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THE STRANGLERS BIOGRAPHY

The Stranglers were among the very first punk bands, and like many others, had their roots in the UK pub band scene. In fact as a pub band their success was lacking atr best. But punk happened and they fit right in. It could be said they were punk before there was such a thing!

Founded in Chiddingfold, England in 1974 by guitarist/vocalist Hugh Cornwell, bassist/vocalist Jean-Jacques Burnell, keyboardist Dave Greenfield and drummer Jet Black. Always dressed in black, playing with a heavy, dark, moody sound (oddly contrasted by Greenfield's often 'happy' organ sound) they were the progenitors of "goth-rock."

In 1976, after openning for Patti Smith on her European tour, United Artists Records (UK) took note and signed them in December. In January they released the moderately successful single "(Get a) Grip (On Yourself)" which of late has been anthologized as one of the first "alternative" rock recordings. AS would happen consistently through the punk era, their songs were banned by the BBC (which in the punk world only helped sales). An LP, Rattus Norvegicus (the scientific name for the rodent responsible for the plague) and the next single, "Peaches"followed. "Peaches" was originally a banned track until they created a "radio version" which replaced the word "clitoris" with "bikini." It went top ten in the UK, as did their next two singles ("Straighten Out" and "No More Heroes") which came from their second LP, NO MORE HEROES, one of the top ten selling LPs of the year in the UK.

About this time, A&M Records (US) was discovering the murmurs of the growing punk/new wave movement and, in addition to signing acts outright, was looking to acquire material through licencing. A Stranglers deal seemed ready made, as UA had not yet launched their US Liberty Records label. So in the US The Stranglers first three United Artists LPs appeared on A&M Records...

Rattus Norvegicus No More Heroes Black & White
L to R:The Stranglers' first three LPs for A&M (licensed from UA/Liberty)
SP4648 RATTUS NORVEGICUS, SP4659 NO MORE HEROES, SP4706 BLACK & WHITE.

After the poor US sales of The Stranglers' third LP, BLACK & WHITE, A&M was growing weary of waiting to catch punk's rise on the US side of the Atlantic. Having been burned by the fiasco of signing and immediately "un"signing The Sex Pistols, A&M opted out of releasing The Stranglers' fourth LP, THE RAVEN. Instead, I.R.S. (distributed by A&M, oddly enough) released an LP called STRANGLERS IV which consisted of half of the UK LP THE RAVEN and various previously unreleased tracks. Also, initial pressings came with a four-song 7" EP (SP70952) which contained even more miscallaneous tracks.

The Stranglers continued in the UK with United Artists for a few more LPs before moving to Epic Records UK (and started appearing on the US Epic label as well). They continued to chart from time to time in the UK, but never managed to chart in the US. Hugh Cornwell, Dave Greenfield and Jean-Jacques Burnel produced solo records concurrently with their Stranglers work, until Hugh became bored with it and left the band in 1990 to pursue his solo career. Despite this loss, The Stranglers continued on, first with Paul Roberts and then Jonhn Ellis (formerly ofThe Vibrators). This line-up continues to this day.

Far from being finished, The Stranglers, have never officially broken up and look to continue on into the next millennium and, in fact, released an album in 1999...


THE STRANGLERS I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only THE STRANGLERS' recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for THE STRANGLERS, below...

Albums & EPs

SP70011 THE STRANGLERS IV
IRS SP 70011 (Released 24 Sep 1980)

Vinyl Only.
(reissued on CD with Promo 70952 tracks as bonus in 1988, CD70011)
Tracks 1-5 Produced by The Stranglers and Alan Winstanley
Tracks 6-7 Produced by Martin Rushent
Tracks 8 & 10 Produced by The Stranglers
Tracks 9 Produced by The Stranglers & Steve Churchyard
Tracks 1-5 Engineered by Alan Winstanley & Steve Churchyard
Tracks 6-7 Engineered by Alan Winstanley
Tracks 8-9 Engineered by Steve Churchyard
Track 10 Engineered by Gary Edwards & Laurence Diana
Art Direction by John Pasche
Cover Photo by Phil Jude
Design by Hold That Tiger!
Album Coordination John Guarnieri & Bob Laul

Musicians:
Hugh Cornwell Guitar & Vocals
Jean Jacques Burnel Bass & Vocals
Dave Greenfield Keyboards
Jet BlackDrums

Track Listing:

  1. The Raven (Stranglers) 5:12
  2. Baroque Bordello (Stranglers) 3:48
  3. Duchess (Stranglers) 2:29
  4. Nuclear Device (Stranglers) 3:28
  5. Meninblack (Stranglers) 4:48
  6. 5 Minutes (Stranglers) 3:15
  7. Rok It To The Moon (Stranglers) 2:44
  8. Vietnamerica (Stranglers) 4:09
  9. G.m.b.H. (Stranglers) 3:52
  10. Who Wants The World? (Stranglers) 3:20

Review Coming Soon!


SP70952 THE STRANGLERS BONUS EP
IRS SP 70952 (Released 24 Sep 1980)

Vinyl Only.
Included with SP70011 for a limited time
Tracks 1 Produced by JJ Burnel, Martin Rushent & Alan Winstanley
Tracks 2 & 4 Produced by Martin Rushent
Tracks 3 Produced by Hugh Cornwell & Robert Williams
Engineered by Alan Winstanley & others
Album Coordination John Guarnieri & Bob Laul

Musicians:
Hugh Cornwell Guitar & Vocals
Jean Jacques Burnel Bass & Vocals
Dave Greenfield Keyboards
Jet Black Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Do The European (Burnel) 4:25
  2. Choosy Suzie(Stranglers) 3:12
  3. White Room (Bruce/Brown) 3:52
  4. Straighten Out (Stranglers) 2:48

Review Coming Soon!


Singles

9018 Sleeve "Duchess"/"The Raven"
IRS IR9018 (Released 6 Oct 1980)

Produced by Alan Winstanley
Engineered by Alan Winstanley & Steve Churchyard


Musicians:
Hugh Cornwell Guitar & Vocals
Jean Jacques Burnel Bass & Vocals
Dave Greenfield Keyboards
Jet Black Drums

Review Coming Soon!


Compilations & Soundtracks

I.R.S. GREATEST HITS, VOL 1 (IRS SP70950) includes "The Raven" and "Vietnamerica"
I.R.S. GREATEST HITS, VOLS 2 & 3 (IRS SP70800) includes "Straighten Out"


THE STRANGLERS LINKS AND OTHER COOL STUFF

This trendsetting band has a growing number of sites on the internet. While there are dozens more mediocre fan sites and many foreign laguage sites, below are a few that we deemed best:
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER HOME PAGE
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER ARTIST ROSTER
Return To The I.R.S. Records A&M Era Discography
Discuss Stranglers in The DISCUSSION FORUM
This Page Last Updated 20 October 2002

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