Ukulele Video Lesson -
Tempted (Squeeze)

It’s time for another ukulele video lesson! This time the lesson is how to play the song "Tempted", by British New Wave band, Squeeze. Squeeze is a band from the 70's that, after taking a few hiatus periods, are still going strong today. Despite being a British band, they didn’t achieve much commercial fame there and most of their success was to be found in the United States. There have also been many members of Squeeze. The current line-up for the band is Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford, Simon Hanson, Stephen Large, and Lucy Shaw. Past members of the band include Jools Holland, Gilson Lavis, Don Snow, Matt Irving, and Nick Harper. 

The original founding members of Squeeze were Chris Difford on guitar and vocals, and Glenn Tilbrook, who also worked guitar and vocals. Tilbrook wrote the music and Difford wrote the lyrics. Diford says that when he was a youngster, he stole 50p from his mother’s purse and spent it on a card in the local sweetshop. It was advertising for a guitarist for his band, even though the band didn’t exist at the time. Tilbrook was the only respondent to the advert and the two came together to write music. Shortly after, they were joined by Jools Holland on keyboard, and Paul Gunn on drums. They went through a number of names including Captain Trundlow’s Sky Company, before settling on Squeeze; a reference to the Velvet Underground album Squeeze. 

When they first started out they were known as “UK Squeeze” in the States and Canada, to avoid a conflict with the band Tight Squeeze, but this didn’t last too long. However the name change lasted quite a while in Australia because there was already a band called Squeeze in the country at the time. 

Following poor reviews and the stresses of touring, Difford and Tilbrook decided to disband Squeeze in 1982. They got back for a one night show in 1985.  It was so well received, that they got back together again, only disbanding years later in 1999. This time Difford and Tilbrook began solo careers rather than staying together. The band reformed once again in 2007 and have been going ever since. They released their last album in 2015. 

A little ukulele video lesson history...

The song “Tempted”, which the ukulele video lesson is about, comes from their fourth album East Side Story. It might never have breached the top 40 in any country it was released in (peaking at 41 in the UK and 49 in the US) but it has gone on to become one of the most well-known songs the band released. It’s just one of those songs that made the rounds and was on the radio all the time, but was never a smash hit. It was featured in commercials, movies, and even video games. You still can hear it on the air waves!

Tempted is different from other Squeeze songs in that the lead vocalist isn’t Difford or Tilbrook, but actually keyboardist Paul Carrack. After Carrack left the band, Tilbrook and Difford started singing the entire song live, and would also change the lyrics. 

The song was written as the band headed to Heathrow Airport in a taxi. The song itself is about a man who reflects on his failed relationship and how it was his own infidelity that got him where he is today. The sights of the city and the airport find their way into the lyrics. 

Tilbrook has said that the song is one of his favorites. He describes it as the first real song the band wrote, and says he could hardly believe that the song came from his band. There are plenty of covers of Tempted out there, including cover versions by Sting, Jenny Morris, OK Go, Richard Thompson, and Joe Cocker. Jools Holland himself performed a cover of the song for one of his solo albums as a nod to his personal history with Squeeze. 

The song was remixed in 1993 and the remixed version was included in the movie Reality Bites. It would be called “Tempted ‘94” when it was played on the radio. It was re-recorded once again in 2010. When the current incarnation of the band came together, they recorded an album called Spot The Difference; a compilation of the biggest hits of the band performed by the latest line up. Carrack wasn’t a member of the band at the time, but he did come in as a guest performer, re-recording the lead vocals once again. 

Now that you know all about Squeeze and their hit song Tempted, perhaps you’ll be tempted to watch this ukulele video lesson and learn the song for yourself. Have fun! 

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