Released: February 8, 1980
Peak: 71 US, 32 UK, 26 CN
Sales (in millions): --
Genre: new wave
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Songs written by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 36:38
3.944 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)
Quotable: ”Packed with perfect, timeless pop that stands not only as the band's crowning achievement, but also as a landmark recording of the era” – Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“Where Cool for Cats marked a great leap over the debut, Argybargy improved at least that far over its own predecessor.” AMG ”Everything on this record is in place” HE as Squeeze “figured out a sound that wasn't just commercial, but tasteful and sophisticated.” JA “Still a distinctly British band, Squeeze compensated with an incredibly catchy batch of songs that, despite the subject matter, spoke the universal language of bright, bouncy, instantly endearing pop.” AMG
The clever and catchy songs of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford had found their full flower and the band's embellishments and propulsion had grown by confident leaps and bounds.In short, the band finds a clear and distinct voice on Argybargy.” HE They ”don't settle for have-fun fall-in-love fear-girls. They pen short stories worthy of early Rupert Holmes, and with a beat…'Tis said McCartneyesque tunefulness is the ticket here, but…Tilbrook sounds more like Ray Davies…at peace with himself and out for big bucks.” RC
”The acute observations of the British working class were even more vivid — none so poignant as the classic Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” AMG “a memorable soul ballad,” JA “which offers a series of detailed snapshots of the different walks of life on a seaside holiday.” AMG
“Opening with the one-two punch of …[that song] and Another Nail In My Heart, this album keeps up an exuberant pace, but never runs out of breath.” HE The latter is "a comparatively up-tempo number with an interesting marimba part and a smooth 50's-style dance beat.” JA
If I Didn’t Love You is easily as strong as the two singles; great vocal, great slide guitar solo, and the chorus' jerky rhythm is like a Cars riff gone right.” JA
“The rest is just as solid.” JA There’s “the often-overlooked courting-to-breakup story-song Vicky Verky, which nearly matched [the] brilliance” AMG of “Up the Junction” from the Cool for Cats album.
"Separate Beds…has the dynamic, layered production you'd expect from a mid-70's Elton John or Paul McCartney record.” JA ”New bassist John Bentley [brings a] subtle, swooping melodicism…he’s brilliant on the MG's-inspired There at the Top); Holland's contribution is a peppy, nicely done 50's dance number (Wrong Side of the Moon); nerdy synth noises are kept to a minimum; and there are inspired hooks and unexpected transitions everywhere.” JA
“This album is an essential pop statement, full of verve, invention, humor and surprise.” HE “Argybargy is simply packed with perfect, timeless pop that stands not only as the band's crowning achievement, but also as a landmark recording of the era.” AMG
Notes: The U.S. release reordered songs 6-11 as “If I Didn’t Love You,” “Farfisa Beat,” “Here Comes That Feeling,” “Vicky Verky,” “Wrong Side of the Moon,” and “There at the Top.” The 1997 UK re-release added bonus tracks “Funny How It Goes” and “Go.”
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First posted 3/16/2006; last updated 2/7/2022.