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Thread: The Stranglers: Any freinds or foes?

  1. #26
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    Black and White is my favourite, I remember getting it on vinyl with a free single containing one of my favourite cover versions of all time, Walk On By (....just going for a stroll in the trees...!)

  2. #27
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
    I have The Raven and I love it. What else should I get?
    I'd go with Rattus which has the wonderful trio of Hanging Around, Peaches & Get A Grip On Yourself
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  3. #28
    I'm a fan up and including "The Raven".

    Also check Jean-Jacques Burnel's solo avant wave album "Euroman Cometh" if you haven't done. An excellent album that will have you pleasantly surprised.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    I'm a fan up and including "The Raven".

    Also check Jean-Jacques Burnel's solo avant wave album "Euroman Cometh" if you haven't done. An excellent album that will have you pleasantly surprised.
    Euroman Cometh is a good album. Your description of "avant wave" (which I assume means "avant new wave"?) is pretty accurate IMO. There's something about it which fits in well with the trilogy of my aforementioned favorite Stranglers albums: B&W, The Raven and The Gospel According to the Meninblack.

    Hugh Cornwell's collaboration with Robert Williams from the same time period, Nosferatu, is also pleasantly unhinged, but Burnel's Euroman is probably the stronger album of the two.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
    I have The Raven and I love it. What else should I get?
    This:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00I6...the+stranglers
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  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by adap2it View Post
    Never a punk band...
    Too right. The punks *loathed* the Stranglers.

    They were also one of the most offensively misogynistic bands ever. Sometimes, when a band is so blatantly unpleasant, it finally doesn't matter how good the music is...

  7. #32
    The debut was easily their best, lost interest after that one!

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    The punks *loathed* the Stranglers. They were also one of the most offensively misogynistic bands ever. Sometimes, when a band is so blatantly unpleasant, it finally doesn't matter how good the music is...
    While it's certainly true that the communal punk scene more or less declared war on the band, and not only for the case of misogyni (although this was usually seen as the pretext for why The Slits and Crass refused to appear on the same bill as them and basically banned festivals and venues altogether if they booked The Stranglers), I know of bonafide punks of the time who have praised the early years of the group as some of the edgiest experiences they had in terms of concert attendances etc. One of the reasons why they were so controversial was exactly the point that they were so successful at provoking a subculture (punk) which itself foistered on the act of provoking the establishment as part of their ethic and aesthetic, thus perceiving The Stranglers' game as that of consciously minded fakeness and an ironic reaction to punk's core values. Of course, they pretty much started out as a pub rock group, Greenfield having earned a living from playing piano in a bar for several years and Cornwell having busked around the countryside with a repertoire mostly referencing Phil Ochs, Tim Hardin and John Martyn, and as for rock music they were mostly into 60s psychedelic such, being almost a decade older than the average punk of the day.

    The Raven is an amazingly sophisticated work coming from a major, commercially established UK rock act at the time. There's not a single detail out of plan there, harmonically, dynamically, lyrically, sonically - and that ensemble chemistry between them was as steady and organic as that of any "prog" band. Obviously, Burnel was/is a competent classical guitarist with an extensive CV of contributions to "serious" music, so neither in terms of cultural criteria were they ever punk as definition goes.
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  9. #34
    This was pretty much my point, Scrot - the music is remarkable - there are so many outstanding tracks, in so many different styles. And I absolutely take your point about provocation.

    But their misogyny was neanderthal, & in the end, back in the day, there were just so many more bands out there whose provocations were so much more "enlightened".

    Funnily enough, I always heard an echo of Wakeman in Greenfield's playing (& I don't mean that in a good way!). By contrast, it turns out to have been Steve Howe's influence that was behind what at the time felt more exhilaratingly new & provocative in the music of the Slits - by way of Keith Levine, who taught Viv Albertine how to play guitar.

    The Slits, PiL, the Pop Group - they just seemed like such a raw, thrilling, exciting vision of the future - by contrast with the regressive, reactionary, stance of the Stranglers.

  10. #35
    Funny that you mention the misogyny. Being a woman myself it never bothered me at all; I took the misogyny as being ironic with the irony chiefly pointed at men

  11. #36
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    Fan of Rattus, No More Heroes, Raven & MIB.
    Those are my main four.... though I don't own any of them anymore (never did in CD format)
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  12. #37
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    With these guys, I was never sure if they meant their more yobbish tendencies within the lyrics or not.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    With these guys, I was never sure if they meant their more yobbish tendencies within the lyrics or not.
    Oh, they meant it all right. Just ask Sounds journalist Dave McCullough, whom Brunel beat up pretty severely.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    Fan of Rattus, No More Heroes, Raven & MIB. They start to lose me after that, I saw them on the Feline tour and they were awful.
    Black And White still mostly rocks my boat


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    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    For some reason I never got B&W
    Never OWNED it or never 'got' it. FBOW, it's their proggiest, I think


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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  16. #41
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Never OWNED it or never 'got' it. FBOW, it's their proggiest, I think


