Up the Junction: Essential Collection

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All of the many Squeeze compilations available are somehow deficient in one way or another; even the excellent Singles: 45s and Under gives a skewed perception of the band by focusing entirely on their singles instead of including some of their more wide-ranging album tracks. Up the Junction, however, is just weird, and its subtitle is oddly misleading. Focusing on Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook's darker material, like the near-suicidal character study "Vanity Fair," puts the lie to the group's image as jolly pub rockers, but this collection's monochromatic focus is just as misleading. It doesn't even work as a companion piece to Singles: 45s and Under, since it repeats a quarter of the earlier collection. If a Squeeze collection is absolutely essential, the U.K. double-disc Excess Moderation is probably the best bet; in its favor, this does collect some of the better tracks from Squeeze's uneven '90s albums.

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