Saturday, September 26, 2020

"Hourglass" by Squeeze

Song#:  3269
Date:  09/19/1987
Debut:  81
Peak:  15
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  This British band was last on the US Pop chart in 1981 with the #49 "Tempted." It was from their fourth album East Side Story, which made it to #41. Their next LP, Sweets from a Stranger, would get to #32, but it failed to generate a Pop chart single. Those results along with member conflicts, negative press, and touring stress led to the breakup of the band. Founding members and main songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford then decided to work as a duo. Appropriately named Difford & Tilbrook, the pair released a self-titled album in 1984. It didn't make much of an impression and failed to chart. In 1985, Squeeze reformed to perform at a charity event. The reception they received was so positive that the band decided to take that momentum into the studio and record a new album. Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti would be issued out in 1986. While it didn't featured any major hits, the LP did chart in the UK (#31) and the US (#61). Squeeze moved forward and then recorded the album Babylon and On. This track was issued out as the first single and it caught on cracking the Pop Top 20 while reaching #22 at Rock. It would end up being the band's biggest hit in the US. The hit drove the album to #36. The results were nearly the same back at home in the UK where the song reached #16 and the album #14.

ReduxReview:  This quirky song was a lot of fun, especially when paired with the video (see below). I loved the arrangement and the fast-paced chorus. It was hooky and memorable and I bought the single. Sadly, this song doesn't get played much anymore. It has been ages since I heard it anywhere. Playing it now makes me want to revisit the Squeeze catalog and get a few songs in my playlists. I know for true Squeeze fans and critics, this song wasn't necessarily a fave, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The video for this song was loaded with illusions and effects and it became quite popular on MTV, which most likely helped it along on the Pop chart. The concept was inspired by the surreal works of artist Salvador Dali. It was directed by British comedian/actor/singer Ade Edmondson. Edmondson became well-known thanks to the early 80s TV shows The Comic Strip Presents... and The Young Ones. On The Comic Strip he helped develop a metal band parody called Bad News. Edmondson would serve as the lead singer and guitarist. The band became popular enough that a self-titled debut album was released in 1987 along with a follow-up in 1988. Edmondson would appear in many TV shows and films over the years and direct music videos for other artists including The Pogues and 10,000 Maniacs. Back in 1985, Edmondson married comedian/screenwriter/actress Jennifer Saunders. She was also featured on The Comic Strip along with The Young Ones, but would later become hugely famous as creator/writer/star of Absolutely Fabulous.


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