“Argybargy” by Squeeze - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1980Album Chart of the Decade: 1980s

TJR says

Their third album statement in three years improves again, with some fantastic writing here and there. Bassist Harry Kakoulli drops out after 5 years of service, the new quintet lining-up: Chris Difford (rhythm guitar, vocals), Glenn Tilbrook (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals), Jools Holland (keyboards, vocals), Harry Kakoulli (bass) and Gilson Lavis (drums). The record wastes no time in bursting into life on the fantastic opener “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)”: “They do it down on Camber Sands, They do it at Waikiki”. Do what? “But behind the chalet, My holiday's complete, And I feel like William Tell, Maid Marian on her tiptoed feet, Pulling mussels from a shell” Oh, I see. Ahem. Hi-de-hi campers! This was the album's second single, but disappointingly stalled at #44. It's the lead single which follows, “Another Nail In My Heart” (#17), employing the regular tactic of Difford the lower, Tilbrook the higher vocal register. Despite the chipper nature of the catchy tune the heartbroken protagonist is drowning his sorrows: “And here in the bar, the piano man's found another nail for my heart”. Ouch.

The quality start continues with “Separate Beds”, a kitchen-sink drama focusing on the frustrations of love's young dream: “Her mother didn't like me, She thought I was on drugs, My mother didn't like her, She'd never peel the spuds, So we took off together, And stayed at Mrs. Smith's, Breakfast at half seven, Where you can view the cliffs”. Chris Difford’s depiction of the glory (and the pitfalls) of teenage love is further explored on the excellent “Vicky Verky”, revisiting “Up The Junction”'s themes of lust, unwanted pregnancy, desperate crime, regret and, ultimately, love. It's a really great piece of writing: “With her hair up in his fingers, The fish and chips smell lingers, Under amber streetlamps, She holds the law in her hands, The moistness of the damp night, Falls silent through the lamplight, Although she’s only fourteen, She really knows her courting” That feller certainly had a way with words, did he not? The album hit #32 maintaining their slow but steady long-play progress.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:58] 8.0.png Squeeze - Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
A2 [02:56] 7.0.png Squeeze - Another Nail In My Heart (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
A3 [03:21] 6.5.png Squeeze - Separate Beds (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
A4 [02:56] 5.8.png Squeeze - Misadventure (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
A5 [04:18] 6.2.png Squeeze - I Think I’m Go Go (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
B1 [02:57] 5.1.png Squeeze - Farfisa Beat (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
B2 [02:12] 5.5.png Squeeze - Here Comes That Feeling (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
B3 [03:12] 8.9.png Squeeze - Vicky Verky (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
B4 [04:11] 5.7.png Squeeze - If I Didn’t Love You (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave
B5 [02:25] 4.2.png Squeeze - Wrong Side Of The Moon (Chris Difford, Jools Holland) Pop
B6 [03:46] 6.0.png Squeeze - There At The Top (Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook) New Wave

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