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Difford & Tilbrook

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Album Review

While Squeeze collapsed from physical and artistic exhaustion after Sweets from a Stranger, the band's songwriting duo soldiered on under the name Difford & Tilbrook for another release. Frustrated with the band's lack of commercial success — and encouraged by the success of a similar stateside duo, Hall & Oates — Difford & Tilbrook set out to craft an '80s contemporary blue-eyed soul record, emulating all the requisite synth washes and drum machines from early-'80s Hall & Oates albums like H2O and Private Eyes. The uncharacteristic cover shot, which features the duo in long, flowing robes and distinctly '80s big hair, played up this comparison — this was clearly meant as a shot at the big time. All this may seem disconcerting, since Difford & Tilbrook had a distinctive style all their own and were seen as far less conventional than their American counterpart, but the album tanked on the charts precisely because it still sounded like Squeeze smothered by Tony Visconti's flat, lifeless production. This means it hasn't aged well, but is salvaged by two of the duo's best singles — "Love's Crashing Waves" and "Hope Fell Down" — and song-wise is a more consistent album than the schizophrenic Sweets from a Stranger. Over time, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook would prove to be the only constant members of Squeeze anyway, making Difford & Tilbrook the lost Squeeze album and the missing puzzle piece between Sweets from a Stranger and Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti. Despite being far from the duo's best work (and it's certainly the rarest), serious fans will want to seek this out.

Customer Reviews

Thank You Apple & iTunes

...for bringing out an extremely rare Squeeze album. The only time I had heard the two songs "Love's Crashing Waves" and "Hope Fell Down" were on the A&M-catalog-cleaning album "Piccadilly Collection," and (I think that) "Hope Fell Down" was an edit. The "record superstores" near me seem to refuse to bring out this album, and if I special-ordered it, it would cost me more than five times of what iTunes Store is selling it for. So, I thank you more than enough for bringing this out, it more than deserves a space on my nano. It is a keeper on my nano. Even the iPod Five R's (Reset, Retry, Restart, Reinstall, or Restore) won't even let me get rid of this album, no way, no how. Oh, did I already say "thanks?" I cannot seem to say it enough.

Spectacular that this has been made available...

This is what iTunes ought to be all about, making content that's been out of print for years available digitally... fans are happy it's here, the label's happy they can make another buck or two off content long deemed worthless. Anyway, that said, this is a pretty poor album by Squeeze standards. The production is astonishingly dated and almost impossible to get past, and weak songs like "Tears for Attention" and "Wagon Train" don't help any. If you really listen, though, the gems are there, as with any Difford/Tilbrook collaboration: "On My Mind Tonight" and "Hope Fell Down" are superb, for example. In any case, this is strictly for Squeeze fans.

A Must For Squeeze Fans

This ranks up there with the best Squeeze ever did. These 2 weren't called the Lennon & McCartney of Squeeze for nothing.


Formed: 1984

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

During the time between the breakup of British pop-wave band, Squeeze in late-1982 and its reformation in 1985, the group's founding songwriters, guitarists and vocalists Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford continued to work together. In addition to writing songs for Helen Shapiro, Paul Young, Billy Bremner and Jools Holland, and preparing the score for a musical revue, Labelled With Love, they continued to perform as a duo, Difford and Tilbrook. Working with David Bowie, Moody Blues, Thin Lizzy and...
Full Bio
Difford & Tilbrook, Difford & Tilbrook
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Customer Ratings