Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.
I've already posted about this album back on October 3, 2012. But last year I had gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, so I sprung for the 2008 reissue with 9 bonus tracks. I'm listening to the whole CD this morning, but will try to limit my comments to said bonus tracks and liner notes of this reissue. I will say that I should be listening to this album more often than I do.
In addition to accurate reproductions of the original album sleeves, the liner notes contain an essay by David Bailey, keeper of the Squeeze archives over at www.packetofthree.com (go check it out). And he totally nails the feel of this album when he writes
Sweets From A Stranger is an alcohol-soaked soundtrack: the sound of the bad taste in your mouth the morning after a relationship gone sour.That's a heavy-handed metaphor to be sure, but it perfectly captures the tone of the songwriting here. As a teenager, I wasn't worldly enough to pick up on the themes at the time of release, but I certainly see theme now. The beauty of the songwriting is how well the music matches the themes of the lyrics even though the lyrics and music were written by two different people.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #32
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #43
Bonus tracks: In the nine bonus tracks we've got the usual b-sides, 7" single versions, and demos along with a few extra tracks tacked on with no explanation of their origin. The best of the tracks may be a demo for a song titled Wherever We Met. I'm normally not wild about the release of demos, but I'm glad they included this one. I also like When Love Goes To Sleep (because it sounds like it could have been a filler track from Cool For Cats), the previously promo-only I'm At Home Tonight, and the quirky closer Last Call For Love. I'm not wild about either of the two b-sides included here so I'll say it again: b-sides are usually b-sides for a reason. Included is the 7" single version of Annie Get Your Gun which sounds remarkably like the version on Singles: 45's and Under and is the same length; draw your own conclusions.
Bottom line: if the were just for the bonus tracks, I'd be a little disappointed in this upgrade purchase. However, the sound is so much better on this version than my original 1995 CD copy that, taken all together, it was worth the $12.63.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: see October 3, 2012 post.
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)