I was but a mere slip of a lad when i first heard Go Buddy Go on the radio. If my memory serves me correctly i was about 13. It changed my life...no really.
The Stranglers have been a huge part of my life ever since. I've spent the best part of 30 years now collecting anything and everything that bears the name. For a long time i even wore nothing but black (still do now and again). Lots of Stranglers fans are obsessive, its a thing we have in common. Just the sound of JJ's bass or a Dave Greenfield synth run is enough to keep us going when things get rough.
Hasn't all been smooth though. When Hugh Cornwell left in 1990 it was the end of an era. The last Hugh album '10' was as good as anything they had ever done. The hits were still happening and it was a big big shock.
Stranglers mark 2 arrived. Lets call them the wilderness years, or the karaoke Stranglers years.
Roberts and Ellis just didn't fit in. John Ellis's insistence on fitting in a tinny guitar solo to every track was awful. Paul Roberts worked very hard but i didn't like the way he sang. I tried but it just didn't happen. The band i had grown up with had gone. Hughs solo albums were even worse.
There were a few gems hidden away, In Heaven She Walks was a great single that nobody bought.
Step forward Stranglers Mark 3. Ellis was gone (thankfully) by 2000, Roberts followed in 2006. Good bye and good luck. Stranglers fans worldwide rejoiced.
Suite XV1 the new album, the 2nd with Baz Warne has just been released. By God, its good.
It sounds like the Stranglers, it IS the Stranglers...like they'd never been away.
I'm so happy i could cry...no really.