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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 September 2000
As with most bands who have been around for as long as the Stranglers, there are many compilation albums available of varying quality. This however, was the first compilation released in 1982 which covers the early punk singles of 1977 such as 'Peaches' and 'Something Better Change' up to the mellow sounds of 'Golden Brown' and 'Strange Little Girl' in the early 1980s.
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.
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Emerging in the heady days of the punk revolution, The Stranglers went out of their way to be offensive but they outlived the punk hype because they were a really talented rock band. This album demonstrates their brilliance and their versatility. Their repertoire included both angry rock anthems and sensitive, beautifully melodic songs. This album includes the uptempo No More Heroes, the politically incorrect Peaches and the protest song Something Better Change, plus their cover of the Bacharach/David classic Walk On By and the tuneful Duchess. Another change in style created Golden Brown with its sublime harpsichord arrangement and the lovely melodic Strange Little Girl. The only major omission is Five Minutes, a powerful piece of aggressive rock. These songs have stood the test of time very well, especially the softer ones like Golden Brown and Strange Little Girl. The Stranglers were definitely one of the most talented UK bands of the 1970s and the 1980s. Greatest Hits 1977 - 1990 is another worthwhile compilation as it includes their hits throughout the 1980s. But for the early period, this album is just fine.
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on 16 May 2008
The Stranglers were never easily categorised. Punk? New Wave? Goth? Christ knows, even 26 years after the latest track on this compo!

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!

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on 21 June 2015
Not the best collection. Very long instrumental in Walk on by, not much into Bear cage or Waltzin black which I have heard used on seaside tv programme tune overs not realising it was by the Stranglers. Unlike some, I do like La folie.
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on 1 February 2005
The Stranglers were one of the bands that rode the punk revolution to success without ever being truly a punk band. They were much too good to be pigeonholed so easily.
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.
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on 17 November 2013
Didn't like them when i was younger apart from "GOLDEN BROWN" which is a classic.

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
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on 11 February 2013
The Stranglers for me is this album, as it was the album that defined their years from punk to pop, from bare anger to aloof chart monkeys. Excellent guitar oriented music complemented with weird and spooking keyboard; a combination I later recognised as having been arrived at in part from The Doors, yet made their own.
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I recently gave away all my early Stranglers' albums - all of them prior to this greatest hits package. I retained this collection partly through nostalgic reasons, but also because all songs bar one is a gem! For an hour of inventive, well-crafted musicianship, this album is hard to beat.

To quote a phrase, there's never a dull moment with these songs. The lyrics are often brilliantly spot-on with riffs to die for, and the arrangements are both resourceful and ingenious.

All tracks are written by the band, except their cover of Bacharach and David's "Walk On By". And even here singer Hugh Cornwell's voice is delightfully incongruous and perfectly phrased as he euphemistically demands of his lover that she "just go for a stroll in the trees"! But whether it is the beautiful bass line of "Nice `n' Sleazy", or the haunting feel of "Strange Little Girl", or the sad domesticity portrayed in "Duchess", or the class of the "Waltzinblack", there is plenty of ingenuity here at which to marvel. The only duff item, in my opinion, is "Something Better Change", its title being too (ironically) repetitive to bear.

Having gained fame and notoriety on the back of punk, the band always had a rather sinister edge in its early years, a reputation that the band did little to dispel. And yet their cultural and softer side is there for all to see in many of these songs, especially towards the end of their contract with EMI, when new European horizons started to come into view.
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on 25 August 2010
Continuing with my theme of revisiting my youth; I bought The Stranglers collection on download. A good range of songs from the time when I was young, and a real mix of old favourites. It is hard to categorise them - I suppose I had always regarded them as a punk band, but listening to some of the songs, they are anything but.

Some great stuff here - 'No more heroes,' 'Golden Brown.' 'Duchess,' and my absolute favourite 'Peaches.' You know something - when Peaches blew me away in 1977 I don't recollect any angst about what it was. I just recall loving the notoriety of it, the fact my parents didn't approve, and really, really enjoying the sound. Despite the passing of time, and our desire to categorise - don't worry about what it is, just buy it and enjoy listening to it. That's what I'm doing!
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on 17 June 2009
If you're in your early 40's .. this album will bring back the memories...
A nice mix of The Stranglers best.. the mellow Golden Brown and Strange Little Girl .. and the pogoing tracks of No More Heros, Duchess and Nice N Sleazy... Buy this to warm you up .. then go and see them live - they are still amazing
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