About The Stranglers
The Stranglers are an English rock band who emerged via the punk rock scene. Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning four decades, the Stranglers are one of the longest-surviving and most "continuously successful" bands to have originated in the UK punk scene.
Formed as the Guildford Stranglers on 11 September 1974 in Guildford, Surrey, they originally built a following within the mid-1970s pub rock scene. While their aggressive, no-compromise attitude identified them as one of the instigators of the UK punk rock scene that followed, their idiosyncratic approach rarely followed any single musical genre and the group went on to explore a variety of musical styles, from new wave, art rock and gothic rock through the sophisti-pop of some of their 1980s output.
They had major mainstream success with their 1982 single "Golden Brown". Their other hits include "No More Heroes", "Peaches", "Always the Sun" and "Skin Deep" and the 2003 Top 40 hit "Big Thing Coming", which was seen as a return to form.
The Stranglers' early sound was driven by Jean-Jacques Burnel's melodic bass, but also gave prominence to Dave Greenfield's keyboards.
Their early music was also characterised by the growling vocals and sometimes misanthropic lyrics of both Burnel and Hugh Cornwell. Over time, their output gradually grew more refined and sophisticated. Summing up their contribution to popular music, critic Dave Thompson later wrote: "From bad-mannered yobs to purveyors of supreme pop delicacies, the group was responsible for music that may have been ugly and might have been crude – but it was never, ever boring."
Prior to forming the band, "Jet Black" was already in his mid-30s—significantly older than the other members of the band he would eventually assemble. A successful businessman, Black at one point owned a fleet of ice cream vans, and later ran "The Jackpot", a Guildford off-licence that would serve as the base for the early Stranglers. Black had also been a semi-professional drummer in the late 1950s and early 1960s; after attaining a degree of financial stability due to his business successes, by 1974 he decided to return to drumming, and to assemble a band. The Stranglers came to be an influential band in the British punk and new wave scene of the mid-70s.
The group that eventually formed between 1974–75 was originally called the Guildford Stranglers, and operated out of The Jackpot. Aside from Jet Black, other original personnel were bass player/vocalist Jean-Jacques Burnel, guitarist/vocalist Hugh Cornwell and keyboardist/guitarist Hans Wärmling, who was replaced by keyboardist Dave Greenfield within a year. None of the band came from Guildford: Black is from Ilford, Burnel from Notting Hill, Cornwell from Kentish Town and Greenfield from Brighton, while Wärmling came from Sweden and returned there after leaving the band.
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