Hi, and welcome to this weeks Squire Fan Club newsletter! We are taking a deeper dive into 'The Young Idea - A pop tribute to Anthony Meynell & Squire' album released back in 2007, where we discuss the connection between Debbie Jones and 20/20 and reveal the true 'Face Of Youth Today'!
Some of you may not have seen last weeks newsletter which introduced the Tribute album and reproduced the liner notes in full! So please have a look at the link here as it all got stuck in the web somewhere instead of getting properly published!
The idea of a tribute album was first proposed by The Eddies who had recorded a fantastic version of 'Debbie Jones' The producer on the track was Earle Mankey. Earle was originally a member of Halfnelson with the Mael Brothers before they morphed into Sparks. He worked with such luminaries as the Beach Boys before becoming the 'go to' producer for power pop bands such a, The Pop, The Runaways and 20/20. His work is very distinctive, combining live performance with manipulated effects to create cartoon versions of pop masterpieces laced with found sounds and exceptional rhythm tracks that take elements of the track and distort them into repetitive hooks. The Three O Clock track 'Jet Fighter' is typical of this sound and he was also responsible for many of the defining Paisley Underground recordings. So The Eddies version of 'Debbie Jones' also enjoys this creative approach, using breath sounds as percussion and bending the soundscape to generate an exciting and unique take on the song. Indeed, 'Debbie Jones' and 'Jet Fighter' inhabit the same sonic space, drum sound and sound field approach to arranging the instruments.
The Eddies are brothers Dean and Dale Hoth, seen here with producer Earle.
All the tracks on the album show not only an appreciation of the original Squire recordings but also fascinating interpretations, whether by changing the lyric to reflect personal experiences or local cultural geography, or by naming other Squire songs within the lyric!
For instance, The Little Murders from Melbourne, seen here:
perform a great version of 'Has Our Love Gone Bad', singing 'Walking Down The Kings Road' in the coda! The band, stalwarts of the Australian mod scene since 1979, are still performing and recording, and here they turn in a great version, recorded before the tribute album was even proposed!.
Skipping forward finds Smodati, from Milan in Italy.
Their track 'Over You' the B side of 'The Place I Used To Live' single, similarly recorded prior to the album idea, is presented with lyrics completely translated into Italian! Of special note is the second verse that mentions Squire!
The closing version of 'Its A Mod Mod World' by The Shambles, twists the lyrics to reflect the mod culture as seen in San Diego, naming key locations rather than Carnaby Street or Box Hill, and referencing a job as a record store clerk instead of a junior hairdresser!
Finally we have to mention The Vagabonds. Their take on 'The Face Of Youth Today' is pure genius garage youth spirit!
The Vagabonds squeeze everything they can out of the recording limitations they faced, and produced a track that exemplifies the 'raw power' of The Stooges capturing the 'youth' of the face of youth!
Some of you may recognise Squire bass player and son James in the photo! Taken in Woodstock, New York, beside him is younger son Philip who plays the drums and sings lead on the track. They completed the track while they were rehearsing for a new band together. They both made their live debut with Squire for the 2000 Purple Weekend concert, and we last played together in 2012 in Los Angeles! Seen here on bass and drums!
Their version on 'The Face Of Youth Today' was recorded with drums and guitar in a studio, adding vocals later via the Mac laptop microphone! They then had to add bass guitar by taking the laptop to the nearby music store and choosing a bass from the wall, plugged it in and recorded it before the shop manager realised what was going on and chased them out! Still, they were able to capture the full take and all together it makes a fantastic addition to the record. Locked together as only brothers can, caveman rock! This also obviously provides a huge 'proud dad’ moment!!
Indeed the energy and delivery on the track is a pure personification of the idea of 'the face of youth today' lyric and it reminiscent of the original spirit of the song played live in '79 - and as you can see from his photo from a screen grab of a video that some of you may recognise, Philip can also clearly lay claim to the mantle of 'The Face!'
You can hear the track here!
We think perhaps it's time for another tribute album as we've heard many great Squire covers since! Not least The Seven and Six Lisa Mychols version of 'Kings Road' and Does Stephanie Know?' So if you have something recorded, or wish to participate, or know a band who may make a good version, please get in touch or send the track in for audition! We're serious!!
Next week we have a super special announcement so keep alert for the next newsletter!
All the best from Squire.