Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Squeeze's SPOT THE DIFFERENCE--re-recording your old songs to make more money off them.

There's a mini-trend going on with bands of a certain age: the re-recording of old songs to rake in more money (presumably from song publishing and royalties).  In some cases such as Simply Red's SIMPLIFY or the recent Spandau Ballet reunion album, the songs at least get re-arranged.

And then there's Squeeze's SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.  It's an album of songs that have appeared on most or all of the band's other compilations--and the songs are intended, unfortunately, to be as sound-like-the-originals as possible.

Presuming that Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford may not have wanted to collaborate on new songs to add to the chestnuts on SPOT.  And perhaps Tilbrook wanted to throw some financial support to his two bandmates from The Fluffers who fill the keyboard and drum slots in the resurrected Squeeze (which played a double-bill with Dave Wakeling's English Beat tribute band at Gibson Ampitheatre last week).

But for longtime Squeeze fans, SPOT is rather a letdown (though the songs are as well-played as the first time around in the recording studio).

Obviously, the opportunity was squandered for a more creative approach: re-record some of the lesser-known items from Squeeze's catalog.  Good songs such as "By Your Side" (marred by a cluttered arrangement on COSI FAN TUTTI FRUTTI) and "When The Hangover Strikes" (marred by overproduction on SWEETS FROM A STRANGER) could have been resurrected for the band's old and new audiences.  And all five members of the current Squeeze would have still received paydays.

But my conception of a perfect new-old Squeeze album looks like a forever-lost opportunity.  Alas.

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