The Collection 1977-1982 CD
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Top Customer Reviews
In between there are such classics as 'Duchess' and 'Bear Cage' as well as their menacing re-working of the Dionne Warwick song 'Walk on By'. This latter song was a strange choice of single as it had been given away free with their album "Black and White" and it was also well over the standard 3 minute length of your average single due to the extended guitar and keyboard solos, but the Stranglers have never been all that concerned about such minor details. The final track also demonstrates how they've never played by the music industry's rules as it is sung and spoken in French by their bass player Jean Jacque Burnel. Not exactly likely to get much daytime airplay on Radio 1!
They have always lived up to their reputation of being the 'Lepers of Rock' but have recorded consistently good singles which this compilation demonstrates. I'd certainly recommend it as a good starting point if you are new to the music of the Stranglers.
The best thing about this compo is that it didn't answer those questions on its' release in 1982 & doesn't know. The Stranglers weren't mavericks, they were just a flipping towering talent that never fitted neatly into anybody's pigeon-holes.
And after a quarter of a century, this is still the only compo you really want. Some of their Epic stuff was good(Skin Deep,European Female,Always The Sun), but it doesn't match the energy, verve or flair of every track on this little lot.
It does concentrate on the singles, apart from Walk On By, initially an album freebie, La Folie, released against their wishes, hence the move from Liberty/EMI, and Hanging Around. But as Walk on By is seriously deviant compared to what Bacharach & David expected when they wrote it in 1963, as La Folie is the musical equivalent of Eric Cantona's Seagulls & Trawlers in its' subtle contempt for pop-pickers, and as Hanging Around is one of the great anthemic 6 mins of the last 10,000 years,who cares they weren't ever featured on TOTP!
The Stranglers were famous for their musicianship (JJ Burnel's fantastic baselines inspired a generation of schoolboy base players), their ability to be offensive (performing on stage with strippers: it used to work) and violence (it wasn't a good idea to stand at the bar or ignore them when they are performing).
This album covers the Stranglers most successful period (in terms of commercial success) and contains most of the 'old' favourites ranging from the classic No More Heroes through the offensive (but funny) Peaches to the melodic and haunting Golden Brown.
Their music has stood the test of time well (certainly much better than most of their contemporaries) and still bears repeated listening.
Highly recommended and good value for 'old' fans; also a great place to start for music fans unfamiliar with the Stranglers.
Now converted to the edginess i used to dislike.
Times change but great music is worth revisiting, you never know the gems you'll uncove in the past