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65) Stranglers Rattus Norvegicus

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

I first came aware of The Stranglers with Golden Brown. I thought it was okay, nothing more, nothing less. What I really loved was their 86 single Always the Sun.


I was telling a guy in my class how good it was and he was looking at me as if I was some sort of idiot, next day he arrived with a cassette of Rattus Norvegicus and told me to stop talking nonsense about a band I knew nothing about and go home and listen to this. Noted, never think you are the expert in the room, I rarely am.


The sleeve showed a couple of men who could be your dad in Dave Greenfield and Jet Black and unlike their contemporaries these men were on top of their game as musicians. The album opens with Sometimes the keyboard dominant before Hugh Cornwell arrives snarling away. The late great Greenfield was responsible for the keyboard throughout The Stranglers recording history until his sad passing and he was a pivotal part of their songs.


To be honest apart from the Hanging Round and the singles Peaches and Get a Grip I did not think much of it but obviously I copied it because that’s what you did.


I’ve gone back to it over the years and it’s grown on me, London Lady and Princess of the Streets, both not the greatest of lyrics in these times, but this was 1977, are accomplished enjoyable songs.


Ugly is almost shouted by bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel and the album ends with Down in the Sewer a seven minute opus in four parts, I love The Clash, Pistols and Damned debuts but Rattus Norvegicus stands up just as strong.


Always worth a play.


8/10


GIVE IT A STREAM: Hanging Around

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1 Comment


John Medd
John Medd
Mar 23, 2023

Only 8/10?! This is a seminal album that split the punk community down the middle. What could a bunch of old men who'd been on the circuit for years possibly bring to the table with their aping of the Doors' organ led sound and catchy tunes? Well, quite a lot, as it turned out. Get a grip!

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