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The Stranglers

The Stranglers are a British pop band, formed in 1974 in Guildford. They originally played a strain of progressive/pub rock with a harder and more sinister edge that made them obvious bedfellows for the UK punk movement when it started in 1976.

However, the four members of the group Hugh Cornwell, Jean Jacques Burnel, Dave Greenfield and Jet Black were not regarded as punks by their musical peers for the reason that they could actually play and write songs of creditable quality. A string of top ten hits, including No More Heroes and Peaches placed the band at the forefront of the New Wave movement - a branch one step removed from the spitting, snarling punks.

If one were to listen to the songs (or at least some of them) on 'The Raven,' their 1979 album, one would clearly see the 'symptoms' of their separating from 'traditional' punk to adopt a more new-wave approach. Take one listen to the title track from the album - even just the first minute - and you'll be convinced.

The Stranglers went on to score hits with the ballad Golden Brown (1982) and Strange Little Girl the same year, and by 1990 had more British chart hits (28) than any other artist never to reach the number one spot.

Who can also forget the rippling pipe organ on the best-known song from their 1984 album 'Aural Sculpture' - 'Skin Deep'? Their 1986 album, 'Dreamtime,' was also good, but reverted to softer, more soothing 'instrument work' and vocals that were clearly more subdued than Aural Sculpture and most of their albums before it.

Founding member Cornwell left in August 1990 to pursue a solo career. The remaining members recruited two replacements and have continued to tour and release independent label records to little fanfare.

The Stranglers classic period 1977-1990 has secured them a respected place in British popular music history.

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