Though they never received the recognition they deserved, Squire was undoubtedly one of the earliest and finest Mod Revival bands of the late 70s. Squire were able to transcend the limits of the genre with their high quality pop which drew equal parts from punk spirit and the 1960s.
Named because they rehearsed above a shop called Squires, this lot went to school with Paul Weller in Woking, Surrey and formed in Guildford not long after JAM as a covers band consisting of Enzo Esposito (vocals/bass), Steve Baker (guitar) and Ross Di’Landa (drums).
In June 1978, songwriter/guitarist Anthony Meynell joined just prior to a high profile gig opening for The Jam. The addition of Meynell changed the band’s focus to producing original material, and by 1979, they had released their first single for ROK Records, Get Ready to Go.
‘Get Ready’ focuses on the early work of the original lineup from their mod days. This release supplants Hits from 3000 Years Ago by picking the highlights (most of the album) and combining their first single, the brilliant “Get Ready Go,” with B-sides, previously unreleased material, a track from the Odd Bods, Mods and Sods compilation, and a track from a fan club release.
Somewhere between the delicate power pop of Shoes and the classy British pop of mid-period Jam sits the wonderful world of Squire. No, not Billy “The Stroke” Squier. This is Squire, the groovy mod trio fronted by Anthony Meynell, one of pop music’s unsung heroes. Spanning the years 1980-1984, this exceptional compilation concentrates on the latter half of the band’s career, and contains almost their entire Get Smart album. By this point in the band’s career, Meynell had tired of the musical restrictions that the mod scene had thrust upon him. Adding more overdubs in the studio (including a horn section), Meynell created some of the brightest, most exhilarating, guitar-based pop music of the early ’80s. Sidestepping such influences as the Who and the Kinks, and embracing Lennon’s edge from the Beatles (“No Time Tomorrow”), and the bright, sunny vibe from the Monkees (“Standing In The Rain”), Squire did not create disposable pop, they created timeless pop. Many of these tracks could have been released in the mid-’60s or even in the early ’90s at the height of Brit-pop. “Every Trick In The Book Of Love,” “You’re the One,” “My Mind Goes Round In Circles,” “Girl On A Train,” “Stop That Girl,” and “Take A Look” are nothing less than perfect pop songs. When Meynell puts down his pen and records a cover version (including Shoes’ “Boys Don’t Lie” and Big Star’s “September Gurls”), the results are nothing less than Squire-like. Mod and power pop fans should keep their eyes peeled for this gem of a CDs. It’s worth the hype![Stephen SPAZ Schnee]