The Stranglers

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mixtress, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. mixtress

    mixtress Member Thread Starter

    richmond, virginia
    The top 25 UK poll for 1982 started by jsayers reminded me of an amazing song I haven't thought about in years... or heard since... The Stranglers' "Golden Brown." I used to record local college radio shows on cassette and that's how I heard it, and I believe another one by them called "Big In America." Which is ironic, since they never had much mainstream radio play here that I know of.

    So it's about time I added some Stranglers to my collection. Any recommendations on where to begin/best albums? :)

    Also, is this band still together?
    impalaboy likes this.
  2. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    There's an excellent singles compilation that covers the UA/A&M years available from the UK. 3CDs and cheap.

    Feelings are mixed about the transitional Meninblack album that came out on Stiff. Things went way downhill after they signed with Epic. I would definitely get those last.
  3. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass., USA
    Band are still together but without guitarist Hugh Cornwell -- a lot of old fans (including myself) consider the current lineup a joke. Coincidentally, I saw Hugh last week leading a trio in a small club (with Clem Burke on drums) and it was superb. A really under-recognized guitar player. My favorite albums are The Raven and Black and White. The debut, Rattus Norveguicus, has a bunch of good tunes too.
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  4. ky658

    ky658 Forum Resident

    Miami, Florida
    "Skin Deep" and "Peaches" are my two favorites...
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  5. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    The Stranglers are a band whose sound and style changed quite a bit as their career progressed. A lot of fans feel that when they went to a more "pop" sound in the mid-late 80s that their work lacks merit. Personally I like just about everything I've heard from them. Cornwell's solo stuff is sometimes good, but mostly fairly forgettable.

    If you like "Golden Brown" and "Big In America", I'd recommend the albums "La Folie" and "Aural Sculpture". Both are quite good IMO. Their earlier stuff is generally recognized as their best. I love it all - the first two albums are classics. Their first album with Epic, "Feline" is very subdued and quiet; it's a personal favorite. The USA version has "Golden Brown", since "La Folie" has no USA release.

    Have to ever seen the movie "Snatch"? - Recommended.
  6. guppy270

    guppy270 Forum Resident

    Levittown, NY
    I LOVED "Golden Brown" back when it came out. Our Long Island "alternative" FM station WLIR played it quite a bit, and it just seemed so exotic and spooky to my little pre-teen self. Still love it.

    Unfortunately, I remember reading a review (Rolling Stone Album Guide maybe?) back at the time that basically said the Stranglers were deplorable human beings who made horrible, awful music...and I let that review prejudice me so much that I've still never heard any other Stranglers songs.
  7. Kym

    Kym Forum Resident

    The Stranglers are very underrated. I can't say they've been good ever since Hugh Cornwell left in 1990, though In The Night has its moments.

    I'm one of the few that loves The Gospel According To The Meninblack. Dreamtime is probably my favorite album of all. "Always The Sun" should have been a MUCH bigger hit than it was.
    Mosthaf likes this.
  8. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    They were horrible sexists yobs, but they did make the odd good record.

    The later stuff, i.e. mid 80's on is pretty awful. They lost it. The album from 1981 which included Golden Brown, La Folie, is the last good album they made.

    The stuff from 76 to La Folie is a lot punkier, so I'm not sure if you will like it that much.

    I would recommend The Raven as a starter, excellent songs played well and variety. You'll like it if you like Golden Brown. After that a Greatest Hits is the best place to go as they were, along with lots of UK Punk and New Wave bands, a great singles band.

    Their finest moment may be their sublime version of Walk On By, which is like Warwick fronting The Doors.
  9. Essential...
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  10. Kym

    Kym Forum Resident

    Yes, after she's had a few and messes up the lyrics. :D
    Sneaky Pete likes this.
  11. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass., USA
    ... the Doors with Lemmy on bass. Yeah, their version of Walk on By is great.
    AndydD, gja586 and Rufus McDufus like this.
  12. eelkiller

    eelkiller Now with enhanced loudness

  13. Razzle123

    Razzle123 Forum Resident

    Bedford, UK
    'The Raven' has always been my favourite Stranglers album - got it on the first day it came out with the excellent 3D cover (which I still have). Though I liked the albums that followed I never thought they bettered that one.

