Despite breaking free from the shackles of a creatively exhausted Stranglers
unit in August 1990, it took their famously terse front-man Hugh Cornwell--as subsequently evidenced by an unconvincing flirtation with funk-pop and another record as part of a country pop trio--seven more years of hard labour and self-improvement on the provincial public indifference live circuit to truly experience the taste of liberty and healthy creativity again. And on 1997's Guilty
(a career-highlight produced by that most pop-friendly of Stranglers sound men Laurie Latham), Cornwell's decision to go it alone was finally vindicated. With all the demonstrative Stranglers prerequisites of spinning harpsichord, reticent guitar and black attitude in place, Guilty
proved an unqualified, melodious adult-rock joy from start (the Lou Reed vibe and wry sexual-insinuation of "Snapper", the stiffly-riffed choppiness of "Nerves Of Steel") to finish (the disquieting Twin Peaks dreaminess of "Torture Garden" and the mournful ghost-story "House Of Sorrow"). He should be sentenced to another 15 years of making records like this. --Kevin Maidment
2CD set featuring 11 tracks from 'The Stranglers' legend. Long heralded as one of the most accomplished guitar players to come out of the punk era and undoubtedly one of the greatest British songwriters of the 70's and 80's. Hugh Cornwell returned in 1997 with an album steeped in lyrical sensuality, black humour and seductive melodies. Includes 'Five Miles High', 'Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit' and 'Long Dead Train'