Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Squeeze - Argybargy

This month marks the thirty fifth anniversary of Argybargy, the third studio album from Squeeze. It peaked at number 71 on the US Billboard Album chart (with a total run on the chart of twenty-four weeks), number 32 in the UK and number 26 in Canada.

Side one starts with "Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)". As the second single, it stalled at number 44 on the UK charts. The phrase "pulling mussels" is British slang for sexual intercourse. I really like the beat on this one, as well as the piano bridge towards the back-end.

"Another Nail in My Heart", the first single, hit number 56 in Canada, number 17 in the UK and number 10 in Ireland. The opening rhythm that then underlies the rest of the song reminds me of a train chugging down the track.

"Separate Beds" tells of a couple whose mothers don’t approve of their relationship so that they have to sneak off to be together.

"Misadventure" has a ton of energy, delivering a rapid-fire tune for bopping on the dance floor. I like the bass solo towards the end.

"I Think I'm Go Go" has a darker, heavier tone to it. It is a nice change of pace by this point on the record. The percussion and synths are also very interesting towards the end.

Side two of the UK release begins with "Farfisa Beat", which was released as a single in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland only. I really like this one a lot and think it might have done well here in the US as a single. It has a great new-wave vibe to it.

"Here Comes That Feeling" was released as the B-side to the previous track. This one has an angst-filled, ominous tone to it.

"Vicky Verky" tries to lighten things back up with another quick-beat tune.

On the US release, this next track started off the second side. "If I Didn't Love You" was released as a single in the US in March of 1980, but it failed to make the Billboard chart. The lyrics make reference to a record skipping, so the band decided to simulate that at points with the vocals by using repeated phrases. I think it really makes the song memorable.

The band takes an old-time rock throwback approach with "Wrong Side of the Moon". Again, another interesting piano and guitar blend.

The closing track was "There at the Top". This one might also have made a good single as it has a lot of catchy hooks.

The 1997 CD reissue of the album added two more tracks: "Funny How It Goes" and "Go". The 2008 deluxe edition added seven additional tracks to the above as well as a second disk that covered a recorded concert at Hammersmith Odeon from March of 1980.

Most of my exposure, back in the day, to Argybargy came from the local album-oriented rock station and from my older brother (who owned a copy on vinyl). It has probably been close to three decades since I’ve heard it all the way through from start to finish. Some of them were like long forgotten friends from my high school days who popped up to say hello.

For more from Squeeze, click here.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Sweet! I was introduced to several of the tunes here on the stellar 45's and Under compilation. If it tells you how much I like this one: to date, this is the only album to appear twice on the CD Project - once on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 then again on Thursday, April 5, 2012.