W2 26644 Play
Produced by Tony Berg
Released on July 23, 1991
Find it at GEMM
W2 26644 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 12.0: PLAY PENN. Another play on words, another swell record. I heard this for the first time in my brother’s car; he had just bought the cassette and wondered what I thought of the new Squeeze album. My reaction, then as now, was to proclaim it the best thing they’d done since East Side Story. Amazingly, Trouser Press called this album “listless.” (For the unfamiliar, TP is normally a critical archer of deadly acuity, its pages a lovingly tended paunch of pithy prose, compared to which Progrography is a crab scuttling on the ocean floor with penn in claw.) I’ll concede there are some hurdles standing before Play, though none of them insurmountable without a little effort: (1) Tony Berg’s post-Michael Penn production lacks the pub rock spontaneity of classic Squeeze—so does everything from Sweets onward; (2) Choosing “Sunday Street” as the advance single turned out to be a dead end; (3) the lyric sheet extends the “Play” pun past its logical conclusion by incorporating the lyrics into a play that makes little sense. Even years later, I still haven’t made my way through the whole lyric sleeve. (I’m saving this and Psychoderelict’s scrabble for a very, very rainy day.) As I mentioned, all small hurdles, beyond which lie some treasured keepsakes: “Wicked And Cruel,” “Walk A Straight Line,” “House of Love,” “Cupid’s Toy,” “Satisfied,” “The Day I Get Home.” Song for song, this usually gets the nod over Some Fantastic Place, and both end up on the platter more often than Babylon or Frank. I don’t see the added production value as stifling (which it was on Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti) but rather masterful, and the songcraft of Difford & Tilbrook deserves this sort of sumptuous setting. Listen to the gilded arrangements of “Gone To The Dogs” or “There Is A Voice” and you hear this music being lifted to its logical height, not handed in all wrinkled and dirty from misadventure like “Slaughtered, Gutted and Heartbroken.” If I were building a Squeeze collection, I’d start with East Side, Argybargy and an album of greatest hits to fill in the cracks, but after that Play’s the thing.

W2 26644 back cover
W2 26644 back cover


  1. SATISFIED    5:10
  2. CRYING IN MY SLEEP    5:03
  3. LETTING GO    5:01
  4. THE DAY I GET HOME    4:50
  5. THE TRUTH    4:12
  6. HOUSE OF LOVE    3:23
  7. CUPID'S TOY    4:31
  8. GONE TO THE DOGS    3:54
  10. SUNDAY STREET    4:16
  11. WICKED AND CRUEL    4:14
  12. THERE IS A VOICE    4:01

    All songs written by Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook. Arranged by Squeeze and Tony Berg.


CHRIS DIFFORD -- guitar and vocals
GILSON LAVIS -- drums and added percussion
GLENN TILBROOK -- electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and lead vocals
KEITH WILKINSON -- basses and vocals
John Acevedo -- strings
Bob Becker -- strings
Tony Berg -- more guitars and still more keyboards
Blanche Black -- choir (4)
Mary Jo Braun -- choir (4)
Wendie Colter -- choir (4)
Larry Corbet -- strings
Joel Derouin -- strings
Claudie Fontaine -- backing vocals
Armen Garabedian -- strings
Berj Garabedian -- strings
Gary Grant -- horns
Christopher Guest -- choir (4)
Jerry Hey -- horns
Dan Higgins -- horns
Bruce Hornsby -- accordion
Matt Irving -- organ, piano and accordion
Laurence Johnson -- backing vocals (7)
Suzie Katayama -- strings
Paul Lee -- backing vocals (7)
Michael McKean -- choir (4)
Gabriele Morgan -- choir (4)
Steve Nieve -- piano, organ and harpsichord
Sid Page -- strings
Michael Penn -- choir (4)
Betsy Petrie -- choir (4)
Bill Reichenbach -- horns
Beverly Skette -- backing vocals
Steven Soles -- choir (4)
Larry Williams -- horns
Bob Clearmountain -- mixing
Chris Lord Alge -- engineer
Ken Jordan -- engineer
Steve Reincoff -- engineer
Enrique Badulescu -- photography
Jeff Gold and Kim Champagne -- art direction
Tim Carr -- dramatist

return to SQUEEZE discography

UK July 1991 Reprise LP WX 428 lyric sleeve
UK July 1991 Reprise CD 26644-2  
US/GER July 23, 1991 Reprise LP/CD/CS 26644-1/2/4 lyric sleeve
JPN 1991 Reprise CDPRO WPCP-4449 promo only
US February 26, 2008 Wounded Bird CD    


For more discographies visit...

© 2010 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.