Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Favorite Punk Records - Something Better Change
The Stranglers, like Television were much more accomplished players than most of their punk rock counterparts, due to their existence and experience together as a band for a few years prior to punk rock breaking out, and with it, their records. Also, like Television, the Stranglers were not considered a punk band per se (I guess it was the keyboard sound...New Wave perhaps?), but had tons of punk cred... if Television created a forum for punk rock in NYC, the Stranglers showed England a thing or two in 1976 when they opened for the Ramones on the New Yorkers' first British tour. That Ramones tour gave UK punks a kick in the ass. Everyone who became anyone was there. By extension, they all saw and heard the Stranglers as well.
Prior to the punk circuit introduction courtesy of the Ramones tour, the Stranglers were a pub rock band. Nothing wrong with that...some of our greatest musical heroes emerged from that scene...Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury...I don't need to go on, do I?
The Stranglers sense of humor (dark and also misogynist) won them many fans despite or because of the perception of something sinister going on. Still, it wouldn't stop girls from throwing themselves on stage and baring their breasts. The Stranglers had more than one incident where feminists protested against them. It just added up to the chaos one wants to see at a punk rock show.
"Something Better Change" hit Number 9 on the British charts in 1977. It is from the Stranglers' second album, No More Heroes. This EP pictured was released in the USA by A&M Records (the major label that distributed the punk imprint IRS) and they spared no expense in producing a fantastic punk facsimile....from the art work, to the Monty Pythonesque description of the record on the back cover, and the pink vinyl with a semi-3D label (it would be 3D if you watched it as it spun on your turntable). I'm a sucker for colored vinyl.