In February the Stranglers began a mini-tour, playing three secret pub gigs as a thank-you to those venues and their landlords for their support during the band's rise to success.
During their appearance at the University of Surrey on the BBC TV programme Rock Goes to College on 19 October , the group walked off stage because an agreement to make tickets available to non-university students had not been honoured. At the end of , ARB's bassist was imprisoned, leaving the band with a problem for their forthcoming tour.
Burnel took time out from The Stranglers to fly out to Japan at short notice and join ARB to cover the tour, including appearing at the 'All Japan Rock Festival' at Hibaya park, becoming the first non-Japanese to ever appear at the festival. In , one of the Stranglers' two managers advised them to break up as he felt that the band had lost direction, but this idea was dismissed and they parted company with their management team. Later that year the Stranglers released The Raven , which heralded a transition towards a more melodic and complex sound which appealed more to the album than the singles market.
The songs on The Raven are multi-layered and musically complicated, and deal with such subjects as a Viking 's lonely voyage, heroin addiction, genetic engineering, contemporary political events in Iran and Australia and extraterrestrial visitors, "The Meninblack".
The Raven saw a definite transition in the band's sound. The Hohner Cembalet — so prominent on the previous three albums — was dropped and Oberheim synthesizers were deployed on most tracks. The Raven was not released in the US; instead a compilation album The Stranglers IV was released in , containing a selection of tracks from The Raven and a mix of earlier and later non-album tracks.
The Raven sold well, reaching No. A inch single, the band's first, containing extended mixes of both tracks was also released, but "Bear Cage" also only managed No. We're never going to use a producer again. They are just shitty little parasites. All they're good for is telling jokes. And we know better jokes than any of 'em. Following the success of The Stranglers' previous four albums they were given complete freedom for their next, The Gospel According to the Meninblack , a concept album exploring religion and the supposed connection between religious phenomena and extraterrestrial visitors.
It was preceded by a single "Who Wants the World", which didn't appear on the album, and only just made the top The Gospel According to The Meninblack was very different from their earlier work and alienated many fans.
After a slow start, the Stranglers recovered their commercial and critical status with La Folie which was another concept album, this time exploring the subject of love. However, the next single was " Golden Brown ". The song is an evocative waltz-time ballad, with an extra beat in the fourth bar. Cornwell said the lyrics were "about heroin and also about a girl. She was of Mediterranean origin and her skin was golden brown.
It was also named as "record of the week" on BBC Radio 2 , despite the station not previously playing music associated with the punk genre. It remains a radio staple to this day. Following this success, La Folie recharted at No. Shortly afterwards the Stranglers left EMI. As part of their severance deal, The Stranglers were forced to release a greatest hits collection, The Collection — It became a hit, charting at No.
Following the Stranglers' return to commercial success, many record companies lined up to sign them. Virgin Records was the most likely choice but Epic Records made a last minute offer and secured the Stranglers' services. The Stranglers once again had complete artistic freedom and in released their first album for Epic, Feline , which included the UK No. The album was another change in musical direction, this time influenced by European music.
It was the first Stranglers album to feature acoustic guitars, and it was on this album that Jet Black began to use electronic drum kits. It was strange doing those tracks, because we'd never really attempted that quite minimalistic recording technique.
And when we started writing for Feline , things were coming out the same way. Duffy adopted the stage name Jet Black, and soon the group was regularly playing pubs as well as occasional weddings and private gigs. Streamlining their name to the Stranglers, they earned a reputation on the club scene, and their sinister name and sound helped them find gigs in the burgeoning punk rock community, including opening shows for visiting Americans Patti Smith and the Ramones.
Little more than a year after their debut album came out, the Stranglers delivered album number three, Black and White, in May The Stranglers dialed back their busy schedule a bit, and waited until September to bring out their fourth LP, The Raven, which initially appeared with a limited-edition 3-D cover. The album was another commercial success in the U.
Instead, in , I. United Artists was shuttered in , and the Stranglers moved to the EMI-distributed Liberty label for February 's The Gospel According to the Meninblack, a sci-fi-influenced concept album that introduced their greater use of electronics.
The independent Stiff imprint brought it out in the United States. The recording coincided with a period in which the group began using heroin in hopes of boosting their creativity; Cornwell said that Black and Greenfield stopped after just a few days, though he and Burnel stayed on the drug for roughly a year, and Cornwell was briefly jailed on drug charges.
The Gospel According to the Meninblack was a commercial disappointment, and for their next project, Liberty paired the band with veteran producer Tony Visconti, who urged them to think of each track as a single.
La Folie, issued in November , revived their commercial fortunes when the track "Golden Brown" was pulled as a single and became the Stranglers' biggest hit, as well as EMI's best-selling single of the year.
The Stranglers struck a new record deal with Epic, and their first LP for the label, Feline, was released in January The disc, which found Greenfield making greater use of synthesizers, reached number four on the U. Their second release for Epic, November 's Aural Sculpture, didn't sell quite as well, but fared better with critics, and the cassette edition included a video game program that could be played on the ZX Spectrum, an early low-priced personal computer.
October 's Dreamtime spawned another major hit, "Always the Sun," and June 's 10, produced by Roy Thomas Baker, featured a cover of the garage rock classic "96 Tears," and "Sweet Smell of Success" was a rare American success for the group, reaching the Top Five of the Modern Rock Singles chart. However, Hugh Cornwell had been increasingly dissatisfied with the Stranglers, and following the touring cycle behind 10, he left the group.
The announcement that the Stranglers had lost their guitarist and primary lead singer led to Epic dropping the band, but the group remained active, with guitarist John Ellis a former member of the Vibrators who had filled in for some live dates when Cornwell was incarcerated and vocalist Paul Roberts coming aboard.
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Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Retrieved 7 May London: Guinness World Records Limited. Retrieved 28 July Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 July Retrieved 7 March The Stranglers Song By Song.
Sanctuary Publishing Ltd. All Media Network. British Film Institute. Retrieved 9 May Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Hung Medien. Ultratop Select "Stranglers" from the artist drop-down menu."Strange Little Girl" is a song by the Stranglers, originally written in and re-recorded and released in the UK in as their last single while signed to Liberty Records (part of EMI). By the time of release, the band had already decided to leave the label for Epic Records, and this last single was part of the severance deal, along.