There is a possibility, based on trying to respond positively to requests/suggestions from readers, that I will turn my attention to the singles released over the years by Squeeze. It’s not on the immediate horizon but then again, given that I’m increasingly finding it difficult to come up with fresh ideas, it might well be that the blog ends up with more than the current one singles series in a given week before too long.
Squeeze had come together as early as 1974 when a then 17-year old Chris Difford put an advert in the window of a local newsagent shop in Deptford in the working class and highly unfashionable south-east of London that was responded to by a local 20-year old named Glen Tilbrook. They bonded quickly, writing songs together, and soon they were seeking other musicians to in the hope and expectation of forming a performing and recording combo. Some musicians did initially come and go, but the line-up was eventually completed by Julian Holland (keyboards), Harry Kakoulli (bass) and Gilson Lavis (drums).
Like many other bands of that pre-punk era, Squeeze made their name and living via the pub circuit that dominated much of the music scene across the UK, particularly in the major cities. They were picked up by Miles Copeland III, a 30-year old American who had relocated to London with a determination to somehow to break into the music industry. Copeland had established an agency and label called BTM (British Talent Management) but it went bust in 1976 after a series of loss-making shows and festivals, leaving many of their acts, including Squeeze, high and dry but freely available.
The band cobbled together money to record an EP and release it in May 1977 on the Deptford City Label. It was produced by John Cale of The Velvet Underground whom Copeland had introduced to them. It’s fair to say that the outcome was quite basic, almost elementary in nature; it’s nowhere near good enough to include it as part of the ‘cracking debut’ regular feature on this blog:-
Having said that, the Packet of Three EP, from July 1977, did pique enough interest in the group to generate some A&R follow-up, particularly in the live setting with the band seemingly an ever-present in the many small, noisy and smoky pubs of their local community and further afield across London, and they were still being championed by Copeland. In due course, Squeeze would be signed by A&M Records in 1978 for whom they would deliver a string of successful singles and albums over the next decade.