Friday, 19 February 2010

The Stranglers Discography 1977-2010

It seems only fitting that the first entry into this site should be devoted to the band who I have seen live the most number of times - yet strangely, never during the so-called "Golden Years" when Hugh Cornwell was in the ranks. So as The Stranglers prepare to release their "Decades Apart" collection to celebrate the start of their fifth decade in music (albeit via numerous lineups), I have decided to list a "beginners guide" to what to collect, and how to collect it, primarily dealing with the bands' UK releases.

Although at one point known as "The Guildford Stranglers" after the town in which the band was based, the band's origins were far more 'European' - original keyboardist Hans Warmling was from Sweden, and Jean Jacques Burnel (Bass) was from France - which may explain why later in their career, the band recorded French and Swedish language singles. The line up was completed by Jet Black on Drums, and Cornwell on Guitar and (most) lead vocals. Warmling left in 1975 to be replaced by Dave Greenfield, and the "classic" line up was complete.

Whilst some of the band's earliest material was relatively "sedate", newer songs took on a more aggresive edge. During 1976, as Punk started to come overground, The Stranglers found themselves in the middle of the Punk scene - despite their critics claiming they were either too old, or even worse, too melodic! Greenfield's Doors-inspired keyboard sound in reality helped to put them streets ahead of their contemporaries, but being aligned to Punk allowed the band to build up a live following - after some 200+ gigs in 1976, with a Patti Smith support slot towards the end of that year under their belts, the band signed to EMI subsiduary United Artists and released their debut single, "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)"/"London Lady" in 1977.

1977 - 1982 : The EMI Years

During the first five years of their recording career, the band released six studio LPs, and one live abum. Later releases were on the Liberty label, but subsequent reissues/compilations tend to show little interest as towards which records were issued on which label - especially as Liberty was also part of the EMI stable.

If you simply want to own most of the EMI material without worrying too much about the packaging, then you could do worse than getting hold of "The Old Testament", a box set which crams the Albums, Singles, and B sides into one big bundle of CDs. Of course, the downside to this is you won't get to own the LPs in their original sleeves, and in some cases, the first half of an album appears on one disc, with the remainder on the next disc. The title was also used for a VHS compilation (which featured a totally different track listing) - the "Stranglers on Video" will be dealt with in a future blog.

In the late 80s, the seven EMI albums were reissued on CD with extra tracks - but usually with only one or two extras apiece. A companion rarities CD entitled, unsurprisingly, "Rarities" was issued in 1988 which included B sides not on the reissues, along with a few other odds and sods, such as the 'Promo Only' radio edits of "Peaches" and "No More Heroes", the aforementioned foreign language singles, and both sides of the bands first UK 12", "Bear Cage" - with extended mixes of both this and the flip side "Shah Shah A Go Go", the original version of which had appeared on the band's fourth album, "The Raven".

Although the 1980s reissues are a nice way of getting hold of the albums with some nice extras, you may wish to track down some of the more collectible original pressings. Original copies of the bands 1977 debut "Rattus Norvegicus" came with a free 7" single with two (at the time) exclusive tracks, "Choosey Susie" and "Peasant In The Big Shitty" - the latter recorded live in London in 1976, with a studio version surfacing later in 77 on the second LP, "No More Heroes". There was another 7" given away with the third album, 1978's "Black And White" - a three track whte vinyl 7" in a die cut sleeve, it featured a studio version of a cover the band had been playing live the previous year, as well as a "new" track called "Mean To Me" - an earlier version of this song had been issued by a band called Celia & The Mutations, which was a female singer with The Stranglers as the backing band. The final track was a tongue in cheek live recording of a song called "Tits" - recorded at the start of the band's "play the requests" show at the Hope And Anchor pub in 1977, where Cornwell introduces each member of the band who then gets to play a solo. The whole show has since been released as "Live At The Hope And Anchor". In the US, there was no free single, but some copies of "Black And White" were pressed on black and white speckled vinyl - with an altered track listing on the second side of the record.

The aforementioned "The Raven" was initially released with a 3D cover, whilst 1981's much maligned, but actually very very good "The Gospel According To The MenInBlack" featured a front cover with so much text on it, that certain cassette pressings featured nothing more than the band logo, and a shortened title - "The MenInBlack".

There were no real "unusual" versions of the bands other EMI era albums - "La Folie" (their last studio album for the label) or the 1979 live record "Live X-Cert". However, when the EMI material was re-released yet again in 2001, the reissues were both of note - "La Folie" did not feature the band logo on the front cover, unlike all previous pressings, whilst "Live X-Cert" came with a slab of additional live tracks that had not featured on earlier single releases - as the only version I have of this record is the vinyl original, I am not 100% sure where the extra tracks originate from - the band did release a few mail-order CDs a few years back of previously bootlegged shows from this period ("Rattus Brittanicus" and "Forgotten Heroes"), and the extra tracks I do believe are lifted from these CDs. Can anybody confirm this?

