The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Stranglers

The Stranglers

EMI Years (roughly ’77 – ’82)

7" 5 MINUTES / DEATH AND NIGHT / OUTSIDE TOKYO U.A. JPN CM-192

1979 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" 5 MINUTES / ROK IT TO THE MOON U.A. UK UP 36350

1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" BEAR CAGE U.A. UK 12BP 344

1980 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7" BEAR CAGE / SHAH SHAH A GO GO U.A. UK BP 344

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD BEAST IN TORONTO, THE pirate RAG DOLL RDM-941009

2000? 13 TRKS Live '78 pirate

CD BLACK AND WHITE EMI UK CDP 790596.2

1978 14 TRKS 3rd album

LP BLACK AND WHITE U.A. UK UAK 30222

1978 14 TRKS LP + 7", white vinyl

7" CHOOSEY SUSIE / MEAN TO ME U.A. JPN 17F-3

1979 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7" DO THE EUROPEAN / CHOOSEY SUSIE IRS US SP 70952

1980 4 TRK EP; no pic sleeve

7" DON'T BRING HARRY U.A. UK STR 1

1979 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve

7" DUCHESS / FOOLS RUSH OUT U.A. JPN CM-263

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" DUCHESS / FOOLS RUSH OUT U.A. UK BP 308

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" DUCHESS / RAVEN, THE IRS US IR 9018

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" GOLDEN BROWN LIBERTY DE 1C K052-83255Z

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" GOLDEN BROWN / LOVE 30 U.A. UK BP 407

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" GOLDEN BROWN / STRANGE LITTLE GIRL EMI UK G45 6

1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, re-issue

LP GREAT LOST STRANGLERS ALBUM KING JPN K28P-321

1983 14 TRK Collection, insert, Japan-only

LP GREAT LOST STRANGLERS ALBUM CONTINUED KING JPN K28P-322

1983 13 TRK Collection, insert, Japan-only

7" GRIP / LONDON LADY U.A. UK UP 36211

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" GRIP '89 LIBERTY UK 12EM 84

1989 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD5 GRIP '89 LIBERTY UK CDEM 84

1989 4 TRK CD Single CD5

7" JUST LIKE NOTHING ON EARTH / MANINWHITE U.A. UK BP 393

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD LA FOLIE EMI UK CDP 746614.2

1981 12 TRKS 1 x bonus track

LP LA FOLIE LIBERTY UK LBG 30342

1981 11 TRKS

7" LA FOLIE / WALTZ IN BLACK U.A. UK BP 410

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO THE FAMILY U.A. UK BP 405

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP LIVE (X CERTS) KING JPN GP 670

1979 11 TRKS same as "Live", poster

CD LIVE (X-CERTS) EMI UK CDP 790597.2

1979 13 TRKS Live 2 x bonus tracks

LP LONDON LADIES pirate RZM RZM 201

1979? 10 TRKS Live, pirate

CD MENINBLACK, THE EMI/FAME UK CDFA 3208

1981 12 TRKS 2 x bonus tracks

LP MENINBLACK, THE LIBERTY UK LBG 30313

1981 10 TRKS

12" N'EMMENES PAS HARRY FAN CLUB FR HARRY 1

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, re-issue

7" N'EMMENES PAS HARRY / LIVIN' IN A BEAR CAGE U.A. FR 2C 008-82868

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" NICE 'N' SLEAZY / SHUT UP U.A. JPN CM-140

1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD5 NIGHTTRACKS STRANGE FR UK SFNTCD 020

1989 3 TRK CD Single CD5 ('82 BBC recording)

CD NO MORE HEROES EMI UK CDP 746613.2

1977 12 TRKS 2nd album

LP NO MORE HEROES U.A. NL 1C064-99560

1977 12 TRKS 2nd album

7" NO MORE HEROES / IN THE SHADOWS U.A. JPN CM-103

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" NO MORE HEROES / IN THE SHADOWS U.A. UK UP 36300

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" NUCLEAR DEVICE / YELLOWCAKE UFO U.A. UK BP 318

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP OFF THE BEATEN TRACK LIBERTY UK LBG 5001

1986 13 TRK Collection that was, essentially, replaced by “Rarities” in ’88

7" PEACHES / GO BUDDY GO U.A. UK UP 36248

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD RARITIES EMI UK CZ 141

1988 19 TRK Collection (6 x bonus tracks)

LP RARITIES LIBERTY UK EMS 1306

1988 13 TRK Collection

CD RATTUS NORVEGICUS IV EMI UK CDP 746362.2

1977 9 TRKS 1st album

LP RATTUS NORVEGICUS IV U.A. UK UAG 30045

1977 9 TRKS 1st album, LP + 7"

