EXCESS MODERATION
SLEEVENOTES

1) Take Me I'm Yours
GLENN: This song we had originally recorded for RCA in 1976 but they dropped us without releasing it. When we had finished doing the first album for A&M they couldn't hear a single, so, with the lovely John Wood at the helm, we had a day in the studio to come up with something. We hired lots of synths and a bloke who knew how to work them and pretended to be Kraftwerk.
CHRIS: Visions of Lawrence of Arabia at the Lewisham Odeon and tour buses coming over the hill en route for another city and another show. Today Deptford, Tomorrow the World the shirts used to say.

2) Model
GLENN: Different from the album version, this highlights the wilder side of the band that was to become increasingly submerged under the direction of our writing.
CHRIS: My tongue stuck out as far as the photographs and all I could do was dream of being in some fashionable band with high collars and skinny legs. Dreaming is what songwriting is often all about.

3) Revue
GLENN: From Cool For Cats which was our first proper pop record, a song about a fading attraction distinguished by Jools' fine synth playing.
CHRIS: The theatre world seemed to be of another class, all I could do was to observe it from the end of my pencil.

4) Christmas Day
GLENN: A single we were convinced would top the charts and become a regular Christmas-time classic. Not a lot of people agreed though.
CHRIS: We had high hopes for this song, a hit every year even, but none of that was to be. If Slade could do it then why couldn't we?

5) Blood and Guts
GLENN: From the first version of the Cool For Cats album which was rejected by A&M, this unreleased track highlights Gilson's left-field approach, with the added bonus of Squeeze going Disco in the solo section.
CHRIS: War magazines were big currency in our school, I was seldom short of a good read. What did your Dad do in the war?

6) Going Crazy
GLENN: A staple of our early live shows. I was never quite sure why this didn't make it onto an album. This song (along with "Take Me I'm Yours") is conclusive proof that we were at the forefront of second wave use of the Mellotron.
CHRIS: What on earth were we doing and going on about. It was great fun though and it kept us off the streets.

7) The Knack
GLENN: Second only to 'The new Lennon & McCartney', one phrase that has dogged us throughout our career has been 'Kitchen Sink Drama'. "The Knack" is not one of those.
CHRIS: Damon Runyan stories inspired this song. Playing the number live at the Ha Ra Club in New York was a big moment for me. Glenn fingered the minimoog off to one side as Gilson pounded on the drums, and Bentley plucked away on the bass with all the pose of Basil Brush.

8) If I Didn't Love You
GLENN: Substituted for "Labelled with Love" on the US release of Singles-45's and Under, this song from Argybargy was musically influenced by Talking Heads and won us a few friends over there.
CHRIS: Singles remind me of kisses, albums remind me of plans... "Something/Anything" by Todd Rundgren did the trick for me, a low arm around the neck followed by the tremble in the right leg. Cunning and romantic in my early years as Mr. Suave.

9) Separate Beds
GLENN: If anyone has come close to the couplet "Her mother didn't like me, she thought I was on drugs/My mother didn't like her, she'd never peel the spuds", I'd like to know about it.
CHRIS: "Up the Junction" is my favourite lyric from the Cool For Cats album.

10) I Think I'm Go Go
GLENN: Probably our first "on the road" song inspired by a week when we played London, Amsterdam and New York. Getting used to touring is enough to inspire bemusement in anybody and we were no exception. Featuring an inspired string arrangement by Del Newman, who was to provide many fine arrangements for us over the next few years.
CHRIS: Del Newman loved to wear Icelandic boots to the studio, he was larger than life to me at the time and as cool as they came with a baton.

11) What the Butler Saw
GLENN: Also featuring strings by Del Newman, this track was bumped off Argybargy at the insistence of Miles Copeland, who said it was too Barry Manilow. Who am I to argue with him?
CHRIS: Musical management at its best, where chords greet lyrics with understanding and melody lines charm rhyme from the page.

12) Piccadilly
GLENN: East Side Story heralded our brief period of being cool, which wasn't something that sat well on my shoulders no matter how much of a relief it was to get a good review or two. Favourite line? Difficult - but "the cab took us home through a night I'd not noticed/the neon club lights of Adult Films and Trini Lopez" has to take the biscuit. Paul Carrack's piano gives the song a wonderful lilt.
CHRIS: Working with Elvis (Costello) was a huge inspiration for me, he lit my fire every day with his passion and dedication to our songs. "Piccadilly" was written on a napkin in a pub, where I spent most of writing days around this time. I used to love writing in pubs, funny that.

13) Trust
GLENN: During which we all had a chortle by parodying Adam and the Ants with no malice aforethought.
CHRIS: I was one of the ants for a day, what a busy life.

