100 Greatest songs of the 70’s #53 Squeeze – Take Me, I’m Yours

Released: 1978

One of music’s defining qualities as an art form is it’s subjectivity; such is it prone to influence by almost any kind of stimulus, exactly what you hear nobody else will. With this in mind it’s possible to make a case for Squeeze as Britain’s definitive new wave singles band. There are other candidates – XTC would probably feel themselves hard done by if not included on any list, as would The Police and The Jam – but in the era’s peak between 1978 and 1981 their seven inch output was virtually peerless.

Writing in for Mojo in 1993 long after fashion and commercial success had deserted them (But not crucially the knack of writing a great hook) Rob Smith described their songwriting magus Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook as “the Leiber and Stoller of South London”, admittedly half jokingly, but not. They certainly had heavy laurels to rest on; whilst Cool For Cats had saddled them a little with a reputation for cheese, it’s weepy successors Up The Junction and Labelled With Love confirmed them as masters of a hard luck balladry untried by their contemporaries.

Back to where it all started, Take Me I’m Yours was their first single, lifted from an eponymous debut album which was produced by John Cale and arguably too sophisticated for 1978; similarly to Dire Straits whom they’d shared a journey upwards with, it thumbed a nose at bludgeoning riffs and punk’s ephemera. Mid-paced and synth dominated, it was also a love song, another dangerous jab at convention. Much more was to come, but not much would be better.

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