks: One decent track (Any Other Day) and surprisingly uninteresting b-side studio blues jams, demos, and live versions of She Doesn't Have To Shave and Melody Motel that also appear on The Complete BBC Sessions.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Released the same month I got married and landed my first teaching gig, this cassette got some playing time during the fall/winter of 1989 as I roamed around Dallas spending money I didn't have and trying to figure out the whole married grown-up thing.
Previously revisited for the blog:
The Complete BBC Sessions (2008)
Some Fantastic Place (1993)
Babylon and On (1987)
Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti (1985)
Difford & Tilbrook (1984)
Singles: 45's and Under (1982)
Sweets From A Stranger (1982)
East Side Story (1981)
Argybargy (1980) - 1987 reissue and 2008 Deluxe Edition
Cool For Cats (1979)
U.K. Squeeze (1978)