14) Tempted
GLENN: This version, done and dusted by Dave Edmunds, just goes to show how lucky we were when Elvis got Paul to sing our revised backing track. ELO on a bad day.
CHRIS: "Tempted" was written in a cab on the way to Heathrow, I just wrote down what I saw and how I felt as we wormed our way through the traffic. I also must have anticipated a good time on tour as the chorus suggests.

15) Woman's World
GLENN: Perhaps fed up with the sexist accusations that were sometimes levelled at his lyrics, Chris put his shoes on the other way and came up with this. I, like many before and after me, pretended to be Ray Davies.
CHRIS: A theme I traced over and copied a few times on other albums. "A Man For All Seasons" springs to mind from Difford & Tilbrook. I flew the feminist flag from a very masculine pole on many occasions, recently on "Great Escape" from Ridiculous.

16) Squabs On Forty Fab
GLENN: The "Stars on 45" series of records that came out in the early eighties inspired me to wonder if we could be so insensitive to our own songs. Tucked away as a B-side, the joke backfired and started picking up airplay which helped "Labelled With Love" achieve its high chart position.
CHRIS: The A side was indeed 'Labelled With Love". A lyric I feel very proud of, a lyric that tells a story I didn't know I could tell.

17) The Elephant Ride
GLENN: With Sweets From a Stranger came, for the first time, the disappointment of making an album not as good as the last one. It did, however, have some individual moments that I'm very proud of. This song has both a sense of satisfaction and an air of melancholy that we have rarely equalled since.
CHRIS: It's Sunday morning, it's black coffee in bed, the afterglow of love is fragrantly hanging in the bedroom air. The best version of this song was done by Aimee Mann on a tour we did together a few years ago, her harmony with Glenn was as close as they ever get to being heart wrenching.

18) Tongue Like a Knife
GLENN: Working class lad mixes with the upper crust and comes a cropper. With a tune inspired by Marc Bolan.
CHRIS: This could only be an album track, like so much of this last album before the breakup, the power had been reduced by too much touring, the go had gone from the team, along with the marbles.

19) His House Her Home
GLENN: A real harpsichord played by John Savannah (formerly known as Don Snow) propels this song sung in a register rarely used by Chris. I'm sure for years after he thought that, by adding my encouragement, I'd played a cruel trick on him.
CHRIS: Adultery in all its glory, the milkman on his round and the lady with the extra gold top on Sundays. And me in tight jeans trying to be Peter Noone with my voice.

20) When the Hangover Strikes
GLENN: My favourite track from the Sweets From a Stranger album. This parody of a torch song falls on the right side of acceptability. The guitar solo is a tip of the hat to Amos Garrett, who inspired me to a rare level of understatement.
CHRIS: Alcohol runs like a river through a lot of my lyrics, but none quite as crystal clear as these. Helped along lovingly by the pwerful gliding tension of Glenn's music. The saving grace from Sweets From a Stranger. Tony Bennett, this one's for you.

21) The Apple Tree
GLENN: From the beginning of our navel-gazing period, this song was later covered by Elaine Paige.
CHRIS: Dark as you like and musically Freudian for its time. The apple tree in question still grows in my grandmother's garden.

22) Within These Walls of Without You
GLENN: Featuring the first appearance of Keith Wilkinson plus the debut of Steve Nieve with us, this B-side was tossed off with a lack of effort that could have benefitted much of the Difford & Tilbrook album.
CHRIS: I always dreamt of having Steve Nieve in the band, his flair and insomniac behaviour inspired me very much in those days. Some weeks we never slept a wink. It was a great day's recording.

23) On My Mind Tonight
GLENN: Guy Fletcher, who played keyboards, came up with the great scat singing part in the middle section. I was at this time embarking on a 3 year period of smoking too much dope and not having a lot on my mind.
CHRIS: Written while babysitting with my nose firmly set in a packet of chewing gum. The words describe the night as it happened for meand I can see it now as I type, clear as mud.

24) Hope Fell Down
GLENN: Was written by pretending to be the Temptations.
CHRIS: Chord changes to make your knees knock and your hair stand on end, this could be a huge hit with some love and care.

25) No Place Like Home
GLENN: Domestic disharmony meets the kitchen sink and comes out fighting in what I think is a spirited song from the sluggish Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.
CHRIS: Kitchen sinks, I was tied to them. "Suds" they called me.

26) What Have They Done?
GLENN: Recorded in the interim between Cosi Fan and Babylon and On for the soundtrack of When the Wind Blows, this was a bit of a watershed for us in that it largely determined the direction for the next album - ie: let's all play together in the studio and enjoy it.
CHRIS: A boyish lyric that comes from that part of me that is South London and always will be.

27) Tough Love
GLENN: T-Bone Wolk's accordion part was the cheese on my toast in this song that has one of my favourite of Chris' lyrics.
CHRIS: Gilson inspired this lyric from something he said on the tour bus. I know now what he meant and how he felt. I love Gilson very much and will always respect the amount of effort he put into the band.

