CS 5161 Babylon And On
Produced by Eric "E.T." Thorngren and Glenn Tilbrook
Released on September 1987
UK CHART POSITION #14 . . . US CHART POSITION #36
Find it at GEMM
CS 5161 cover  

A measure of the band’s pub-rock charm returned for Babylon And On. The singles relied a bit on gimmickry (“Hourglass,” “853-5937”) and slick production, but they’re balanced by warmer entries. After two albums of synthetic and stiffly arranged music, Difford and Tilbrook settle back into the role of sympathetic students of life and love. It provides an intimacy in their music missing since Sweets: “The Waiting Game” and “Tough Love” are two of the prettiest tracks they’ve ever recorded. Even when they stoop to conquer our affections with calculated pop music, you have to admire how well they pull it off. “Hourglass,” with its rapid-delivery chorus, and “853-5937” gave the band their first US Top 40 entries (“Tempted” had only reached #49) and gave Paul Carrack a run for his money as well. In the second rank of singles were songs that have since been swept aside in the receiving line of great Squeeze moments: “Footprints” (which I always have trouble recalling) and the strident “Trust Me To Open My Mouth.” Though Julian Holland doesn’t contribute any material or take a vocal lead, Chris Difford does to fine effect, including a striking match with Monique Dyan on “Striking Matches.” The remaining tracks include some genuine winners, notably “Cigarette of a Single Man” and “In Today’s Room.” If I give Frank the edge over Babylon, it may be because I’ve played the cassette version of Babylon so often that I’ve clipped its (sonic) wings a bit. Frank also felt less like a studio creature, whereas Babylon still bares the traces of technological tampering. And the closing “Some Americans” is beneath the band’s talents (maybe Glenn Tilbrook wanted to take his new sitar off as a tax deduction). Still, Babylon And On put Squeeze back on track, so if you lost interest after Singles, it’s time to tune in again.

CS 5161 lyric sleeve
CS 5161 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. HOURGLASS
  2. FOOTPRINTS
  3. TOUGH LOVE
  4. THE PRISONER
  5. 853-5937
  6. IN TODAY'S ROOM
  7. TRUST ME TO OPEN MY MOUTH
  8. STRIKING MATCHES
  9. CIGARETTE OF A SINGLE MAN
  10. WHO ARE YOU?
  11. THE WAITING GAME
  12. SOME AMERICANS

    All songs written by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook. All songs arranged by Squeeze and Eric "E.T." Thorngren.

CREDITS

CHRIS DIFFORD -- guitar, vocals, acoustic guitar
JULIAN HOLLAND -- organ, piano, keyboards
GILSON LAVIS -- drums, percussion, tambourine
GLENN TILBROOK -- guitar, vocals, horns, keyboards, banjo, lead guitar, percussion, nylon string guitar, sequencers, sitar
KEITH WILKINSON -- bass, vocals
Pam Baker -- mob vocal (8)
Stewart Dunning -- mob vocal (8)
Monique Dyan -- vocals
Andy Metcalfe -- keyboards, horns, moog
Del Newman -- string arranger and conductor (11)
Mike Sheerin -- mob vocal (8)
T Bone Wolk -- accordion
Eric "E.T." Thorngren -- engineer, mixing
Femi Jiya -- additional engineering
Stylorouge -- design
Nels -- band photography

return to SQUEEZE discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 1987 A&M LP/CD/CS AMA/AMC 5161 lyric sleeve
US September 1987 A&M LP/CD/CS SP/CD/CS 5161 lyric sleeve
AUS'L 1987 A&M LP L 38759 lyric sleeve
GER 1987 A&M LP 395161 lyric sleeve

 

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