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Music / Squeeze

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The 1978 lineup of Squeeze. From left to right: Harry Kakoulli, Glenn Tillbrook, Chris Difford, Gilson Lavis, and Jools Holland

To change the mood a little I've been posing down the pub,
On seeing my reflection, I'm looking slightly rough,
I fancy this I fancy that I want to be so flash,
I give a little muscle, I spend a little cash,
But all I get is bitter and a nasty little rash,
And by the time I'm sober I've forgotten what I had,
And everybody tells me that it's cool to be a cat,
It's cool for cats.
Squeeze, "Cool for Cats"

Squeeze is a new wave band from Deptford, South London. The group formed in 1974 when Glenn Tilbrook answered an advertisement Chris Difford posted looking for a guitarist and bandmate. The two began writing music together, and were soon recording and publicly performing. Their first hit came in 1978 with "Take Me, I’m Yours". The band experienced great success, at least in the U.K., with songs that followed, including "Cool for Cats", "Up the Junction”, "Tempted", "Labelled with Love" and "Black Coffee in Bed".

The group broke up for the first time in 1982 due to artistic and personal tensions in the band, especially between main songwriters Difford and Tilbrook. Realizing that their songwriting partnership was too valuable to be scrapped, Difford and Tilbrook collaborated again in 1984 to release a Squeeze-unaffiliated album (aptly titled Difford & Tilbrook) before reforming in 1985 as Squeeze once again. Further chart success followed, including the US hit “Hourglass” in 1987. The band continue to tour and record today.

Glenn Tilbrook and and Chris Difford have remained the two constants in the band’s lineup through their many years together. Other notable and long-standing members in the band include keyboardists Jools Holland and Paul Carrack, bassists John Bentley and Keith Wilkinson, and drummer Gilson Lavis. The current line-up consists of Tilbrook, Difford, keyboardist Stephen Large, bassist Yolanda Charles, drummer Simon Hanson and percussionist Steve Smith.

For the final Velvet Underground album of the same name (which the group took their name from), see Squeeze.


  • Squeeze (1978)
  • Cool for Cats (1978)
  • Argybargy (1980)
  • East Side Story (1981)
  • Sweets from a Stranger (1982)
  • Difford & Tilbrook (Difford & Tilbrook) (1984)
  • Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti (1985)
  • Babylon and On (1987)
  • Frank (1989)
  • Play (1991)
  • Some Fantastic Place (1993)
  • Ridiculous (1995)
  • Domino (1998)
  • Spot the Difference (2010)
  • Cradle to the Grave (2015)

Tempted by the tropes of another:

  • Age-Progression Song: "Up The Junction", the baby is created, born and learns to walk.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Gilson Lavis had this said about him prior to sobriety.
  • Artistic License: Referencing the otherwise unrelated William Tell and Maid Marian in "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)"
  • Breakfast in Bed: Implied in the song "Black Coffee in Bed." The song is sung from the perspective a jilted narrator whose lover left him, and the only physical reminder he has of her is a coffee cup stain left behind after having a morning cup in bed, suggesting the woman having some kind of breakfast in bed before leaving the narrator.
  • Creator Provincialism: The band's habit of writing lyrics in working-class British slang kept them from becoming more popular in the U.S.
  • Homage: to The Sweeney in Cool for Cats
  • Intercourse with You: Many Squeeze songs fit into this category with "Loving You Tonight" being very blunt:
    "Sometimes I can't see the trees for the wood
    But loving you tonight feels good"
  • Market-Based Title: The band's first Self-Titled Album was dubbed U.K. Squeeze in America due to a band named Tight Squeeze already existing.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: "Goodbye Girl"
  • Obligatory Bondage Song:
    • "Sex Master"
    • "Hard to Find" - the singer tells how he ties his girlfriend up, but then passes out drunk.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Slightly Drunk"
  • The One That Got Away: "Up the Junction", after marriage and parenthood.
  • Revolving Door Band: Those that aren't Difford or Tilbrook tend to change. Even Difford left the band for a while in 1999. Gilson and Jools, meanwhile, both came back post-breakup — and then left again. Paul Carrack, John Bentley, Andy Metcalfe and Christopher Holland (Jools' brother) have also had multiple tenures in the group.
  • Seduction Lyric: Despite the blunt-sounding title, "Take Me I'm Yours" is actually a metaphorical sort of seduction; the singer has found not only his dream girl, but a whole fantasy world, and offers it and her complete surrender.
    Take me I'm yours
    Because dreams are made of this
    Forever there'll be
    A heaven in your kiss
  • Sequel Song: "Vicky Verky" to "Up the Junction" and possibly "Labelled with Love"
  • Series Fauxnale: Sweets from a Stranger functions as this: their "last" album followed by their "last" tour, "last" TV appearancenote , etc. As it turned out Difford and Tilbrook continued to collaborate and were calling themselves "Squeeze" again within 3 years, although they became more of a Revolving Door Band.
  • Shout-Out: "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)" mentions "A Harold Robbins paperback".
  • Soprano and Gravel: Compare Tilbrook's high pitch to Difford's raspy snarl.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Difford on "Love Circles" and "Cool for Cats", keyboardist (and later vocalist for Mike + the Mechanics) Paul Carrack on "Tempted".
  • Teen Pregnancy: "Vicky Verky", which notably averts Good Girls Avoid Abortion.
  • Visual Pun: In the logo on the front cover of East Side Story, the first "e"note  in "Squeeze" is printed much smaller than the rest of the words - thus, the middle of their name is being "squeezed".
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Difford and Tilbrook have both admitted that the lyrics of "Hourglass" don't really mean much of anything.