15
Aug 07

SLADE – “Skweeze Me Pleeze Me”

FT + Popular44 comments • 4,252 views

#333, 30th June 1973

“Cleverness” wasn’t usually something Slade aimed for – though you wouldn’t necessarily call them stupid – but on “Skweeze Me Pleeze Me” even they dip a toe into metatext: “Can’t you learn to spell?” Mostly, though, this is Slade’s warm, sentimental side given rein. The glorious intro promises a full-on monster anthem but this is mostly Noddy’s show, with the band happy to jog along behind while he belts out the chorus and sells you on the reflective (in Slade terms) verses. It’s only towards the end that they wake up, remember they’re a rock band, and turn “Skweeze Me” into the rave-up it wants to be.

6

Comments

1 2 All
  1. 26
    mike on 21 Aug 2007 #

    One Sunday afternoon, many many years ago, in a pub near Vauxhall station, I saw a drag queen lip-synching to the Barbra Streisand version of “Life On Mars”, while on an ecstasy comedown (me, not the drag queen, although You Never Know). It bombed so badly that she threatened to perform it all over again.

    Many many years later, in the same pub, on an ecstasy plateau, I danced and sang, lustily, to the *other* Eurodance cover of “Life On Mars”, whose lyrics suddenly struck me as The Most Brilliantly Prescient Commentary On Blair’s Britain That I Had Ever Heard, Oh My God Oh My God.

    But the Co.Ro version does take a lot of beating, I do agree – especially the obligatory dinky little Motiv8-style riff that they stick on after the chorus…

  2. 27
    Waldo on 21 Aug 2007 #

    Tom – The last episode, yes. As Marcello says, when Leo walked into the House of Lords through the St Stephens entrance having alighted the crazy bus driven by the dwarf, it had finished its orbit of the planet Silly.

  3. 28
    Marcello Carlin on 21 Aug 2007 #

    Ah no, that was a crazy lorry with bars on the side! I think you may be mixing it up with Hope and Keen’s Crazy Bus.

  4. 29
    intothefireuk on 21 Aug 2007 #

    Marcello – you are obviously in Bowie denial. I can’t let you get away with your misguided dismissal. If a failed pop single can sustain the number 3 position for three weeks then I’d like a few myself. LOM is classic Bowie and indeed classic Ronson, who arranged it. Yes Wakeman played piano but it is one of his better moments (he still plays it at his own gigs). The dense lyric interweaves images and iconic references into a meditation on the vagueries of fame & the media & although it leaves plenty of room for interpretation it doesn’t, to these ears owe anything to American Pie. Bowie, himself provides a magnificent vocal performance reaching notes he never quite could again. It is rare that I prefer an interpretation of an artists songs over the original artist performance and it is testament to the quality of an artists songs that reasonable cover versions can be made at all. Bowie’s version of LOM though has no parallels. However ATYD by Mott is one example (although, of course Bowie sings the chorus) and both Lulu (with Bowie again) & Kurt made very reasonable attempts at TMWSTW – the original, though still stands.

    I also quite liked Linda Lewis’ Rock-A-Doodle-Doo at this time especially the middle bit.

  5. 30
    mike on 21 Aug 2007 #

    I must say that in all these years, it’s never occurred to me to try and pin down what LOM is “about”. It works for me as an impressionistic piece, where the sounds of the words are as key as the fractured images that they conjure up… and taken in that respect, it works beautifully for me. (But then I was brought up on the “nonsense” of Lear and Milligan et al, and Summer 1973 was my Sitwell/Walton Facade phase, so…)

  6. 31
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Aug 2007 #

    I think Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day” does a much better job with the Lear/Milligan/pop interface, as indeed did Robert Wyatt passim at the time. “LOM”‘s half-baked images are the kind of thing you write in your English ink exercise jotter when you’re fourteen and you’re convinced you’ve written The Waste Land, only you get it back with a D- and “See me” inscribed in red ink.

    By failed pop single I of course mean aesthetic failure. Otherwise we’d all give “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” a 10.

    Sitwell/Walton(/Lambert) Facade is of course the beginning of rap…

    Agree with ITFU about Linda Lewis though. Good record that.

  7. 32
    Waldo on 22 Aug 2007 #

    And Linda Lewis was a comely lass, was she not? Hope and Keen! Dear God, those telentless numpties had slipped my mind totally. And, yes, the escape vehicle was indeed a huge crazy lorry with bars. But then I haven’t seen “Fall Out” for about three years. It was the occasion when I showed it along with the preceding “Once Upon a Time” to my girlfriend, who just wanted to know how the series ended. I did try to warn her…

  8. 33
    Chris Brown on 28 Aug 2007 #

    Yowzah! I stop looking for a couple of weeks and suddenly there are hundreds of posts? I knew this one was coming up, so I bought the 45 in a charity shop over the weekend, and I can now make the informed comment: er, it’s just sort of going through the motions a bit isn’t it? Still, at least I got ‘Kill Em At The Hot Club Tonite’.