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    Never owned it
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  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    the Pop Group - they just seemed like such a raw, thrilling, exciting vision of the future - by contrast with the regressive, reactionary, stance of the Stranglers.
    It was hardly even feasable for an UK post/art-punk act to get more thoroughly radical in sound than The Pop Group back then, with the possible exception of the Cold Storage circuit (This Heat, The Work, HET and so on). I think The Stranglers at heart wished to be extreme not primarily in terms of their craft but of their social outset and representation. Both J. Black and J.J. Burnel were notoriously prone to violence, with the latter even getting menacing after taking up his martial arts routine (which was in truth developed not as a result of but an antidote to his apparently ADHD-triggered temper and aggression). The tales of Burnel jumping stage and literally kicking several skinheads' asses when sharing the bill with Sham 69 and their often dubious following somehow secured him a sense of heroic status, but the fact is that he sought an outlet for violent tendencies already firmly in place and further stimulated through dope and drink.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  18. #43
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    Count me as a fan. Also - there's a Stranglers related Hugh Cornwell album called "Nosferatu" (with Captain Beefheart's drummer Robert Williams) that might be of interest to some PE folks. This release brings you the best in New Wave-meets-pop experimentation.

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    The Stranglers have had 3 distinct periods and sounds

    4-piece with Hugh (includes both their best album "Black & White" and their worst "10"
    5-piece post-Hugh (this was their worst period)
    4-piece again post-Paul & John (includes the brilliant "Suite XVI" album)

    My top 5:

    1. B & W
    2. Suite XVI
    3. La Folie
    4. Rattus N.
    5. Aural Sculpture

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by FrippWire View Post
    Count me as a fan. Also - there's a Stranglers related Hugh Cornwell album called "Nosferatu" (with Captain Beefheart's drummer Robert Williams) that might be of interest to some PE folks. This release brings you the best in New Wave-meets-pop experimentation.
    Not explicitly Stranglers-related, but I own Williams’ solo EP, Buy My Record, and it’s likewise worth owning.
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  21. #46
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    I bet you guys didn't know that Hugh Cornwell and Richard Thompson were in a group together as teenagers!

    richardthompsonyoung.jpg
    Check out Colouratura's sophomore release Unfamiliar Skies - out this spring on Melodic Revolution Records!

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  22. #47
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    As for Hugh, I have heard all his solo albums, and have seen him live in various constellations. The most unusual of which was CCW (Cornwall,Roger Cook, Andy West), saw them live in about 92/93, an unusual setting for Hugh that didn't really work.

    Studio albums (solo and joint):

    Nosferatu, 79, was a joint album with Robert Williams it is NOT a HC solo album. Very good.
    Wolf, 88, made when he was still in The Stranglers, excellent album
    CCW, 92, a pretty meaningless album really
    Wired, 93, nothing special. It's okay, but it has a very dated early/mid-80s feel. Many songs sound like a combo of ABC and Sade.
    Guilty, 97, an excellent album
    Hi Fi, 00, fantastic album.
    Beyond Elysian Fields, 04, for me his best solo album and my favourite.
    Hooverdam, 08, really, REALLY boring. Probably his worst solo album.
    Totem and Taboo, 12, great singing, great lyrics, great tunes, great guitar...BUT bloody woeful drumming.

    His standout solo studio albums are: Wolf, Guilty, Hi Fi and Beyond Elysian Fields.



    Also, I can heartily recommend the two Burnel albums I have on vinyl: Euroman Cometh (79) and Un Jour Parfait (88). In 83 he made an album with Greenfield called Fire and Water, which I have never heard or even seen.
    Last edited by PeterG; 07-11-2016 at 09:43 AM.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrippWire View Post
    Count me as a fan. Also - there's a Stranglers related Hugh Cornwell album called "Nosferatu" (with Captain Beefheart's drummer Robert Williams) that might be of interest to some PE folks. This release brings you the best in New Wave-meets-pop experimentation.
    It isn't a Hugh Cornwall solo album though, it is credited to Cornwall and Williams.

  24. #49
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    You seem to have most things covered Peter...I have Fire & Water on vinyl. i haven't played it for years (like most of my vinyl) But I do recall it sounding a lot like the Feline stuff. I also have a JJ Burnel single Reves, which is actually a 3"CD. I lost interest in the Stranglers after Hugh left and didn't like the fit of Paul Roberts. Baz is a way better fit and is more than a substitute for Hugh. I met the band in a meet & greet in 2013. I agree with you that "10"is the worst of the original line up's output, however, the tour supporting that release was IMO, the best and most exciting of all my Stranglers concert experiences, and I saw them many times...
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by adap2it View Post
    You seem to have most things covered Peter...I have Fire & Water on vinyl. i haven't played it for years (like most of my vinyl) But I do recall it sounding a lot like the Feline stuff. I also have a JJ Burnel single Reves, which is actually a 3"CD. I lost interest in the Stranglers after Hugh left and didn't like the fit of Paul Roberts. Baz is a way better fit and is more than a substitute for Hugh. I met the band in a meet & greet in 2013. I agree with you that "10"is the worst of the original line up's output, however, the tour supporting that release was IMO, the best and most exciting of all my Stranglers concert experiences, and I saw them many times...
    Yea, Baz is a much better "fourth man" than the awful Roberts/Ellis combo. I saw them on the Suite XVI tour and they were excellent, as a 4 piece again, and any fans new to the band then, since Baz joined, wouldn't immediately identify him as a bit younger and a newer addition, so good is his place and performance in the band.
    On a connected note, I saw Toy Dolls live in the mid 00s at a punk & ska festival, but that was a very very long time after Baz had left them. He was only with Toy Dolls for 2 years, 83-85.

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