Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

The Stranglers
Walk On By EP


Released 1978 on United Artists
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 28/03/2002ce


God I love The Stranglers! They were such a bunch of certifiable creeps they made the bulk of English punk groups like choir-boys. With The Stranglers you knew from the start these were real punks and they were not to be messed with. During the late 70's I went to see them live in New Haven, Ct. and I was going to ask the band to sign my copy of "The Raven" when drummer Jet Black shot me a look that scared me to death. He looked like a fuckin' merchant sea-man who hadn't seen land in a year or so. So my autographed album never happened.

Then the group took the stage and Hugh started ranting and raving about Alexander Haig and I think Billy Fury too. Yet they played a full-tilt boogie set that pinned me to the back wall of the club. This is the closet I ever got to seeing The Doors circa 1968.Stranglers' records were always a treat, they could vary from pretty pop tunes to some of the most tuneless shit this side of The Damned's splatter-rock classic "Music For Pleasure (Torture)"

This single is a wang-dang doodle of the highest form. A double A side that features a razor sharp British Doors reading of Bacharach and David's classic "Walk On By." The Meninblack turn the fucker into "Light My Fire" complete with a gruff Hugh vocal, while J.J. Burnel supplies his trademark barracuda bass & creamy harmonies and Dave Greenfield turns into Ray Manzarek right before your eyes. The Stranglers re-invent this song in the same way Husker Du would later re-write "8 Miles High."

The other side of the record has the hilarious "Old Codger" with George Melly on lead vocals and future mail thief Lew Lewis on harp, it sounds like Dr. Feelgood with Ronnie Biggs on vocals. The record is rounded out with The Strangler's timeless classic "Tank" (from the "Black & White" album.) If I had a jukebox this 45 is one of the first things to go in it (but then again I don't think that would work because it plays at 33) All hail the MENINBLACK!!!!!!


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