Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD.
Upfront, I'm going to go out on a limb and call this my favorite Squeeze album (excluding the stellar compilation Singles: 45's and Under). Not necessarily because the songs here are stronger than their late '70s/early '80s singles (nothing could really compare to Tempted in my book), but because it's the band most consistent album. Glenn Tilbrook has never written a better collection of melodies. The band's ninth studio album, it was their only release on Reprise Records, which didn't market it at all. IMHO, this album is underrated (Rolling Stone Album Guide gives it 2 stars, Christgau didn't even bother with it) and under-appreciated (I see it often in used bins), but that plays right into my contrarian nature. However, David Medsker over at PopDose knows where I'm coming from.
Because lyricist Chris Difford wasn't in a good place at the time, the lyrics tend to be very dark. In the band's own words: http://youtu.be/1VRuBredxaI?t=44m48s (pay no attention to Tilbrook's beard)
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart
Tracks: I always listen to all 12 tracks without skipping but my favorite tracks are Letting Go, The Day I Get Home, House Of Love, Wicked And Cruel, and There Is A Voice.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: My wife and I bought our first house in 1991 and, since we didn't have any children at the time, we had a spare bedroom. In that "junk room" were things like a seldom-used weight bench, boxes of books, and odd bits of furniture. Out of convenience, we left the ironing board set up in that room. On a small jam box in that room, I would listen to this tape while I ironed my shirts (Later, P.M. Dawn's The Bliss Album...? got a fair amount of playing time on that deck as well).
Three or four years ago, during a very depressed state (due to the wrong dosage of hypertension medication), I listened to the song There Is A Voice repeatedly. The chorus lyrics are "Each day is a night" which I'm guessing suggest that you're in such a funk you either don't know or don't care whether it's day or night. I never quite got to that state, but there's no denying the greatness of that lyric. I got the dosage worked out, but I still enjoy the song, grateful I've never been that down.
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)