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Released: February 1980

Rating: 4.452 (average of 12 ratings)

Genre: new wave pop/rock

Quotable: “packed with perfect, timeless pop that stands not only as the band's crowning achievement, but also as a landmark recording of the era” – Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Pulling Mussels from the Shell [3:57]
  2. Another Nail in My Heart [2:56]
  3. Separate Beds [3:20]
  4. Misadventure [2:54]
  5. I Think I'm Go Go [4:16]
  6. Farfisa Beat [2:56]
  7. Here Comes That Feeling [2:11]
  8. Vicky Verky [3:11]
  9. If I Didn't Love You [4:11]
  10. Wrong Side of the Moon (Difford/ Holland) [2:23]
  11. There at the Top [3:45]
All songs written by Difford & Tilbrook unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 36:38


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 71
peak on U.K. album chart 32

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Another Nail in My Heart (2/8/80) #17 UK
  • If I Didn’t Love You (3/12/80) --
  • Pulling Mussels from the Shell (5/9/80) #44 UK
  • Farfisa Beat (9/80) --

Notes: The U.S. release moved “If I Didn’t Love You” up in the track listing to the slot between “I Think I’m Go Go” and “Farfisa Beat.” The 1997 UK re-release added bonus tracks “Funny How It Goes” and “Go.”

“Where Cool for Cats marked a great leap over the debut, Argybargy improved at least that far over its own predecessor” (Woodstra). ”Everything on this record is in place” ( as Squeeze “figured out a sound that wasn't just commercial, but tasteful and sophisticated” (Alroy). “Still a distinctly British band, Squeeze compensated with an incredibly catchy batch of songs that, despite the subject matter, spoke the universal language of bright, bouncy, instantly endearing pop” (Woodstra).

The clever and catchy songs of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford had found their full flower and the band's embellishments and propulsion had grown by confident leaps and bounds.In short, the band finds a clear and distinct voice on Argybargy” ( They ”don't settle for have-fun fall-in-love fear-girls. They pen short stories worthy of early Rupert Holmes, and with a beat…'Tis said McCartneyesque tunefulness is the ticket here, but…Tilbrook sounds more like Ray Davies…at peace with himself and out for big bucks” (Christgau).

“The acute observations of the British working class were even more vivid — none so poignant as the classic Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” (Woodstra), “a memorable soul ballad” (Alroy), “which offers a series of detailed snapshots of the different walks of life on a seaside holiday” (Woodstra).

“Opening with the one-two punch of …[that song] and Another Nail In My Heart, this album keeps up an exuberant pace, but never runs out of breath” ( The latter is "a comparatively up-tempo number with an interesting marimba part and a smooth 50's-style dance beat” (Alroy).

If I Didn't Love You is easily as strong as the two singles; great vocal, great slide guitar solo, and the chorus' jerky rhythm is like a Cars riff gone right” (Alroy).

“The rest is just as solid” (Alroy). There’s “the often-overlooked courting-to-breakup story-song Vicky Verky, which nearly matched [the] brilliance” (Woodstra) of “Up the Junction” from the Cool for Cats album.

"Separate Beds…has the dynamic, layered production you'd expect from a mid-70's Elton John or Paul McCartney record” (Alroy). ”New bassist John Bentley [brings a] subtle, swooping melodicism…he’s brilliant on the MG's-inspired There at the Top); Holland's contribution is a peppy, nicely done 50's dance number (Wrong Side of the Moon); nerdy synth noises are kept to a minimum; and there are inspired hooks and unexpected transitions everywhere” (Alroy).

“This album is an essential pop statement, full of verve, invention, humor and surprise” ( “Argybargy is simply packed with perfect, timeless pop that stands not only as the band's crowning achievement, but also as a landmark recording of the era” (Woodstra).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

previous album: Cool for Cats (1979) Squeeze’s DMDB page next album: East Side Story (1981)

Last updated January 17, 2009.