Happy New Year and welcome to the first Squire Fan club newsletter of 2021.
This week we are looking at the single sleeve that never was! And the many interesting clues and stories embedded on the record.
As you can see on the picture above, the original 'Girl On A Train' artwork was designed to be a red drawing and lettering on a yellow base, rather than the familiar red on blue sleeve.
The record is significant in many other ways. Most importantly, it featured the debut performance of Jon Bicknell, who had just joined the band on bass guitar. The three piece line up of Anthony, Kevin and Jon is the most highly regarded Squire line up, going on to record Get Smart and September Gurls, and as evidenced on this first recording, the melodic bass playing became a signature component to the sound. It also heralded a return to Squire performing live. Within weeks, the band had tested their new sound in front of local audiences in Bordon near Haslemere, Surrey and West End Centre, Aldershot, going on to headline the very first Ilford All Dayer in London, followed by residencies at the 100 Club, Oxford Street and a Saturday matinee residency at Le Beat Route, Greek Street, London, not forgetting a concert at The Moonrakers Ballroom, Swindon which was recorded for the subsequent Fan Club Album!
The next curiosity is that the label announced 'Girl On A Train' is from the LP 'Get Smart'
A new Squire LP had already been planned and songs written, but as the weeks went by it became obvious that emerging new songs, inspired by the sound and potential of the new line up were stepping away from the mod pop of before, towards something way more sophisticated, and so the tracks penciled in for Get Smart 'Mark One' were quietly abandoned as a more ‘record-y’ album was imagined. There is evidence all around of what was first considered. The 'Girl On A Train' sessions, tracks recorded by Anthony and Kevin, later emerged on the Tangerine CD - 'Get Ready To Go'. The sessions included songs such as The Place I Used To Live, Over You and Has Our Love Gone Bad, together with studio versions of Make Love To You, Modern Love, Noonday Underground (that were later used to replace the live versions on Hits From 3000 Years Ago on the CD version). The live version of 'Stop That Girl' on the Fan Club Album with the different vocal melody, was also for the Mark One album, plus of course, Girl On A Train and the original 'Every Trick' 7 inch B side (which was re-recorded for the Get Smart!) makes nine songs. A further three unheard demos of Standing In The Rain, You Don't See Me and Get Smart (totally different arrangements that were later reworked for the new sound) would make up the 12 tracks for the original Get Smart LP - that was not to be.
Meanwhile, Girl On A Train was recorded, together with Every Trick (In The Book Of Love), on 27th June 1982, in full 8-track splendour!
The band returned to their favourite studio, Chestnut Studios, where they had recorded the very first Squire single, 'Get Ready To Go' single and the various tracks on Hits From 3000 Years Ago, such as ‘I Don’t Get Satisfaction’, ‘Saturday Shopping’ and ‘I Put My Arms Around Her’. The credits reveal Anthony used his larger 6 string Rickenbacker 330, that's the opening guitar sound you hear playing the melody of the track, and the 12 string Rickenbacker was used on the B side. Everyone sung together on the 'choo-choos!', and again, there is the reference that these tracks are taken from the forthcoming Squire LP on Hi-Lo Records!
Next week we have a very special announcement so make sure you are subscribed to the Fan Club email list!