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Squeeze Biography

Home > Music > S > Squeeze > Biography

Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1974-1982, 1985-1999, 2007-present
Genres: New Wave, Power Pop, Post-punk

Squeeze is an English band that rose to prominence in the U.K. during the new wave music movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Squeeze was formed by the writing duo of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook in Deptford, London, in 1974 and disbanded in 1982. Squeeze reformed in 1985 and then disbanded again in 1999. The band reunited in 2007 for one-off tours in the U.K. and the U.S.

The band began with Difford on guitar and vocals, Tilbrook on guitar and vocals, Jools Holland on keyboards and Paul Gunn on drums. 1976 saw Gilson Lavis replaced Gunn on drums and Harry Kakoulli joined on bass. Squeeze got their start in the local Deptford music scene playing local gigs.

Squeeze’s debut EP, “Packet of Three,” arrived in 1977 via the Fun City label. Squeeze's self-titled debut album arrived a year later and spawned the hit singles, “Take Me I'm Yours” and “Bang Bang.”

The band's second album, “Cool for Cats,” appeared in 1979 and produced the hits, “Cool For Cats” and “Up The Junction,” both of which peaked at #2 on the U.K. Pop chart. That same year saw John Bentley replace Kakoulli.

1980 marked the band’s third album, “Argybargy,” which was a hit in the U.K. and in the U.S. That same year saw Holland leave the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Paul Carrack.

In 1981 the band cut perhaps their best-known album, “East Side Story.” It was produced by Elvis Costello and Roger Bechirian, and featured Carrack's lead vocals on the radio hit “Tempted. “Carrack himself left after the release of “East Side Story,” and was replaced by Don Snow. This line-up recorded the “Sweets From A Stranger” LP in 1982. Negative reviews, the stresses of touring and conflict between band members led Difford and Tilbrook to break up the band later that year, after releasing a final single, “Annie Get Your Gun.”

Difford and Tilbrook went on to release the self-titled album, “Difford & Tilbrook,” as a duo in 1984. Squeeze reformed in 1985 with the lineup of Difford, Tilbrook, Holland, Lavis and Bentley, to play a charity event. The success of the show led to the band touring as Squeeze once again. The band went through a number of lineup changes throughout the remaining 1980s.

1993 marked the return of Carrack to Squeeze and the band releasing their 11th studio album, “Some Fantastic Place.” By 1997, the Squeeze lineup dwindled to just Difford and Tilbrook. A year later, bassist Hilaire Penda and drummer Ashley Soan had joined the lineup. Difford decided to take a hiatus from the band in 1999 which led to them breaking up once again.

Difford and Tilbrook embarked on solo careers and collaborated on the track, “Where I Can Be Your Friend,” in 2003. 2007 marked the reforming of Squeeze once more for a series of shows, minus Holland and Lavis whose schedules were too busy with other projects. Squeeze toured the U.S. that year supported by Fountains of Wayne, Will Hoge, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Cheap Trick, in addition to releasing, “Five Live: On Tour in America.”

For the next three years the new incarnation of Squeeze continued to tour and appeared live on television shows. 2012 marked the band’s first recording of new material in 14 years in the guise of the EP, “Packet Of Four.”