For connoisseurs of ’70s pop Squeezer hit all the right buttons. Very much in the Wings/10cc school of innovative commercial pop.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: Joy Jell Fantasies
LABEL: Now Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Tony Francis – lead vocals, keyboards * Michael Dale – bass, vocals * Ernie Archibeque – drums, vocals * Larry Alcorn – guitars, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 What Can You Say * 02 Motorplane * 03 Bright & Mobilized * 04 Abigail * 05 Tell It Like You Know * 06 Mr. Company * 07 We Got The Music * 08 Upside Down Comin’ Late * 09 Let A Young Man Cry * 10 Words
I don’t know about you but I haven’t come across all that many rock bands from New Mexico. There has been a large ‘new age’ music scene harmonically converging on the breathtaking Santa Fe region since the late ’70s, but the ‘Land Of Enchantment’ has never been known as a hot-bed of activity when it comes to rock ‘n roll.
Introducing Squeezer, a four piece outfit based in the state’s largest city – Albuquerque. Squeezer’s only album ‘Joy Jell Fantasies’ was released on the independent Now Records label in an uber cool die-cut toothpaste tube sleeve that screams collectable.
Although very hard to find for many years, in recent months I’ve noticed several still-sealed copies showing up on eBay and the like, probably recently found in a forgotten distribution warehouse by some lucky vendor would be my guess. Inside the elaborate sleeve detailed biographies reveal a group of educated players immersed in Albuquerque’s fine arts scene and influenced by British rock.
Post Squeezer it appears no one went on to anything significant musically other than drummer Ernie Archibeque who made a name for himself as a popular Albuquerque vocalist for many years with comparison’s in the local press to Steve Perry. Sadly he passed away in 2003 and did not handle lead vocal chores on this album.
For connoisseurs of ’70s pop Squeezer hit all the right buttons. Very much in the Wings/10cc School of innovative commercial pop, ‘Joy Jell Fantasies’ is a consistently good album that demands repeated plays. The production is excellent for a 1974 press with tasty and upbeat songs drenched with a contagious AM radio innocence that’s missing from so much of today’s rock.
Wonderfully arranged, the good as gold rocker ‘What Can You Say’ was an inspired choice as opener and before the needle leaves the first side I’m bowled over with the band’s brilliant take on Wings ‘Wild Life’ and ‘Red Rose Speedway’ sound. Like ‘Wild Life’, Squeezer add some dollops of country rock to their dynamic and hints of the first Steely Dan album give the band an even wider musical pallet.
It makes for an intelligently crafted pop album standing head and shoulders with classic Scottish bands like Marmalade, Blue and Pilot who valiantly emulated the best of Sir Paul McCartney‘s melodic genius.
Needless to say this is an album I’ve played a lot over the years and recommend seeking out a copy before it disappears once and for all. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)