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on 9 May 2017
I have been a die hard fan since hearing Grip on the radio way back in good ole' 77. So, I was one of those who bought (and still has) the original boxed 'Old Testament' which is worth a bit money nowadays. I bought this later version so I had some great tracks to play for when I'm driving. Now to be honest I cannot tell any difference in sound reproduction. For the cheap price I paid it was well worth it. The seller packaged it well and it came through the post quicker than expected and in the future I may by another one for a present for my son. This is three quarters of the classic Cornwell years. Do yourself a favour and buy The Old Testament and then buy the CBS albums boxed set and you will be able to listen to the greatest years of one of England's finest rock bands !!
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on 20 June 2017
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on 20 March 2014
The Stranglers were the first band I ever saw back in '79 on The Raven tour (Derby Assembly Rooms) - loved `em - I was 15 at the time. I moved on through numerous bands over the years, picking back up on The Stranglers every so often. Saw `em again around 2004 at Rock City - really unimpressed - Hugh Cornwall had left by then & they were a shadow of the band I loved in the late seventies.

Then I rediscovered them last year. I realised that I didn't actually own the first few albums on CD, only on vinyl & set about to add the first six albums to my racks. If you buy them individually, it's going to cost about forty quid, buying this way cost me less than fifteen.

So how does it compare to buying them separately? You don't get exactly the same tracks as buying the original, re-mastered albums - however, you get all the tracks from the original albums & some B-sides, 12" & rarities. Problem is, when you transfer it to i-tunes, your library listing will display it as "The Old Testament", which, if you want to listen to say "Black & White", is irritating. Took me about half a day to order & edit it to the original albums - the awkward part was deciding what to do with the extra tracks. I ended up using a combination of cross-referencing their Wikipedia discography against the track listing from the currently available albums. However, after having to re-edit the set due to my hard-drive dying, I've realised that there's actually a seventh album stashed away in there - "Rarities" - OK, not exactly a studio album, but interesting all the same.

Soundwise, sounds fine to me - however, after too many years of standing by the side of Rock Citys bass bins, I suffer from what is known as "reduced hearing". If you read through other reviews, you can decide whether or not the sound is of reduced quality. To me, it's a value way to add their first six albums, plus extras, to your collection for a low price. You'll just have to do a bit of work if you want to fool your library into thinking that you've actually bought them separately.

As for the band - went to see them at Nottinghams Rock City in March on the Ruby Anniversary Tour. Very apprehensive - someone once said that favourite bands from your youth are like girlfriends from the same era - probably best living with the memory of them as they were in their prime. So glad I didn't heed his advice - they were blistering - they were as aggressive & energy filled as they were in '79. Almost two hours of non-stop power - my ears were still ringing a week later (though that is probably down to age) - just a shame that Jet Black was unable to perform.

