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The Stranglers: Song by Song

The Stranglers: Song by Song [Kindle Edition]

Hugh Cornwell , Jim Drury
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The Stranglers have outlasted and outsold virtually every other band of their era, recording ten hit albums and releasing 21 Top 40 singles. Their list of hits, including Golden Brown, were written against a background of spectacular success, dismal failure, drug dependency, financial ruin, infighting and misfortune.

As a response to David Buckley's one-sided biography of the band ("No Mercy" Hodder & Stoughton, 1997) and the band’s reticence to reveal the true meaning behind their songs, Hugh Cornwell, founding member and songwriter, sets the record straight, displaces the myths and for the first time explains the real stories behind The Stranglers, his departure and the origins of their songs.

From the Publisher

* Huge resurgence of Stranglers classics: No More Heroes (BBC TV's 'Mirrorball'), Peaches (film 'Sexy Beast'), and Golden Brown (Guy Ritchie's blockbuster 'Snatch'). * An unique perspective on one of the most extraordinary and inflammatory English rock bands * Contains many original and previously unpublished photographs. * Written entirely in his own words by the founding member of The Stranglers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1632 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bobcat Books; illustrated edition edition (1 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042FZY46
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN SKIN DEEP 29 May 2007
By Kelvin J. Dickinson VINE VOICE
As an exercise in balance and objectivity, there's little to suggest that HUGH CORNWELL's THE STRANGLERS: SONG BY SONG is anything other than straight down the line. Calm and measured (but never dull), and without resort to egotistical hyperbole, he tells the story of his tenure with The Stranglers via every song they wrote together. The result is a compelling piece of work.

Many people have their own opinions as to whether The Stranglers were any good after Hugh left. For me, they weren't. And when the magic of the original lineup changed the spell was broken and that was it. Sorry, JEAN-JAQUES BURNEL (Bass), DAVE GREENFIELD (Keyboards) and JET BLACK (Drums).