28) Striking Matches
GLENN: The demo for this song was very "When Doves Cry" - just drum machine and vocals. Eric Thorngren and Chris worked long and hard on this to turn it into something useable and Monique Dyan came up with the other vocal part that propelled it from a possible to a definite.
CHRIS: More cigarettes and kettles. "Hourglass" was on this album (Babylon and On) too, a big hit for us in America. It made the top twenty and we were back in Madison Square Gardens again, we were in smart suits and looking great for the first time in our career. We were top twenty USA.

29) Peyton Place
GLENN: From Frank, one of my favourite moments from the end of mid-period Squeeze. Jools' piano solo on this is nothing short of genius.
CHRIS: Amazing piano solo from our Jools who was in the middle of being David Frost, flying back and forth across the pond during tours of the States and recording TV shows in Newcastle. Peyton Place is in Greenwich, next to the police station.

30) Dr. Jazz
GLENN: Speaking of the little feller, Jools' song had been in our act for a few years by the time we got around to recording it. This take was all live except for the backing vocals.
CHRIS: It was always good to have a song by Jools on an album, I don't think the spotlight stayed on him long enough to keep him in the band though.

31) Melody Motel
GLENN: Lyrically speaking a distant half-cousin of "The Knack", in that it's another slice of Americana. Musically, it's Dolly Parton with James Burton on guitar.
CHRIS: Sam Shepard meets Danny Baker. How did Glenn ever get used to cramming so many of my words into our songs in the way he did? I take my hat off to him with this one in particular.

32) Slaughtered Gutted and Heartbroken
GLENN: I had a hand in the original chorus lyric which ended "Oh my dear as Gilbert said, Alone again naturally". I thought Chris had the right idea by changing it.
CHRIS: My vocal balanced on a knife edge above a very large pot of embarrassment. Vocal confidence has never been one of my strengths.

33) Maidstone
GLENN: Our most requested B-side. The relaxed mandolin and acoustics bring to mind a lost Mungo Jerry track.
CHRIS: More wonderful Nieve playing on a song that should have seen more light than it has done over the years.

34) House of Love
GLENN: I like songs that are musically a bit queasy. The barking mad keyboard by Steve Nieve and the 18 million chord changes produce this effect for me. From the Play album, which marked the beginning of our renaissance period.
CHRIS: I never liked this one very much and fought to keep it off the album but lost the argument. The album lacked pace so it stayed on. That's the joy of being in partnership, you win some and you lose some. And then some.

35) The Truth
GLENN: A top guitar line from producer Tony Berg cemented this into my all time top ten. This was a song that went all around the house from hard rockin' "Band on the Run"-period Wings before finding its natural home. One of our best.
CHRIS: I cried when I heard the final mix of this song, it blew me away. "The Truth" is a warm and honest lyric coming from the heart of a mixed-up chap.

36) Letting Go
GLENN: Lovingly crafted and super shiny, this is the acceptable face of our eccentricty. Another one in my top ten.
CHRIS: These chord changes will knock you dead once you learn to play them. Mixed together with the beautiful melody and spine chilling vocal, you could not ask for much else in a day's work. Playing this live recently on our acoustic tour, I realized how great Glenn's voice can be, tender and very powerful.

37) It's Over
GLENN: It was Pete Thomas who spotted that this was a "Beat Group" song. Once that penny had dropped, the rest fell into place. Thanks to the chap from the Levellers who lent me his Balalaika which featured in the chorus.
CHRIS: Pete Thomas, another dream come true.

38) Loving You Tonight
GLENN: The very welcome return of Paul Carrack gave us a chance to get him to sing for us again.
CHRIS: Written in the car on the way home from the studio one night, it wrote itself word for word. Paul brings it to life each time I hear it being sung. What a great voice. The road in question was the A268 in Kent.

39) Cold Shoulder
GLENN: A tune that started out very complicated, we chipped and chipped away at it until we had this model of simplicity. Chris' lyric is top-notch.
CHRIS: I wrote this sitting in a pew at St. Margaret's church in Rye one Monday night, the rain fell outside and the music played in my head from a backing track Glenn provided that day. The vocal on this track has everything a lyric could want - passion, sympathy, and understanding.

40) Some Fantastic Place
GLENN: My favourite Squeeze song is also the most personal that we have ever written. About an old friend of mine and Chris' who succumbed to leukemia. Chris gave me the lyric without saying anything and the tune wrote itself.
CHRIS: Maxine showed me that I could change my life if I wanted to, she showed me that change is a good thing and nothing to be afraid of. Before she died we sat in her garden and took tea one afternoon. She told me how I could get my house in order and I felt very humbled. Her words rung in my head like cathedral bells and very soon I would hear what she was saying. Without her there would be no Glenn and without her this album would not have existed. "Some Fantastic Place" is the finest song we have written.


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