ANTHONY MEYNELL & SQUIRE – Hits From 3000 Years Ago [1981]

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While briefly retiring the Squire name, Meynell issued this album of unreleased tracks under his own name in 1981. Not surprisingly, it sounds just like Squire (in fact, this album boasts an alternate version of the Squire favorite “My Mind Goes Round in Circles”). Once again, the songs are top-notch odes to his ’60s influences. While The Singles Album is a varied collection of songs, Hits from 3000 Years Ago is a far more cohesive album. The songs are filled with an excitement and wild-eyed innocence that may not get punk enthusiasts excited, but mod fans and power pop fans will eat this up with gusto and passion. It’s sugar sweet and ballsy enough to crank up loud while cruising down Main Street on a Saturday night and not be embarrassed about. The music is timeless and more melodic than most albums released in the last 25 years (one tune here has probably more hooks than a modern power pop album). “”I Don’t Get Satisfaction”,””B-A-B-Y Baby Love,” and “To Keep Me Satisfied” are pure magic with power chords! While not Anthony Meynell’s finest work (that honor goes to the Get Smart!), this is solid from beginning to end and actually out-pop’s the excellent Singles Album! [Steve “Spaz” Schnee]

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SQUIRE – The Singles Album [1985]

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When the Jam moved up from punk upstarts to mod statesmen in 1979, the British kids turned to other mod outfits to satisfy their craving for everything well-dressed and retro. While the Chords followed in the Jam’s footsteps, the three other main contenders for the mod followed different musical paths: Secret Affair were a magical blend of punk, soul and pop with a mild dose of prog; the Lambrettas were straightforward power pop; and Squire were a mix of all of the above and more. In fact, if the mod scene hadn’t existed, Squire would have still made brilliant, timeless records, no matter what was going on around them. While only releasing one full-fledged album (Get Smart!), singer/songwriter Anthony Meynell would embrace the ’60s wholeheartedly while releasing a batch of singles that still managed to sound contemporary while exposing the many influences he wore on his sleeve.

The Singles Album, originally released in 1985, features 17 moments of inspired pop genius that will appeal to fans of mod, power pop and ’60s inspired ecstasy. Meynell and his mates created songs that could have easily topped the charts in the mid-’60s but were virtually ignored during the late ’70s and early ’80s. Making records that did not bear the stamps of modern production (synths, programmed drums, etc.) may have not helped their careers in the short run, but Squire’s releases sound so much better for it more than two decades later. While some would accuse them of being mere copyists, Squire may beg, borrow and steal from the best, but they still sound like Squire! “No Time Tomorrow” borrows heavily from the Fab Four’s “Tomorrow Never Knows” while tracks like “Don’t Cry to Me” and “I Know a Girl” reach back to their simple Merseybeat days. “My Mind Goes Round in Circles” recalls the best of the Who’s early pop epics. From the punk power of “Get Ready to Go” to the glorious Baroque pop of “Every Trick in the Book of Love,” this remains one of the most cruelly overlooked compilations from the early ’80s. [Steve “Spaz” Schnee]

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