18. Squeeze – Cool for Cats

The Sweeney’s doing ninety ‘cause they’ve got the word to go.
They get a gang of villains in a shed up at Heathrow.

Squeeze write love songs. Just look at some of their song titles: Is That Love, Tempted, Another Nail For My Heart, Labelled with Love. These guys write, play and sing love songs. Glenn Tilbrook’s high voice is perfect for this. Up the Junction is the story of a guy falling in love, having a baby and then becoming a drunk and losing the family he still loves and it sounds so heart-wrenchingly tragic sung in Tilbrook’s melancholy voice it makes me want to cry. It made number two on the UK charts.

At the other end of the room sitting surrounded by babes is Cool for Cats. It’s a pub sing-along with lyrics that make you feel like a meat-eating London bloke:

Shape up at the disco and I think I’ve got a pull. I ask her lots of questions and she hangs on to the wall.

The band plays a song with a good beat, Chris Difford uses his messy London accent to half-sing the slice-of-life lyrics and Jools Holland (of Late Night with Jools Holland fame – who’d a thunk it) finishes off with a solo on the electric piano. 

The video is a lot of late-Seventies fun with Difford singing while two girls dance around with boundless energy in stretchy pants and leather jackets. When I watch videos this old I find myself thinking about the age of the people involved – those girls must be pushing fifty now. Do they play this video to remember how hot they looked back then? Did they have a successful career in showbiz beyond this? Maybe they’re famous for something they did later in life.

When I first made this list I had Is That Love pencilled in as number 18 but I couldn’t go through with it. There wasn’t much logic involved, it was a case of the world feeling right with Cool for Cats as number 18. It’s cool to be a cat.


Next: 17. Roxy Music – Same Old Scene

Previous: 19. Smashing Pumpkins – 1979


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