The UA Singles

With one or two exceptions, all of the singles that The Stranglers issued in the UK included either a non-album A side, or more commonly, a non-album B-side. The only exceptions are the "Grip" 7" (both tracks exclusive when released, but then both included on the debut album), "No More Heroes" (the B-side, "In The Shadows" was subsequently included on the following years' "Black And White"), and "La Folie" (the flip, "Waltzinblack", had been included earlier the same year on "TheMenInBlack"). The non-album A sides issued were "5 Minutes", "Bear Cage" (aside from the aforementioned 12", a 7" was issued featuring a "short" version of the A side), "Who Wants The World" and "Strange Little Girl". Non album B-sides were included, "Bear Cage" excepted, on all these 7"'s. "Strange Little Girl", as an aside, was technically an album track, as it had been recorded for an EMI Singles Compilation called "The Collection 1977-1982", released to mark the band's departure from the label. In typical Stranglers style, the song was actually an older composition from the Hans Warmling days - and it was reported that when EMI heard a demo version of the song back in 1975, they refused to sign the band!

The UA (and Liberty) singles also included some other interesting items. Several tracks, following on from "Grip" were issued as 'Double A sides' - although the second A side was not included on any Stranglers studio LP at the time. These AAs were, in release date order, "Peaches"/"Go Buddy Go" and "Something Better Change"/"Straighten Out". The former was originally issued in a seemingly harmless sleeve with a photo of the band - with the title of the A-side in "Blackmail Note" style lettering - and was suddenly wthdrawn from sale.

In the US, "Something Better Change" was issued as a four track EP, with "Grip", "London Lady" and "Straighten Out" as the extra tracks, and came in a rather lairy-coloured version of the UK "Grip" sleeve, played at 33rpm, and was pressed on pink vinyl.

The decision to release "Walk On By" as a single was deemed an unusual step - given that 75000 copies of the "Black And White" LP had included the original white vinyl freebie. When it was issued commercially, it came in a full picture sleeve on black vinyl, with two B-sides - "Tank" from the same LP, and a new song called "Old Codger" with jazz musician George Melly on vocals. When Jet Black was injured during the latter part of 1993 (preventing him from playing the drums), he appeared on stage on numerous occasions to sing the song - the first time the band had ever played the track live.

The band's only UK EP during this period was 1979's "Don't Bring Harry" - a four track affair, but with two of the tracks actually coming from solo efforts from Cornwell and Burnel - the only "new" Stranglers track was a live version of "In The Shadows", again from the Hope And Anchor gig.

EMI have since re-issued all of the band's 77-82 era singles, in reproduction picture sleeves, across a pair of Box Sets called "The UA Singles" - the first box covering the period up to the middle of 1979, the second continuing from there until 1982. Both the sets also include the LP freebies and foreign rarities, and the "Blackmail" sleeve for "Peaches". The first box, therefore, includes the "Choosey Susie" single, the first time this single had been available since it got a limited fan-club release in the late 1970s. In an attempt to differentiate between the two "Walk On By" issues, the 'freebie' version has been completely altered - it comes in a white picture sleeve wth the track listing printed across both sides (in the same typeface as the original - the tracklisting for that was on a single piece of paper stapled to/tucked inside the sleeve), and the first track on the CD is not "Walk On By", but "Mean To Me" - instant rarity time! To maintain the continuity, "Walk On By" thus appears in the box set twice, but with the "Radio Edit" version on the 2nd disc (some jukebox copies issued in 1978 featured this version instead of the full length version, as the normal release was pressed at 33rpm - and jukeboxes could only play singles pressed at 45rpm)

The second box features the two foreign language singles issued during the EMI years - a swedish version of "Sweden", originally only released in - yes - Sweden, and a french language version of "Don't Bring Harry", which also bears no relation to it's UK equivalent, consisting of only 2 tracks and coming in a totally different sleeve. The second box set is also of note, as it includes both the 7" and 12" versions of the "Bear Cage" single on a single disc - it is worth noting that when the 12" version was originally issued back in 1980, there was a delay in printing the picture sleeves, so UA issued the singles in a custom company die cut sleeve. When the picture sleeves were printed, they were sent to the record shops to be matched up with the vinyl - but most copies had already been sold! Picture sleeve copies of the 12", therefore, are extremely rare - the CD box set includes the picure sleeve (which was more or less the same as the 7" anyway), so completists may wish to track down the original 12" pressing in it's UA sleeve. Another quirk concerns the "La Folie" disc - both the LP and Edited versions are included, and whilst some copies of the 1981 original did show the timings for the Edit on the label, they still played the full length version - unless you know otherwise?

Whilst the box sets will be the perfect way to own all of those non-album tracks, those of you who are too lazy to keep changing CDs every ten minutes would be advised to try and hunt down the similarly titled 3-CD Set "The UA Singles 1977-1982", which includes all of the tracks (including the freebies and radio edits) in chronological order.

The Epic Years

In 1982, the band signed to Epic and embarked on what I refer to as their "European" period - the band's sound became more sophisticated (traces of this were apparent on "The MenInBlack" and "La Folie") and the band's poularity in Europe soared as the albums moved away from the anger that was evident on the earlier UA albums. 1983's "Feline", in particular, was full of acoustic guitars and drum machines, and sounded a world away from "Rattus".

