The Stranglers Album Reviews: Prologue & Rattus Norvegicus IV (1977/UK #4)

This is my first MyReview, and I would like to start a series of reviewing the albums of (perhaps) my all-time favorite band: The Stranglers! Personally I like the first ten albums of the band, with Hugh Cornwell, their original vocalist. Hugh Cornwell was The Stranglers' lead vocalist from 1974 till 1990. Since then he followed a solo career. The Stranglers started as a New Wave band and they were often labeled as a Punk band, mostly because of their bassist's (JJ Burnel) rebellious behavior. As years went by, they left their New Wave roots and followed a more generic Adult Contemporary/Mainstream Pop direction.

The Stranglers Album Reviews: Prologue & Rattus Norvegicus IV (1977/UK #4)

1) Sometimes 4.5/5


First song from the A-Side of their debut LP. One of the first New Wave tunes also, with kinda misogynistic lyrics. The Stranglers were being noted as misogynists during their first years, but anyway it's a New Wave classic.

2) Goodbye Toulouse 3.5/5


Weaker than their first track, but not bad.

3) London Lady 3/5


This is the first song where JJ Burnel does the lead vocals, who was also the secondary vocalist of the band. This one is more punky than newwavy and suits more Burnel's vocals than Cornwell's.

4) Princess Of The Streets 4/5


Also sung by Burnel. Better than the previous one, and I like the way Burnel sings here, sounding pretty melodramatic in an ironic way.

5) Hanging Around 5/5


The best song of the first side. Here's a return to the New Wave sound of their first song.

6) Peaches 4/5


The most recognizable tune of the album, which was released as a single, and also their first UK Top 10 hit. Here, they are experimenting with the Reggae sound, and it's one of the first New Wave/Reggae crossovers, made popular by The Police a few years later.

7) (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) 5/5


Also released as a single, but missed the UK Top 40. It was released a few months before the release of their debut LP, so it was their first official release as The Stranglers. My favorite tune of the album, and another New Wave classic.

8. Ugly 2.5/5




The worst song of the album in my opinion. I would consider it a pseudopunk filler.

9) Down In The Sewer 5/5


This is a proof, that The Stranglers were never a Punk band. Which Punk band would consider writing a 7 minute long song, full of Keyboards? Call it Art Punk, call it New Wave, but not Punk Rock. The Stranglers were more closer to bands like early Ultravox (with John Foxx) or Devo, than The Ramones or Sex Pistols.

Overall 4/5

If you like Ultravox's early albums with John Foxx or Devo, then you will love this. One of the first New Wave albums with some Pub Rock influences from their earlier days.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm not sure what's the main difference between mytakes and myreviews, I guess it's the purpose of the text. Nice article, about the band I'm not familiar with, but if they are like Ultravox, or some other similar New Wave band, I think they are ok :)

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    • Early Ultravox, with John Foxx. But their album Feline is also like the 80s version of Ultravox. You should check it out, it has a great song called "Midnight Summer Dream".

    • Okay, I'll check it out :)

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