The Stranglers tonight. Their first session for John Peel, recorded on March 7, 1977 at The BBC. With a career spanning four decades, The Stranglers are one of the longest surviving and continuously successful bands emerging from the Punk Era. Getting started in 1974 as part of the Pub Rock Scene, The Stranglers found their niche during the beginnings of Punk in 1976, and became associated with the movement by default, primarily because they were an opening band for the UK tours of American acts The Ramones and Patti Smith. But some of Punk’s early champions in the press questioned their authenticity and viewed them with suspicion, as they were older and seemed to be much more accomplished on their instruments, not to mention the intellectual content of their lyrics than other bands from the scene. But as bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel said in an interview: “I thought of myself as part of punk at the time because we were inhabiting the same flora and fauna … I would like to think we were more punk plus, and then some.”
Their initial releases were met with great success, and earmarked them as a band to reckoned with. It established their fan base and built on it over the years. With personnel and direction changes over the years, they have maintained a steady and loyal following. With some 17 studio albums, 15 live albums, 29 compilation albums and over 43 singles, The Stranglers have put together an impressive legacy – and there appears to be no end in sight.
But going back to their formative period, when Punk was getting its legs and bands were coming and going and making noise, The Stranglers were knee-deep and in the middle of it – and this session gives you some idea of how different they seemed, but in a way, fit right in.
Music’s great that way.
Crank it up and enjoy.