Welcome to the latest newsletter and thank you to everyone who has checked out the latest release Anthony Meynell - Live In Tokyo album! We are really pleased with the reception and kind comments posted on various social media sites, from the Squire Facebook group to the Squire Website YouTube channel, its all been really encouraging and complimentary! There's a link to the record here and on the picture below.
The Live In Tokyo album is released only on CD for the moment, but should there be enough interest, we will put together a limited vinyl edition, so please let us know! We will also be announcing the release of the next single in the reissue series in a couple of weeks, so please keep up with the newsletters and you won’t miss a very special announcement!
We realise we took some of you by surprise with the Live In Tokyo release! Those of you who know Squire and have been collecting the reissue series of singles probably noticed that the newsletters tended to follow a chronological path, tracing the history of Squire from first record ‘Get Ready To Go’, and stepping through the releases, capturing interesting stories and perspectives from the live repertoire and unheard demos on the way.
But instead of following the ‘Girl On A Train’ single with another step towards the Get Smart album, and Squire's adventures in California, we jumped a decade and visited the complete opposite side of the planet to end up in Tokyo, Japan!
Nevertheless, the Live In Tokyo album represents the perfect marriage between the Get Smart era and the Passengers On Trains album. The live album weaves the two sets of songs together by stripping back the arrangements to their original acoustic ideas. It gives us a chance to examine both records together and find the similarities by understanding the differences. Indeed, the two perspectives can be represented by the furthest point west, California, and the furthest point east, Japan!
Get Smart, recorded and released in 1983, is often considered Squire’s magnum opus! The album starts with 'The Life', an acknowledgement of Squire’s mod roots, before embarking on an ambitious project that was recorded in the large studios of London and Los Angeles. The baroque pop album includes strings, horns, organ, harpsichord, marimbas - an exotic mix of embellishments to create a luscious sound that takes the bands original inspiration and mixes influences from The Beatles Byrds, Beach Boys and Motown together with lyrics that focus on possibilities, choices and awakening, like a diary of hopes and dreams. It is Squire's most pop album, bursting with excitement and ambition.
Passengers on Trains, released on CD only in Japan in 1995 is Anthonys first solo album (if you count Hits From 3000 Years Ago as a Squire album!). Like Get Smart, the album opener, 'Passengers On Trains' makes a sly reference to the kaleidoscope of mod cultural influences, before embarking on its own journey.
In contrast to Get Smart, the production is more simple, incorporating guitar, piano and harmonica to add some colour to arrangements recorded in a smaller studio that gives the songs a more intimate sound. On release, album reviews described the album as neo-folk pop and compared the sound to Nick Drake and Donovan, yet including all the hallmarks of Squire. The lyrics inspired by overheard conversations from fellow travellers weave an exotic tapestry of characters, addressing solutions, alternatives, and experiences.
So Get Smart and Passengers On Trains often share the same theme, but the passing of time provides different perspectives, like the difference between a map and being on the journey, imagining vs. understanding, adolescence and adulthood, and this notion of looking at something from opposite viewpoints keeps appearing as the two records are considered together.
Those of you that have heard Get Smart appreciate the balance between electric songs such as 'The Life', and the acoustic songs like 'It's Too Bad' or 'In A World Of My Own' that make the album whole. Indeed, the last song is often cited as an album favourite. So Passengers On Trains fits right in there with its own mix of electric and acoustic arrangements, and the songs blend perfectly with the more familiar Squire repertoire, nativity and maturity side by side, that can be heard on the Live In Tokyo album!
The Passengers On Trains LP was a Japan only release, and copies that show up on Ebay from time to time are priced astronomically! The album is going to have a special release later this year, and we will feature it in future newsletters.
The Live In Tokyo album was recorded on 16th July 1995 at a venue called Guilty in Ebisu, during the promo tour for the Passengers On Trains release. There were actually two concerts, a follow up on 17 July at Slits Club, Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan.
In fact, there was also a third performance! Two songs and an interview on radio for the show 'Pure Pop Shop! 'You can hear part of the show in the link below, as Anthony performs the song Tapestry Of Fire!
Next week there will be news of Squire's return to future live performance and more, so make sure you are subscribed to the emails!
All the best & stay in touch here or on the Facebook Squire group!