Photo: Drew de F Fawkes [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D
Our Top 10 Stranglers songs list take a look at an English rock band formed in the early to mid 1970s. The Stranglers were one of the most interesting rock bands to emerge in the mid to late 1970s during the punk scene. While the band did tour with some of the leaders of the new wave punk scene such as The Ramones and Patti Smith, the music of the Stranglers would reach beyond just the standard punk genre. There were at times a very hard edge to the Stranglers, but there was also a sense of melody, musicianship and musical exploration not seen in many of the punk and new wave bands at the time. In essence, we would never really classify the Stranglers as a punk band, but rather just a great rock band that originated on the Eastern side of the Atlantic in the 1970s.
The original members of the Stranglers were Hugh Cornwell on guitars and lead and backing vocals, Jean-Jacques Burnel on bass guitar and lead and backing vocals, Dave Greenfield on keyboards and vocals and Jet Black on drums.
The Stranglers released their first album in 1977 entitled Rattus Norvegicus. It was a very successful debut album and turned the Stranglers into one of the most popular bands in the United Kingdom instantly. The band followed up their debut album in less than six months with the record No More Heroes. Their second album turned out to be even more successful than their debut. The Stranglers were an intense bunch of guys, the type group you thought might not last that long. Many of the bands that originated in the late 1970s did not have long careers. The stranglers fooled all of us. The band lasted a long time. Of course they would be some major lineup changes, but the Stranglers continued to release albums into the 2010s.
Throughout the course of their career the Stranglers have released seventeen studio albums, sixteen live albums, twenty eight compilation albums and over 40 singles. The last Stranglers album released as of this writing in 2020, was the album Giants released in 2012.
Our Top 10 Stranglers songs list focuses mostly on their earlier period although the list does recognize some of the material from their later years. The Stranglers were a great band that was easily recognized in the United Kingdom but did not receive the attention in the United States that they should have.
# 10 – Nuclear Device
We open up our Top 10 Stranglers songs list with the great track “Nuclear Device.” Love the song’s opening. This cool Stranglers song was released on the album The Raven. The record was released in 1979. “Nuclear Device,” was the second single released from the album. Oh man can you hear the sound of 1979 on this recording.
# 9 – Bear Cage
The Stranglers song “Bear Cage,” was originally released as a non album single in 1980. The song was a top 40 hit in the United Kingdom for the band. “Bear Cage,” was eventually released on later copies of The Raven album.
# 8 – Walk On By
The Stranglers cover of the great Burt Bacharach song “Walk On By,” is one of our favorite cover versions of all time. The song has been covered by so many people but never in the way the Stranglers did it. If you haven’t heard this, you must check this one out.
# 7 – Duchess
The classic Strangler song “Duchess,” was released on the album The Raven. The Song was a top 20 hit for the band in the United Kingdom in 1979. The Stranglers released a video for the song which eventually was banned by the BBC. That probably helped the song become even more popular.
# 6 – Golden Brown
Continuing with our top 10 Strangler songs list we turn to one of the band’s biggest hits. The song was released in 1982. It would become the Stranglers highest-charting song ever in the United Kingdom peaking at number two. The song Golden Brown was also included in the Guy Ritchie classic film entitled Snatch.
# 5 – European Female
The Strangler song “European Female,” was released in 1982. It was issued on the Stranglers album Feline. The songs groove and keyboard oriented Arrangement always reminded me of the band The Cars. The song is very reflective of the new wave era that was just about winding down at that time and 82 and 83. Just before the hair band explosion and the new dance movement brought on by the movies Flashdance and Footloose. Michael Jackson’s popularity also did some damage to the new wave era.
# 4 – Skin Deep
As we continue with our top 10 Stranglers songs list we turn to the great Aural Sculpture album. The record was released in 1984. The song “Skin Deep,” was the album’s first single. The song was a huge hit for the band. It reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom. The Stranglers were back.
# 3 – Peaches
The classic Stranglers song “Peaches,” was released on the band’s debut album entitled Rattus Norvegicus, although the album has also been associated with the title Stranglers IV due to the printing of the Roman numeral IV on the bottom of the front cover. The great reggae beat fueled by Hugh Cornwell great humorous lead vocals is simply to die for. Yeah The Police were not the first one to add reggae to punk. Spread that suntan lotion baby all over my…….
# 2 – Something Better Change
That killer guitar riff and organ solo catches the listener instantly on this one. Don’t you like it?? “Something Better Change,” and its classic Strangers sound was released on the album No More Heroes. The song “Something Better Change,” was released as the album’s second single. The song was a huge hit for the Stranglers as it reached the top 10 on the United Kingdom’s Hot 100. Lead vocals on the song were performed by Jean-Jacques Burnel
# 1 – No More Heroes
We close out our top 10 Strangler song list with a song from our favorite Stranglers album entitled No More Heroes. The album’s title track “No More Heroes,” is simply one of the greatest late 1970s classic rock songs to come out of that time period. The song “No More Heroes,” was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom peaking at number 8. The song’s lead vocals was performed by Hugh Cornwell
Top 10 Stranglers Songs