Saturday, 15 April 2017
Squeeze - East Side Story (1981) (US 1998 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab) Flac & mp3
Roundly regarded as Squeeze's grand masterpiece, in its planned incarnation East Side Story was going to be much grander: it was designed as a double-album with each side produced by a different musician, all a forefather of a different aspect of Squeeze. Dave Edmunds and his Rockpile cohort Nick Lowe were both contracted, as was Lowe's main producing success story Elvis Costello, and then Paul McCartney was slated for a side, but as the sessions started all but Elvis and Edmunds pulled out, with Dave only contributing one track. Costello was enough to make a big, big difference, helping to highlight a band in flux. Jools Holland left the group after Argybargy, taking with him a penchant for boogie-woogie novelty tunes. His replacement was Paul Carrack, veteran of pub rockers Ace who gave Squeeze another lead singer with true commercial potential -- something that Costello exploited by having Carrack sing lead for the brilliant piece of blue-eyed soul, "Tempted" (Costello and Glenn Tilbrook sneak in for the second verse). "Tempted" was a misleading hit -- at least it was a hit in America, where it turned into a '80s standard -- in that it suggested Carrack was a larger presence in the band than he really was, yet it also suggested the richness of East Side Story, and in how the band's music deepened and found a sympathetic producer in Costello. Far from reprising his skeletal, nervy production for The Specials, Costello smoothes out the lingering rough edges in the band, giving them a hint of gloss that has more to do with its new wave era than commercial considerations. One thing that is missing is the frenzied beat that had been Squeeze's signature throughout their first three albums: despite the echoey rockabilly of "Messed Around" -- if you didn't check the credits, you'd be sure this is Edmunds' production, but he was responsible for tightening up the almost ideal opener "In Quintessence," which strangely enough sounds like Costello's 1981 album, Trust (it really was an incestuous scene) -- this isn't a rock & roll album, it's a pop album through and through, from its sounds to its songs.
Nearly all what Squeeze have written is top notch pop. Maybe the second best ban.., no i better stop here :-).
Frank Flac1 You need both flac links! Flac 2