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Fiona - 1992 Squeeze




ARTIST: Fiona
ALBUM: Squeeze
LABEL: Geffen
SERIAL: GEFD-24429
YEAR: 1992

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Fiona - lead vocals * Laura McDonald - bass, vocals * Dave Marshall - guitar, vocals * Jimmy DeGrasso - drums, percussion, vocals

Additional Musicians: Kim Bullard - keyboards * Craig Stull - steel guitar * Tommy Girvin - acoustic guitar * Robert O. Ragland -conductor

TRACK LISTING: 01 Kiss The Boys Goodbye * 02 Ain't That Just Like Love * 03 Treat Me Right * 04 All Over Now * 05 Best Is Yet To Come * 06 Squeeze * 07 Don't Come Cryin' To Me * 08 Nobody Dies Of A Broken Heart * 09 Mystery Of Love * 10 Life On The Moon

WEBLINKS: www.fionarocks.com


Background
A resident of the 80's, Fiona Flanagan was part of that decade's pop culture in both popular music and film. A good looking lady for sure, her label Atlantic Records kept her on the payroll even though her trio of mid 80's albums weren't big sellers. Just how Geffen Records thought they could extract further mileage from Fiona as late as 1992 is mystifying considering the changes on the horizon that would be coming up for all things related to the melodic rock industry. Still, there is a decent lineup for the 'Squeeze' album (Marshall ex Pair a Dice, De Grasso ex Mamas Boys, Y&T and White Lion; McDonald being one of Fiona's buddies and collaborators), and it's probably a touch heavier than her previous records. This time, we also see the focus of 'Fiona' more as a band project rather than solo.


The Songs
'Kiss The Boys Goodbye' is a reflection of that early 90's sound; taking equal doses of Saraya and Tangier, the latter giving the song a slight southern inflection. A good start! I enjoyed the big power anthem 'Ain't That Just Like Love', complete with enjoyable choruses, gang-chants and a hot guitar solo from Dave Marshall. 'Treat Me Right' is not the Pat Benatar/Riff Raff version. Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable affair, an edgy track with Vixen like attributes. Fiona's first ballad on the album 'All Over Now' is a pleasant listen, not groundbreaking at all and is centered in the 80's era. The highlight so far is the commercial sounding 'The Best Is Yet To Come', complete with all the nah nah nah's in the chorus. The title track 'Squeeze' goes down the blues/heavy rock path, perhaps a tad influenced by Bon Jovi especially the voicebox/Sambora emulation. 'Don't Come Cryin' is possibly the album's most AOR moment, sort of like Cher meeting Belinda Carlisle in an 80's food fight! With a title like 'Nobody Dies Of A Broken Heart' you'd be thinking this was a Diane Warren written tune. Close but no cigar. In fact, Warren wrote the previous tune 'Don't Come Cryin'. What a coincidence. There's lots of co-writing credits for 'Mystery Of Love'. Cobra/Krokus drummer Jeff Klaven, the Cheap Trick duo of Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen are three of them, plus producer Marc Tanner. Unfortunately, this song was kinda lost on me I'm afraid. Closing up shop on the album is 'Life On The Moon', a happy sounding rocker though the lyrics would suggest otherwise; a relationship is going through some tough times it would seem. Considering this was written by the late Jani Lane, that shouldn't come as any surprise.


In Summary
'Squeeze' is a far better album than I originally gave it credit for. So kudos to Fiona and her team. But what's with the nakedness on the album jacket? Thankfully the moral fibre of right-wing American society didn't go overboard like they did with some of the 80's output (Tipper Gore, are you out there?). Beyond this album, Fiona would disappear into New Jersey domesticity for a few years, while Marshall would go on to play with Vince Neil and Slaughter, De Grasso would hook up with Alice Cooper and Megadeth, while Laura McDonald would join up with Billy Squier for some of his 90's albums. Having reviewed Fiona's 2011 release 'Unbroken' a few years ago, I still believe she has something to offer, and much like her buddy Robin Beck, it's good to see these ladies in the music business still.


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Comments

#1 | jeffrey343 on August 17 2013 03:35:33
I got all four of the Fiona albums back in 2006, but I didn't find a lot that I really liked on the latter three. This one is my favorite overall of albums 2 - 4; it has more of a rock edge than pop. 'Life On The Moon' is a really good song - it has really good lyrics to go along with a strong melody.

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