The Stranglers Biography
"Suite XVI maintains the artistic upswing set by 2004's Norfolk Coast..." – MOJO (October 2006) "Ferociously played and cross-referencing the dizzy heights of Rattus Norvegicus and No More Heroes...an incorrigible psych-punk masterclass." - UNCUT (October 2006)
The Stranglers have returned to a four-piece line-up, with founding keyboardist Dave Greenfield, original drummer Jet Black, and original bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel, who shares vocal duties with guitarist Baz Warne, who joined the group in 2001.
First formed in 1974 as the Guilford Stranglers by Burnel, Black, Greenfield and Hugh Cornwell, The Stranglers’ black humor and straight-talking approach was initially interpreted by many as aggressive on its face. They made their name with a raw talent that throttled many of their peers, with traces of Television and the Doors heard in their arrangements.
The notoriety the band attracted for its lyrics and in-your-face performances was embraced by the burgeoning 1970s London punk rock movement. In 1976, they opened the Ramones’ first London concert and later for Patti Smith. The debut single from their legendary 1977 album debut, Rattus Norvegicus, “(Get A) Grip (On Yourself),” cracked the U.K.’s Top 50. The album’s second single, “Peaches,” invaded the Top 10 and launched The Stranglers into the genre-defining front lines of British punk.
After Cornwell’s departure in 1990 the band continued touring internationally, maintaining their live profile. Their Greatest Hits CD has sold more than a million copies and their music has been heard in films including Sexy Beast and Snatch. The Stranglers’ last album for EMI, Norfolk Coast, was released in 2004 and was critically acclaimed as their best in more than 20 years. The album included the U.K. hit singles “Big Thing Coming” and “Long Black Veil,” giving the band the rare accolade of maintaining chart hits across four decades.
In addition to writing and recording Suite XVI, The Stranglers have recently been busy with a variety of collective and individual creative projects. Last summer, the band toured to several major music festivals throughout the U.K. and Europe, and they also worked with film director Robin Bextor on a short film, inspired by and titled Norfolk Coast. Jean-Jacques Burnel was also commissioned to write and record soundtrack music for Gankutsuou, an award-winning Japanese animation of the story of the Count of Monte Cristo.
This fall, The Stranglers completed a U.K. and European tour to support the release of Suite XVI. Additional international tour dates will be announced soon. For news and updates, visit the band’s official site, The Rat’s Lair: www.stranglers.net.