CD RAVEN, THE EMI UK CDP 746615.2

1979 12 TRKS 1 x bonus track

LP RAVEN, THE LIBERTY DE 1C038-157604.1

1979 11 TRKS re-issue, not a 3-D cover

7" SOMETHING BETTER CHANGE (EP) A&M US AM-1973

1977 4 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, White vinyl

7" SOMETHING BETTER CHANGE / STRAIGHTEN OUT U.A. JPN CM-127

1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" SOMETHING BETTER CHANGE / STRAIGHTEN OUT U.A. UK UP 36277

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" STRANGE LITTLE GIRL / CRUEL GARDEN U.A. UK BP 412

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" STRANGLERS, THE KING JPN GXA 6

1979 6 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, Japan-only

7" SVERIGE / IN THE SHADOWS U.A. SWEDEN UP 36459

1978 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" THROWN AWAY / TOP SECRET U.A. UK BP 383

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" TOMORROW WAS THE HEREAFTER U.A. UK SIS 001

1980 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

CD12 U.A. SINGLES '79 - '82 (12CD boxed set) EMI UK 551672.2

2003 29 TRK Collection; 12 x CD Singles (BOXED SET #2)

7" WALK ON BY / MEAN TO ME / TITS U.A. UK FREE 9

1978 3 TRKS no pic sleeve, White vinyl – given away with “Black & White”

7" WALK ON BY / OLD CODGER / TANK U.A. UK UP 36429

1978 3 TRKS with pic sleeve; George Melly sings on “Old Codger”

12" WHO WANTS THE WORLD KING JPN GXA 7

1980 5 TRK EP; with pic sleeve, Japan-only

7" WHO WANTS THE WORLD / MENINBLACK, THE U.A. UK BP 355

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

I was probably fairly lucky that it was the debut Stranglers LP that was pulled out and played (in a record store) when the question was asked, “What is this punk rock stuff from England?”. For one, it meant that I didn’t totally dismiss ‘Punk rock’ – but it must be stated that I was avidly collecting Italian horror film soundtracks in 1977 – and that I had no real interested in ‘Punk rock’ per se.

It must also be stated that I liked the sound of The Stranglers initially, as they had more than a passing resemblance to The Doors (and the vocalist sounded a bit like Syd Barrett to me – must be a Cambridge thing?) – and I could relate to the anti-social subject matter of the songs. Yes, some of the lyrics are a tad misogynistic – it was 1977, the term “politically correct” didn’t exist yet (at least, I don’t think it did!).

Within 2 years, I was in England for the first time, and I was lucky enough to get a 3-D copy of “The Raven”, which became a favorite album of mine. What was I thinking? I sold my 3-D “Raven” when the CD initially came out, and I have yet to find a real original again. I saw the band live at The Whisky in Los Angeles – they were in a bad mood, as they’d just had all of their equipment stolen. I seem to recall that the ticket for the show was $8.50, about double what any other show would’ve been at that time (’79-’80).

The Stranglers were a cool band. It was fun to collect their singles, to read the British press about what bad boys they were. Having read more than one book written by Hugh Cornwell, I get the idea that they were, in fact, ‘bad boys’. There’s something for me on each of their EMI records, and I have nearly all of the released titles. I stuck with the band all the way until Hugh Cornwell left the group (after the Epic label albums).

The topic of the ‘early’ Stranglers came up recently when George Melly died – Mr. Melly, of course, was a guest vocalist on “Old Codger” – on the single from the U.K. “Black & White” LP, “Walk On By” (and I think it’s a bonus track on the original CD).

I wonder what music historians will make of The Stranglers in 50 years time? A punk band that wasn’t a punk band? Misogynistic malcontents? British accents?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: Stranglers

I would think that their sheer truculence more than qualifies them as punk since lots of people who don't know how to play their instruments don't come within miles of punk --- without said truculence.

I am reading "Babylon's Burning: From Punk To Grunge" by Clinton Heylin and it gives a well observed on the fall of The Stranglers from Punk Orthodoxy. I all comes down to a fight J.J started after he felt that Paul Simenon was spitting at him. Malcolm and Bernie cut them off just like that. And their followers have been beating The Stranglers into the ground ever since - yes, I'm talking YOU, Jon Savage! (not his real name)

10:06 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

The Stranglers would seem to be fairly good musicians - just alightly too late or too early, as it happens. Shame about all the spitting. Hugh C was most cooperative to sign my records when I met him in '99 - RK

5:14 PM  
Blogger Holly A Hughes said...

I saw the Stranglers early on, at the Roundhouse in London (I believe it was the same bill as Patti Smith but unfortunately many 1977 details are difficult to retrieve these days). Their live act was fascinating but also quite agressively off-putting -- it was years before I was willing to give them another listen!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Holly -

Try any of the latter day Hugh Cornwell titles, all are rather good.

- RK

9:21 PM  

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