Whatever happened to…
The shock of the new. Watching Top of the Pops on BBC 4 from 1977, it is amazing to see how the Punk bands stuck out like big sore thumbs that have just been pricked by safety pins. I think regular TOTPs watchers must have thought the Stranglers, performing No More Heroes, were from another planet, as young fans we all knew that they were indeed from another planet. Watching the rest of the show, it seemed abysmal, and these bands brought a breath of putrid air to the show (apart from Ram Jam doing Black Betty, which was particularly excellent).
Where can I go with this album, it’s very special. The first Stranglers Album I ever heard (I still remember the brown crimplene trousers with the elasticated waist that I was wearing, I was anti-fashion even then) and the first time I saw them on TOTP. Putting aside my personal connection to this album, I still think it is quite a patchy album. But it does end well with the magnificently dark School Mam.
An aside: I never realised this until a few years ago, but the first three tracks on this album are sung by different people (Call yourself a fan!)
Hidden gem: English Towns, considered a filler by many, but it is a great track.