The Stranglers Album Reviews: The Raven (UK #4 / 1979)

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The Stranglers Album Reviews: The Raven (UK #4 / 1979)

The Stranglers here, developed an even darker sound than before, and also they strayed away even more from their Punky sound of the first two albums. Also they started having a fascination with Sci-Fi themes.

1) Longships 3/5


Just an interlude, nothing special here.

2) The Raven 4/5


A continuation of the Longships intro. A nice Poppy tune and the start for The Stranglers turning into a Pop act.

3) Dead Loss Angeles 3.5/5


Another song about nuclear destruction. It could be better though.

4) Ice 3/5


Unfortunately the A-Side is mediocre, so far...but the next two songs make up for it.

5) Baroque Bordello 4.5/5


As the title suggests, this song has Baroque Pop influences. A genre that would appear more in their 6th album La Folie.

6) Nuclear Device (The Wizard Of Aus) 4/5


This one also had a pretty funny video clip, with The Stranglers being dressed in some super kitsch soldier uniforms. Another nice Poppy tune, even if it sounds kinda juvenile.

7) Shah Shah A Go Go 4.5/5


It has a very good bass line during the intro, and it's sung over a Minimalistic keyboard riff. I would consider this song "No Wave".

8. Don't Bring Harry 4/5


The most acoustic song of the album, sounding more like French Pop. And that's why JJ Burnel who's half English/half French sang it. There's also a version sung in French and there was also an EP released for this single, including songs from JJ's and Hugh's solo careers. Harry is a pseudonym for heroin.

9) Duchess 5/5


The biggest hit of the album, reaching the #14 spot in the UK charts. The song had a very provocative video for the time, with the band members dressed like choirboys , wearing sunglasses and singing inside a church. This was banned from the BBC.

10) Meninblack 5/5


I don't know who does these weird vocals in this song, but they sound super cool. This song was the predecessor of the Men In Black concept, that would be the main topic for their next album The Gospel According To The Men In Black.

11) Genetix 5/5


As usual, The Stranglers use the best songs as closing tracks for their albums. Sung by Dave Greenfield, there's also a spoken word verse at the end of the song, sung by Hugh Cornwell. I really like the lyrics:

The first law of Segregation
States that any gamete male
Or female can carry the
Determinant gene of only one
Pair of alternative characteristics.
The second law of free assortment
States that in a cross involving
One pair of alternative characteristics,
The characteristics will segregate
In the second filial generation,
In the relative proportions of
9, 3, 3, 1

Overall 4/5

Here The Stranglers sound Poppier (yet in a Dark way) than before. Try this if you like Tubeway Army or early Gary Numan stuff.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I don't know I was just thinking it's a pretty decent album be honest

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    • It's a pity that they didn't make it in America, but they were way too quirky for the American radio. The American radio was playing bands like Foreigner and REO Speedwagon by the time, when British radio was playing Gary Numan and Ultravox by the time.

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