The Stranglers- 3 EP’s and a single (1977- 1980)

There was a time when The Stranglers were almost my favourite band.
What happened? Take the ingredients:
Misogyny, ephebophilia, de Sade, fasciphillia, homo-eroticism, Ozymandias, Triumph motorcycles, pornography, Nostradamus, vorarephilia, exegesis, conspiracy theories, Marx, grail theories, Mishima, Marcel Jean, Surrealism, bushido, ufology, …
That these preoccupations should lead, ultimately to the production of a bland Euro pop rhymes that were more reminiscent of casio keyboard effects rather than the pulsating psychedelic drive of their earlier works is the tragedy of The Stranglers.
Even when, from 1976 to 1979 they were a seriously good band they were victims of their time- never quite mainstream (bona fide troublemakers) but pushed to the margins of punk by their age and their old school attitudes (strippers on stage, songs about nubile girls).
Here are 4 relatively rare 7” records from their earlier days, when The Stranglers were:
Hugh Cornwell- guitar, vocals
JJ Burnel- bass, vocals
Dave Greenfield- keyboards, vocals
Jet Black- drums

1 Choosey Susie / Peasant in the Big Shitty (live) Original 10,000 copies free with IV Rattus Norvegicus LP in orange sleeve (1977). Choosey Susie is a strong number which would have held its own on either of the first two LP’s. It has the energy of punk but is musically more polished, pointing to the bands relationship with the pop combos of the sixties (think of their later covers: The Kinks, ? and the Mysterans).
As for Peasant, as the etching in the run out groove admits ‘what did you expect for nothing…’

2 White EP
Walk on By/Mean to Me/Tits
Original 75,000 copies with white vinyl 7" free with Black and White LP. (1978) It took me a couple of years to get my copy of this having taped the LP instead of buying it when it came out. It’s hard to believe that there really were 74,999 copies out there aside from the one that my mate had. Bacharach said that this version of Walk on By was the best he’d heard of any of his songs. Doorsish and accomplished, its a track which shows how close The Stranglers veered to true greatness, not just within the confines of the ‘new wave’, but in the broader context.
At less than 2 minutes long Mean to Me is a storming RnB number that reflects the pub rock origins of the band.
Tits is just a very long jam with a crass singalong chorus and Hugh Cornwell introducing the band in a parody of muso mentality.

3 Pink A& M promotional EP (USA) (1977)
An A&M freebie that showcases two tracks from Rattus (Hanging Around, Grip) and a preview of No More Heroes (Something Better Change), along with the non album track (Straighten Out). Four vintage Stranglers numbers.

4 EP free with IRS album ‘IV’ (USA) (1980)
A taster of just about everything (much like the album it accompanied)- tracks from Burnel and Cornwell’s 1979 solo projects ( Do the European and White Room), a token rarity (Choosey Suzie) and a single track (Straighten Out).

To me these records epitomised something about my personality during this era. They were rarities, I was a record collector, a fan, I didn’t just buy my records in Woolworths… even handling them now I find them strangely powerful as objects, stimulating as they do such extraordinarily vivid memories of my adolescence.
Think about leather bike jackets, black Doc Martens and enjoy.

Unfortunately these downloads are no longer available.


  1. Many thanks for the Stranglers post. I had all of these at one time. Saw and met the Stranglers twice when they played the states. They were one of my favorite too.

    Long Island Steve

  2. thanks for the comment, Steve. A great band in their day- loved that bass sound.

  3. Well, it's another lovely sunny day, and with the kind permission of our gracious host, a mega post of Stranglers rarities for ya'all. Right on, Walker, re your reminiscences, and me too, a mad-keen early Stranglers fan with the warm beer, the biker's leather jacket, and in my case, the bass guitar too ... a few factual points before the goodies:

    The original Choosey Susie that I got with Rattus was in a plain red sleeve as far as I remember, usual red on white UA label and the issue number in the FREE... series, can't remember which.

    The white EP was only available in 75,000 copies, though many shops removed the sticker from the cover and sold the EP separately.

    Walk on by is indeed brilliant, one of Greenfield's best.

    Mean to me was a re-recording of the 1977 track originally released as a B side to Mony Mony by Celia Gollin and the Stranglers under the name Celia and the Mutations. The Celia version has Celia on vocals, a neat contrast to the Stranglers' version. The two Celia singles (the second with only Burnel but with Wilko of the Feelgoods) were the rarest of Stranglers stuff (apart from the Choosey freebie and the fan club release of Tomorrow is the Hereafter), but the blogosphere never ceases to amaze - get both Celia singles here, with thanks to Felipe:


    The later 1976 version of Tomorrow Was The Hereafter, a catchy little number on two successive fan-club only releases, can be found here, with thanks to Longy and his great site:


    But the best is yet to come, and you'll follow Dagenham Dave off the bridge if you don't rush to get this one whilst it's there: four tracks of unreleased top-quality studio recordings from 1976, first-ever versions well before the Rattus sessions:

    Mountain Studio Demos, Wales, March 1976

    01 - Peaches (4:18)
    02 - Down In The Sewer (very early version, without finale) (4:56)
    03 - Bitching (4:58)
    04 - Tomorrow Was The Hereafter (4:27)

    Perfect SDB recording, mp3, 256 kbps, 34,2 Mb
    Please note that this version of "Tomorrow Was The Hereafter" is an earlier version than the 1980 fan-club release listed above.

    The download, available thanks to Radiolux, also includes the full unexpurgated version of the notorious 1978 "Guildford Incident" when a BBC Rock Goes to College live recording descended into chaos as band and audience slagged each other off.

    Get Guildford and the Mountain '76 demos here:


    and, to finish (you off), here's a treasure trove of classic live gigs:

    Live at the Hope and Anchor 1977 (Capital Radio broadcast)
    Live at the Roundhouse 1977 (full gig, some used for X-Certs)
    Both Peel sessions 1977
    Live in Toronto 1980 ("Thursday Night Live")
    Live in Zurich 1985
    Live in Vienna 2009

    All the above available from the indispensable floppybootstomp:

    Live in Cleveland Ohio 1978 ("Eastern Front")
    Available from floppy's sister site:


    A note of caution: both floppy and voodoowagon take a time to load and require adult consent as (shock, horror, probe) they also display naked ladies, but I guess that's not a problem for Stranglers' fans, heh heh ...

    And a last couple, again from the great Radiolux at guitars101:


    And also from Radiolux at guitars101 but lost the page link:
    Rock Garden Middlesbrough 24 02 1977

    Right, that's knackered me wrist, time for you to knacker yours ... happy downloading, cheers, Dave Sez.

  4. Radiolux is at it again!




    Thanks Radiolux! Cheers, Dave Sez.

  5. Nice Post. Live tracks from Hope and Anchor at http://1charlieblogs.blogspot.com/2009/08/hope-and-anchor-front-row-festival-live.html

  6. thanks for all this posts!
    can you upload the rare mix of BEAR CAGE titled "G.m.B.H" exclusive to the "STRANGLERS IV" compilation ? (this is a mix of the 7" & 12" i suppose).

  7. Hey thanks alot-I used to own the Black&White freebie-good to hear it again,cheers-now to check out these other links (my hard drive is groaning tonight)
    Excellent notes,btw..Thicko here had to get his dictionary out!!

  8. oh ok-Vorarephilia,as in "Bring me a piece of my mummy;She was quite close to me"
    thanks for all this stuff- I've got a truckload of great music to listen to after tonight's haul!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.