So life had done a full circle - I can rest happily with my memories of them - aided by this exceptionally good value album
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on 6 February 2014
I had Rattus and Black and White as a double cd but had been trying to find best way to get 'Heroes, 'Raven and La Folie. To get the MeninBlack and the extras at such a reasonable price is phenomenal. The sleeve notes and photos are great although I havent tried the website yet where more may be on show.
Their playing live with new(ish) vocalist throughout the start of 2014 - I hope to catch them at GLive in March.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 October 2014
I bought this last week and something is not right here. I am not a sound technician or expert, but I know my music and these recordings sound 'dead'. I have some of the original releases and the music has 'body' 'resonance' and 'atmosphere' - these simply sound dull. I can't put it any other way. Consequently, I have found the box set very difficult to enjoy.
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on 18 March 2005
This box set contains the band's complete studio output during the classic UA years, for many the golden years of The Stranglers. The set is crammed onto four CDs. All six albums are here, along with the one off singles and the b sides. It is good to have them all in one place.
The first two albums cover much the same ground with melodic pub rock to the fore. They include gems such as Grip, No More Heroes, Peaches and Rok it to the Moon. The use of keyboards separates them from most of the pub bands of the time. Recorded fast, they did well at catching the feel of the band's early live sets.
Black and White saw the band cautiously spreading their musical wings, moving into rockier territory than the previous two albums. Nice and Sleazy was the single from the album and is probably the most adventurous track on the album. The one off single Walk on By remains a tour de force.
The third CD brings us to The Raven and The Stranglers suddenly explode outwards. By far their most varied and experimental album so far it included everything from the power pop of Duchess to the strange experiment of Meninblack and everything in-between. It is, arguably, their finest album. Don't Bring Harry is just one stand out track. For all its wing stretching it is still recognisably the Stranglers.
This brings us neatly to The Gospel According to The Men In Black. Easily the most controversial of the albums it is a strange mixture of styles and experiments. Taken as a whole it adds up to a reasonably strong, very European album. It is probably the weakest album here, however.
Finally we have La Folie the most radio friendly album from this phase. A return to form it sold well on the back of Golden Brown. Most of the tracks could have been singles, the exception being the title track, which was released as one for some reason. It represents a development of the sounds explored on The Raven and to a degree points the way to the more pop orientated Epic years.
The 112 page big booklet that comes with the box is built around a detailed and well written biography of the band and is well worth a read or two. The sound is good on all the CDs and this is one of the best of the punk/new wave box sets.
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on 17 July 2013
I decided to buy the 2013 version after some positive comments regarding sound quality start showing up on Amazon product review. After listening to the whole package which took me very LOOOOONG time, well.... nearly 100 songs, I'm quite satisfied with the overall sound quality of these CDs.
In term of audio quality for most tracks, I can clearly hear detail of most instruments. JJ's bass from the first 3 albums sound spikey with a nice touch of sub bass. The drum part sound powerful and not muddy at all. I'd describe the overall experience of listening to these 6 early albums as very powerful and energetic.

There're some tracks that sound a bit loud and a "tiny" bit harsh to my ear, which mostly belong to "No More Heroes" album. However they don't sound tinny because the mid and sub bass are still there and help balance out nicely.

In summary I would rate audio quality for most tracks as 5 stars, except for tracks from "No More Heroes" which get 4.5 stars
The double CD package is sturdy enough to hold all 5 CDs. The 24 pages booklet includes Band photos, images of albums and Singles covers, and some credits for rarities tracks on disc 5.

Highly recommended.
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on 30 May 2013
Do NOT buy this. Do NOT support horrible brickwalled remasters. A straight reissue of the OOP 1992 set at a bargain price would have been great. Instead, they've ruined these classic albums with tinny remasters which are painful to listen to.

The 2001 remasters must have have been bad if they sounded like this "new" release and I don't care if they were well-reviewed. "Brickwalling" was in vogue for awhile, but is finally starting to see a backlash. People (like me) who actually have the awesome '92 box set are obviously in the best position to determine which sounds better. I bought this for the bonus disc and the hope of a new quality remaster. The remaster is a disaster.
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on 10 June 2013
I for one do not own the '92 remasters of the stranglers albums however i do own a couple of the 2001 ones and they are exactly the same. I don't really have the energy or time to go and collect and compare the '92 discs presuming how sought after they are after reading these reviews. On an interesting side note I've just checked the reviews for the single 2001 remasters and they all have an overall 4-5 star rating for some reason if you collect those and put it into one affordable set with a disc of rarities it gets a bad review?

While I don't have the '92 discs to compare to this is still the best way to pickup a whole era of stranglers history including a rarities disc I'd definitely still recommend this set over picking up single 2001 cds.

I would also suggest that the people that have given this product bad reviews sound like they already own the stranglers catalog at least one time over (and probably on vinyl too which almost always sounds better than a CD) so there would be no incentive to buy this set anyway just to put those reviews in context (what type of psycho is buying stranglers cds several times over?).

This set is a great way to immerse yourself in the stranglers

PS - read amazon US reviews as they are honest don't bother with the nutters that have trolled the reviews this product
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on 9 June 2013
These recordings are well known enough to not need any description, but note should be made of the sound in this budget set. It appears a troll has posted several reviews here decrying the "terrible" sound. Strangely each review has a perfect score of helpfulness from other readers. No need to hesitate on this issue, the set sounds fine. I don't have the original early 90s set for comparison but this has a warmth and crispness which sounds like a fresh remaster to me. Buy with confidence and ignore the troll!
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