The Stranglers Album Reviews: 10 (1990 / UK #15)

Dreamtime

Aural Sculpture

Feline

La Folie

The Gospel According To The MenInBlack

The Raven

Black & White

No More Heroes

Rattus Norvegicus IV

The Stranglers Album Reviews: 10 (1990 / UK #15)

The last album with Hugh Cornwell as the frontman. The nice cover art features the band members dressed as 10 of the world leaders of the time (l-r: Yasser Arafat, Rajiv Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, George H. W. Bush, Fidel Castro, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Benazir Bhutto and Joshua Nkomo).

Musically it was an ambitious attempt to break through the American market, and the song Sweet Smell Of Success was a Top 5 hit in the US Modern Rock charts. But again they didn't get an American tour. As a result, Hugh was disappointed and quit from the band focusing on his Solo career. Up to this day he tours frequently to North America, and he has a cult following there. He's not commercially successful neither in the UK nor in the US.

1) Sweet Smell Of Success 3.5/5


Sweet smell of success in... the US? The title says it all. Hugh was like 100% sure that they will make it in America this time. Sure it wasn't a mega hit up there, but it did well as I said above.

2) Someone Like You 3.5/5


Definitely better than 96 Tears. I believe this should be a single. Things might've been turned different and have an American tour as well, who knows?

3) 96 Tears 2.5/5


Good cover, but the song isn't anything special. The video of the song was also very notable. You can see how lively Hugh is, and the rest of the band looks way too bored.

4) In This Place 5/5


The best song of the album, and way too different than the rest of it. It's darker and more serious. Of course it would be a bad choice for single (commercially), but it's simply brilliant.

5) Let's Celebrate 4/5


I love a part in the middle of the song, where a woman sings in spoken world style over a Synth riff.

6) Man Of The Earth 4/5


Another good choice for a single as well, or maybe the lead single?

7) Too Many Teardrops 4/5


Guess the title hints the lack of creativity running within the band (see 96 Tears), but still it's a very good song.

8. Where I Live 2.5/5


Meh. Just a filler in my opinion.

9) Out Of My Mind 3/5


It works as a good intro, for the next song which really kicks ass. But apart from it, it's not that special.

10) Never To Look Back 5/5


It has one of the most memorable keyboard riffs in music, and of course it works even better when sung live.

Overall 3.5/5

This album was seriously buried by both fans and critics, and also by the band themselves (apart from Hugh). It might not be as good as their early stuff, but it definitely worths a listen.


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  • 5d

    Who the heck are The Stranglers and why do I keep seeing their name everywhere?

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    • 5d

      A Punk/New Wave (and not only) band, popular in the late 70s and during the 80s. Not much in America, but in the UK and in Europe mostly.

  • 6d

    You've gone to the trouble of posting 10 of these without a single response, so here's a bone.

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    • 6d

      I didn't expect any response actually, because I bet 99% of the people here aren't even aware of their existence. Think about it, most people here are hardly above 25 and Americans. This band was never very popular in America anyway, so not even older people living up there know them.

      And it was no trouble, I wrote this Takes during my bus and train rides.

    • 6d

      I think you're right. You are in my case anyway. Thanks for writing them; they have inspired me to listen to some Stranglers and get to know them better.

      Cheers

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