The book is framed around a 'conversation' between Cornwell and JIM DRURY, a longtime Stranglers fan. As a result, there's an air of informality about the project (a similar conceit was used in JOHN LENNON's final Playboy Magazine interview in 1980) yet the guitarist's style is articulate and focused, adding relevant background to every song under discussion. And there's certainly no shortage of those. From the first album (RATTUS NORVEGICUS) to the last (10), almost thirteen years later, the essence of what made The Stranglers special is quite clearly evident in the recollections of an ex-lead singer who, in sharp contrast, says he's never been happier since his departure from the band in 1990. That may be so, but I can't imagine that there isn't at least some kind of unresolved conflict to address regarding creative satifaction versus steadily diminishing returns. He's probably all too aware that the only way chart action could ever be achieved now is by becoming a Strangler again - one of the original magnificent four, back in the spiritual home, so to speak.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 1 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Stranglers fans will need no urging to read this. For anyone else, it is a rare and significant deconstruction of the creative process as practised by Cornwell, Burnel, Greenfield and Jet Black. There was always so much more to the music of the Men in Black, when compared with their contemporaries - always a fierce intelligence and interest in off-beat subjects. It's pretty clear that Hugh Cornwell was the main creative drive behind the band, though the unique sound only came about with the addition of JJ Burnel's input. Always democratic, they all shared credit for the songwriting. Prior to this publication, The Stranglers retained a certain mystique - but this book changes all that and reveals what they were thinking at the time and how the songs came about. Fascinating stuff.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great with a few beers 26 Nov 2001
This is not a work of great literary expertise. Indeed, it is really just the transcript of conversations between Jim Drury and Hugh Cornwell. Question and answer, often very lightweight - you know the deal. So I can't imagine that the returns which the book will generate will reflect the effort that went into its production ;).
But, for Chrissakes, we are Stranglers fans, not the sorts that go in for the intelligensia Brooker Prize novels where every syllable is scrutenised for literary integrity. So thus this book is welcome. It's a gentle, easy read, especially after a few pints (preferably playing "the Raven" at 11 a la Spinal Tap) confirming my suspicion that the Stranglers were actually quite nice boys after all. Well, relatively speaking.
Surprising facts emerge, such as "Dave G. was a follower rather than a leader" in the musical idea generation department. Well, it does not matter to me whether Dave originated the ideas or improved on them. The end result has always been that he was the only New wave keyboard player of any note whatsoever - musical and quietly attitudinal - even if he had never heard of that guy from The Doors. Likewise, when I thought that JJ's bass sound had gone soft (especially after 'The Raven"), it seems that his bass sound was tempered by having the original equipment nicked in the U.S., so I forgive him completely. Just as well we have the Barracuda Bass sound on "In The Shadows" before it disappeared. (even if the song was crap !).
Stranglers fans, old and new, this book is a comfortable read to go along with the thirtysomething pipe and slippers.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a look at the music too! 23 Nov 2001
By A Customer
I have been a Stranglers fan for nearly two thirds of my life (I am 37 now and first got into them at the tender age of 13)and I have devoured everything I have listened to and read about them.
Like most people I was very upset when Hugh Cornwell left the band in 1990 but have stuck with the current line up and felt they have produced a lot of very strong, exciting and under-rated tracks and albums. They have been my favourite band all my teenage/adult life and I know they always will be which is why I find this book to be so fascinating.
Like most Stranglers fans I have grown up with the stories of the drugs, the sex, the jail sentences, the riots and the chaos that surrounds the band and although it all adds to the intrigue and delight we find in them it also frustratingly perhaps takes away attention from their greatest ever strength - the music.
This book tries to deal with that by going through every single Hugh-era track from the biggest and best known to the most obscure b-side explaining how they were written, who wrote them, who sung them and what Hugh feels about them now. It also explains the circumstances the band were in as songs were written which adds more knowledge to the general body of information about the band and its mythology.
I actually had the pleasure of interviewing Hugh about the book as I am a local newspaper editor and it was great to hear him sounding so open and positive about the band in retrospect. Again, like many fans I kinda blamed him for ruining my musical fun by quitting in 1990, but you do understand a bit more as you read this and it is good to see that he now seems happier and more proud of the Stranglers work than at any time.
A great book for Stranglers fans and one which I am sure will also interest those who have only ever dipped their toes into the murky waters of the greatest rock and roll band of all time.
Who said there were no more heroes?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book well written
Ive been a Stranglers fan since Peaches entered the charts I own all the albums right up to the newest one Giants... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gary Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars The World of the Stranglers (According to Hugh......)
I have certainly no argument with the other reviewer's claims that this is a must read for any Stranglers fan although statements like A Customer's "It's pretty clear that Hugh... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Freddie Cochrane
2.0 out of 5 stars chota peg
interesting to read the meaning of certain stranglers songs, but sometimes to explain the meanings behind things demystify them. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mr. J. Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant insight into the creative process
The problem with a lot of music journalism is that it is all about trousers, haircuts and politics - simply because music journalists often don't understand very much about the... Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by feline1
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for Stranglers fans
This is an excellent book for anybody interested in The Stranglers. They were (and are) truly an iconic group. Read more
Published on 20 Aug 2006 by Mike J. Wheeler
3.0 out of 5 stars Great and bad all at once!
A great insight into the lyrics of The Stranglers, thoughfully and often very well described.
However what gets me is that Hugh and the hugely biased writer, with his leading... Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2005 by M.M. McFarlane
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This!!!
If you want the inside track on one of the worlds best bands The Stranglers then you must buy this! I read this book in about two days and was totaly facinated by it. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2004 by Mr. Steven Bryant
4.0 out of 5 stars A flawed gem
Having been a stranglers fan since their early days (Go buddy go was about my third single purchase!) my school days in the 70's were enlivend by their music. Read more
Published on 19 July 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining.
I was gripped by this from start to finish.Being an avid reader of anything to do with the Punk era but not so big a Stranglers fan i approached with trepadation but was not... Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Only Four Stars because the other three blocked the lyrics
What a find. I added this to my Christmas list as soon as I found out that it would be published. I was not dissapointed (well almost). Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2002
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