    Oh, and according to Noddy Holder, the first batch of promotional copies of ‘My Friend Stan’ did indeed have a spelling mistake – they were labelled as ‘My Friend Satan’. No wonder it never got to Number One!

  9. 34
    Brooksie on 8 Feb 2010 #

    As Rosie said; this one’s the runt. It’s a clear attempt to repeat COFTN, but it doesn’t manage it. It’s good, it’s uptempo, their craft just about holds it together, but it’s lacking something. It’s a song that I will happily sing along with on when listening to a greatest hits, but it wouldn’t be one of the songs I bought the greatest hits for.

  10. 35
    thefatgit on 8 Feb 2010 #

    I seem to have stumbled upon the Popular “Life On Mars?” sub-thread, and would it not be fair for all to observe the splendour of Bowie’s Burroughs-esque songwriting technique here? 1973…little wonder (arf!) that Bowie’s most famous song is re-released as an anthem for a confused generation. A generation that conceals young Blairs and Browns within its’ ranks.

    You can make the lyrics mean what you want. You can dismiss the song as pretentious. You can do what you like, but this song off “Hunky Dory” is gonna keep coming back…whether we love or loathe it.

    It’s a god-awful small affair
    To the girl with the mousy hair
    And her mummy is yelling “no”
    But her daddy has told her to go
    But her friend is nowhere to be seen

    As she walks through her sunken dream
    To the seat with the clearest view
    And she’s hooked to the silver screen
    But the film is a saddening bore
    Cuz she’s lived it ten times or more
    She could spit in the eyes of fools
    If they asked her to focus on

    Sailor’s fighting in the dance hall

    Oh man

    Look at those cavemen go
    It’s the freakiest show

    Take a look at the lawman
    Beating up the wrong guy

    Oh man

    Wonder if they’ll ever know?
    They’re in the best selling show

    Is there life on Mars?

    It’s on America’s tortured brow
    That Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
    And that workers are struck for fame
    Cuz Lennon’s on sale again
    See the mice in their million hordes
    From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads
    Rule Britannia out of bounds
    To my mother, my dog, and clowns
    But the film is a saddening bore
    Cuz I’ve written it ten times or more
    It’s about to be writ again
    As I ask you to focus on

    Sailor’s fighting in the dance hall

    Oh man

    Look at those cavemen go
    It’s the freakiest show

    Take a look at the lawman
    Beating up the wrong guy

    Oh man

    Wonder if they’ll ever know?
    They’re in the best selling show

    Is there life on Mars?

  11. 36
    thefatgit on 8 Feb 2010 #

    corrections to the above post (I know, the edit window closed before I spotted the error)

    “Cuz Lenin’s on sale again”

    “From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads”

  12. 37
    CarsmileSteve on 9 Feb 2010 #

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/nasa_launches_david_bowie_concept

    seems appropriate at this juncture ;)

  13. 38
    wichita lineman on 9 Feb 2010 #

    I love the Onion’s pop coverage.

    Until recently I always thought if was “Lennon’s on sale again”… some reference to Working Class Hero or something…?

    The Mickey Mouse line (and its delivery) and “My mother, my dog, and clowns” (clowns???) are both REALLY STINKY. Marcello, you were right first time – there is good and bad pretentious, and both occur frequently in Bowie’s catalogue.

  14. 39
    taDOW on 10 Feb 2010 #

    love ‘life on mars’ but this – “LOM”’s half-baked images are the kind of thing you write in your English ink exercise jotter when you’re fourteen and you’re convinced you’ve written The Waste Land, only you get it back with a D- and “See me” inscribed in red ink.” – is so very otm.

  15. 40
    Tom on 10 Feb 2010 #

    #38 yes the people rolling their eyes at Marina And The Diamonds lyrics should thank their lucky stars really.

    Still like “LOM?” as a record mind you.

  16. 41
    punctum on 28 Jul 2011 #

    TPL returns to Slade, and in my opinion their greatest album although it is of course also their “greatest” album.

  17. 42
    Auntie Beryl on 29 Mar 2013 #

    At last! It’s taken three months to work my way back through the number ones of my lifetime. Thanks to Tom, and all of the comments crew for some fascinating insights.

    The song itself? Er, not Slade’s best is it? A 5.

    My other half can claim “Cum On Feel The Noize” as her and she has a habit of pointing out who got the better deal.

    Life On Mars would have made an excellent number one, but I can see the dissenting points of view expressed above.

  18. 43
    Lena on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Childhood, Peanuts, “I got a rock”: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/underdog-hotshots-snoopy-vs-red-baron.html Thanks for reading, everyone!

  19. 44
    Lena on 4 Jul 2013 #

    Bowie, Chic, what really matters: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bridging-gap-david-bowie-life-on-mars.html Thanks so much for reading, everyone!

1 2 All

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)

Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page