Squeeze: Spot the Difference

RIYL: The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Split Enz

Cynics will surely scoff at the idea of new wave legends Squeeze re-recording their best known songs, but not us, not after we learned that they made more money from their self-released 1999 album Domino than any of the albums they released for A&M, Reprise and IRS during their heyday. Think of Spot the Difference, so named because the band tried to make these new versions sound as close to the originals as possible, less as an album for consumers – because really, there is no need for fans of the band to buy this, unless they’re feeling generous and want to send the band some money – than it is for soundtrack supervisors and people in the biz. It stands to reason that the band made these so they could market these versions to anyone looking to use a Squeeze song in this movie or that TV show, asking for far less than Universal, who owns the originals, would ask, while still turning a nifty profit in the process. The consumer of said TV show or movie, meanwhile, will likely be none the wiser, since the band did an impressive job covering their own tunes. The only key difference is the placement of the vocals in the mix, as the lyrics are much easier to discern, though true Squeeze fans will notice tweaks in production here and there. As a commercial product, Spot the Difference is as nonessential as they come. As a business move, it’s remarkably shrewd. (XOXO 2010)

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