10 career-altering third albums from bands in the 1980s

These third albums were a bunch of excellence.

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ARGYBARGY by Squeeze (1980)

Squeeze had already hit it big with a couple of major UK synth-pop hits on their second album Cool For Cats in 1979. They probably could have repeated that formula on their third album. Instead, they broadened their pop appeal. Jools Holland’s keyboards still have a role to play, but Argybargy was driven more by the twin guitars of songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford.

Squeeze was sometimes considered a singles band, and they certainly do kick off Argybargy with a couple of dynamite pop tunes in “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” and “Another Nail in My Heart.” But they back those hits with plenty of great pop rock, like “Misadventure” and the disco funk of “Farsifa Beat.”  “Vicky Verky” could have been a classic garage rock single from the ‘60s, while “Wrong Side of the Moon” is a boppy, music hall track that sounds both classic and new at the same time. Then there’s the seductive, tactile creep of “If I Didn’t Love You.”

The singles from Argybargy did not perform as well as those on Cool For Cats, but the album soared higher in the UK and became the band’s first charting LP in the US, a position they would hold onto throughout the decade. Argybargy proved that the songwriters who had been saddled with the “next Lennon/McCartney” albatross could produce more than a couple of catchy tunes.