Friday, December 04, 2015
9 to 3 to 3 to 1...
The Stranglers - Genetix
The Stranglers - Bear Cage (12" Version)
The Stranglers - Shah Shah a Go Go (12" Version)
At the time this was released, I bought it, but it kinda passed me by. By this stage (1979) No More Heroes and the Black & White albums had left me a little bit cold, and didn't excite me at all. I guess I was looking a bit more towards the post-punk side of things at the time, Adam and The Ants, Siouxsie, PiL and so on. So this was the last Stranglers album I bought upon it's release, for a few years anyway.
But as the years passed I found myself being drawn back to this album time and time again, until it not only became my favourite Stranglers album, but one of my favourite ever albums.
It's one of those, that no matter what mood I'm in, if I put it on I get lost in it and generally have to listen to it a couple of times before moving on to something else.
The Stranglers had always played with strange time signatures, but by The Raven they'd perfected it, and not to mention the strange angular guitar playing of Hugh Cornwell, on this album he'd surpassed himself. And obviously in J J Burnel on the bloody bass, they had an absolute legend, and one of the main reasons I started playing bass, although I ended up sounding like another bass legend (or at least trying to), Peter Hook. Then there's the rock solid drumming of Jet Black and the menacing figure behind the keyboards, Dave Greenfield.
There's not many people that can get away with a bass solo, and generally I scorn upon them, but Burnel's playing on this album is sublime, especially on Genetix... from the 2:45 mark where he starts his solo... well. Wonderful. And after that the rhythm changes, vocoded chorused voices come in and another solo ensues... wonderful again.
So, The Raven has ended up one of my favourite albums, which leads me nicely onto one of my favourite 12" singles, which just happens to also be by The Stranglers, and was released a few months after The Raven.
It was a double A side affair featuring an extended version of Bear Cage, which didn't appear on the album, and an extended version of Shah Shah a Go Go, a shorter version of which did appear on The Raven.
Buy - The Stranglers - The Raven
Buy - The Stranglers - The Old Testament (UA Studio Recs 77-82)(5 Discs)
Visit - The Stranglers
Follow - The Stranglers on Facebook
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