    After Hugh left I, like many others, gave up on them - but after seeing them with Paul Roberts (who has since left) a few years ago I got back into them, and have seen them a fair few times since. Definitely still worth seeing live, and the 'Norfolk Coast' album is great.
    marcfeld69 and Rufus McDufus like this.
  14. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Horse Shoe, NC
    If you're looking for Greatest Hits comp on cd, be very careful. There must be over 15 or so <at least> GH comps out there, and many of the recent ones include singles by the current line-up without Hugh Cornwell, the original lead singer.

    I love this band, and have everything they did with Hugh, even the Epic years <I have the Epic Years Boxed Set for all that stuff>.

    Once they had the surprise smash hit with Golden Brown, they became slightly more commercial, but still very good.

    Like some have mentioned above, the 1st 3 or so albums are pretty much essential, and thier b-sides were often excellent as well. The last batch of remasters had lots of bonus material, but brickwalled sound quality.
    The original UA/EMI cds are the best, and there are plenty out there cheap if you look carefully. You can pick up "Rarities" that includes the early, essential b-sides in good sound.

    The single best 1 cd "Hits" collection, is IMHO "Singles - The UA Years". Great sound, good, solid collection of the primo early stuff.

    Pics -

    Attached Files:

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  15. Kym

    Kym Forum Resident

    Agreed! My only complaint is that "Walk On By" sounds a bit wonky on this CD.

    The last batch of EMI remasters of 2001 are marred by awful artwork. Really disgraceful.
  16. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident

    I still like their stuff, all the way into the Epic years. Almost made a huge mistake by asking a colleague to translate the lyrics of "La Folie", before I knew what the song was actually about. Beautiful melody, thoughtful, contemplative-sounding French vocal, but oh boy, lookout....
    Rufus McDufus likes this.
  17. Kym

    Kym Forum Resident

    The song is based on a true story.
  18. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident

    I would look for the original UA CD of Black & White, which has "Walk On By" as a bonus track.
  19. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident

    Oh yes, and the perp is still a celebrity in his native Japan, which might be a sign that western countries have no monopoly on morbid fascination about things they shouldn't...
  20. SCOTT1234

    SCOTT1234 Forum Resident

    Like others have said above, if you are looking for tracks in the vein of Golden Brown you might not like the earlier, harder edged albums from Rattus through to the Raven. So, maybe you should try La Folie (album which contains Golden Brown) first.

    Personally, I highly rate the early albums and don't bother with anything past La Folie. I'd put them in this order:
    1. Black and White (black side takes longer to get into but this is a really great record)
    2. The Raven (very accomplished and becoming more accessible)
    3. Rattus Norvegicus (classic Stranglers sound - contains some great songs)
    4. No More Heroes (this one is a bit more 'punky', rather patchy though)
    5. Meninblack (proceed with caution - you may love it, but it is quirky)

    For sound quality, best option is UK United Artists vinyl (often mastered by George Peckham). For CD, early original releases I think.
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  21. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Horse Shoe, NC
    There's always this, the "mac daddy" of all, the "Old Testament" 4 cd boxed set that includes all the UA years output, including b-sides, on 4 cds with a spiffy 114 page book. Only downside is you lose the excellent original album artwork, but the sound quality is awesome.

    Track listing here -

    The UA years albums are:

    Rattus Norvegicus

    No More Heroes

    Black And White

    The Raven

    (The Gospel According To) The Meninblack

    La Folie

    Attached Files:

  22. MC Rag

    MC Rag Forum Resident

    Bristol, UK
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  23. noahjld

    noahjld Witchfinder General/ Das Boz Boz

    Agreed,GREAT boxset with a very good booklet to go with it. Also the "Peel Sessions" CD is a goodie to get as well. Also there's that "Rarities" CD which is also rather interesting.
    AndydD likes this.
  24. jsayers

    jsayers Just Drifting....

    Horse Shoe, NC
    Be careful with the "Peel Sessions" cd - it was originally released by Strange Fruit as "The Radio 1 Session - The Evening Show" but was only a 3 track EP, although excellent. It was later released as "The Sessions" in 1996 and this included that 3 track session plus 2 other BBC radio sessions for a total of 11 tracks.
    Absolutely excellent stuff - I love this cd! The songs:

    1. Hanging Around
    2. I Feel Like a Wog
    3. Goodbye Toulouse
    4. Something Better Change
    5. Dead Ringer
    6. No More Heroes
    7. Burning Up Time
    8. Bring on the Nubiles
    9. The Man They Love to Hate
    10. Nuclear Device/Genetix
    11. Down in the Sewer

    Listen to samples here :

    Attached Files:

    marcfeld69 likes this.
  25. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    ....Live X-cert...

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