Squeeze Box (song)

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"Squeeze Box"
Single by The Who
from the album The Who By Numbers
B-side "Success Story"
Released October 1975
Recorded 30 May 1975 on the Shepperton Studios' soundstage using Ronnie Lane's mobile studio
Genre Rock
Length 2:42
Label Polydor Records (UK)
MCA Records (US)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Glyn Johns
The Who singles chronology
(US, 1974)
"Squeeze Box"
"Slip Kid"
(US, 1976)

"Squeeze Box" is a song by The Who. It peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and number 16 in the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was also a number 1 hit in Australia and Canada and reached number 2 on the Irish charts. "Squeezebox" is a slang term for accordions and related instruments. The song's lyrics consist mostly of sexual innuendo ("She goes in and out and in and out", as an example). Written by Pete Townshend, the song was originally intended for a Who television special planned in 1974.[1]

Pete Townshend did not think highly of the song, and was astonished at its chart success. "Intended as a poorly aimed dirty joke. I had bought myself an accordion and learned to play it one afternoon. The polka-esque rhythm I managed to produce from it brought forth this song. Amazingly recorded by The Who to my disbelief. Further incredulity was caused when it became a hit for us in the USA." Townshend once said.[1]

Live performances[edit]

The song was first performed live at the New Bingley Hall in Stafford on 3 October 1975, and remained in the set for the rest of the 1975–1976 tour, until drummer Keith Moon's final North American concert at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on 21 October 1976. The band later played it again in the last leg of the 1982 Tour. Townshend himself played the banjo on the track, as well as the accordion. The song was performed live again in 2014 during the The Who Hits 50! tour.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly Singles Charts[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
Australia 1
Canadian RPM [2] 1
Ireland 2
UK 10
US Billboard Hot 100 16
US Cash Box Top 100 [3] 11

End of year charts[edit]

End of year chart (1976) Position
U.S. Billboard [4] 99
U.S. Cashbox --
Canada [5] 21


Cover versions[edit]

"Squeeze Box"
Single by Poison
from the album Hollyweird
Released 2002
Recorded 2002
Genre Rock
Poison singles chronology
"Squeeze Box"
"Shooting Star"

Pop culture references[edit]

  • The song is featured in the Freaks and Geeks episode "Dead Dogs and Gym Teachers", where Mr. and Mrs. Weir preview a Who album to see if there are any objectionable lyrics.
  • In The Simpsons episode "A Tale of Two Springfields", Homer reminds the Who of some of their songs, but mistakenly terms "Squeeze Box" as being an example of "the Angry Defiant Who".
  • An episode of Two and a Half Men which featured a spoof version of CSI, "Stiffs", used "Squeeze Box" as the theme song, parodying the practice of the CSI franchise of using songs by the Who as theme songs.
  • An episode of That '70s Show is named after the song.
  • In a 2005 episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? during a game of Scenes from a Hat, Ryan Stiles mentions the song's bridge as a "bad song to sing while making love".
  • In a deleted scene from Austin Powers in Goldmember, the Mike Myers character "Goldmember" references "Squeezebox" in the scene where he says "fazha" for the word "father."

See also[edit]