Like the EMI records, the albums released on Epic were all reissued on several occasions over the years, with the reissues from 2001 adding B-sides from the relevant period for each album. But the original pressings included items of interest. Cornwell would leave the band in 1990 bringing the association with Epic to an end, but the band left behind five LPs, many of which were issued as limited editions:
"Feline", from 1983 - vinyl copies included a free one-sided 7" in a die cut sleeve with the track "Aural Sculpture" (providing the title track for the next album), which is often referred to as the "Aural Sculpture Manifesto". Cassette copies added this as a bonus track at the end of side 2, and some/all listed an additional track at the end of side 1 (a remix of "Midnight Summer Dream") but none are actually believed to include this song at all.
"Aural Sculpture", from 1984 - Irish copies, for some reason, included an edited version of "Souls" which stripped some 30 seconds off the original version.
"Dreatime", from 1986 - in addition to the standard editions, a Picture Disc edition was also made, housed in a die cut sleeve.
"10", from 1990 - again, issued as a Picture Disc in a die cut sleeve.

In 1988, the band issued a live album, "All Live And All Of The Night". It consisted of 12 tracks recorded during gigs in 1985 and 1987, covering all of the band's recording career. The album was due to include a 13th live song, a cover of The Kinks' "All Day And All Of The Night" (hence the title) but the band's performance of the song at the 1987 Reading Festival (which was to be one of the sources for this record) was rather shambolic, so they recorded a special studio version to add to the end of the LP. Two mixes of the studio version were released - when the song was issued as a single, the ending was altered so that the "All Day..." refrain was repeated as the track faded out. The 1997 compilation, "The Best Of The Epic Years", includes the single version.

Unlike the UA singles, the Epic era singles have not been compiled in a box set. Traditionally, each Epic single would be issued on 7" and 12" - the 7" pressing would often feature an edited mix of the A-side, and again, "The Best Of The Epic Years" is one of several compilations which include these edits. Not every single was edited, and even some of the "edits" on this compilation, to these ears, sound the same as the album versions! The 12" pressings often featured an extended mix of the A-side - I would suggest you try to track down 1992's "All Twelve Inches", which includes all of the extended mixes (where they exist) for the singles from "Midnight Summer Dream" to "96 Tears". The likes of "European Female" and "Paradise" were not extended, whilst the version of "Was It You" was remixed for a planned single release, only for the single to be cancelled. The odd one out was the band's final single to be released while Cornwell was still in the line-up, "Sweet Smell Of Success" - a limited edition remix 12" was issued featuring three mixes by Judge Jules, but only one was included on the "Twelve Inches" album. A second mix also appears on "The Best Of The Epic Years", but the 'Strangled House Dub' is still only available on the original 12".

Each single also came with several non album B-sides, and most of these are now included as extra tracks on the 2001 reissues of the Epic LPs. The only studio B-side that failed to make the cut was "Hot Club" - the reissue of "Aural Sculpture" adds an alternate version of the track (known as the "Riot Mix" version), which originally appeared on the limited edition 7" "No Mercy EP" (as opposed to the non limited edition, non EP version of the same single). "Hot Club" appeared on the B-side of the "No Mercy" 12", and can be found, yet again, on "The Best Of The Epic Years".

The Odd Ones Out

I do hope that you still have a turntable, because despite all of these reissues and compilations, there are still a few vinyl only rarities from the Epic period. The 2001 reissues of the Epic albums (which were, for a while, available in a 5 CD set called "The Epic Years") were impressive, but threw up a few strange quirks.

The "Feline" reissue was fairly faultless - not only did it include the live medley of "Midnight Summer Dream" & "European Female" that appeared on the "Nice In Nice" 12", but the "Aural Sculpture Manifesto" was also included at the end. As for the "Aural Sculpture" reissue, it rather bizarrely included the edited mix of "Souls", but did at least include all the respective B-sides ("Hot Club" excluded). "Dreamtime" included B-sides recorded during the same period, although no necessarily released at the time ("Burnham Beeches" was not released until 1990), whilst the "Album Version" of "All Day And All Of The Night" was instead added to the "10" reissue (to allow for the "All Live..." LP to include live bonus tracks only). "You", recorded in 1990 but not issued until 1991, was also included on "10", as was the "All Day..." b-side, "Viva Vlad!".

The plan behind the reissue of "All Live And All Of The Night" was to include live recordings that had been issued as B-sides of various Epic label 12"'s and CD Singles (plus a live version of "Shakin' Like A Leaf", that was issued as the A-side of a limited edition "Official Bootleg" 12"). The only exception was the live recording of "Was It You" from Madrid in 1986, issued on the B-side of the 'non limited' "Shakin' Like A Leaf" 12" - because there was already a live version of this song on the original "All Live..." tracklisting (that version was recorded in 1987), it was not to be included on the reissue. In some cases, there were some slight alterations to the mixes that were included on the reissue (Epic made sure that there would be crowd noise inbetween each song, making the whole of the CD sound like a single show - to do this, the original mixes would not be used, and where the crowd faded in or out on the original mix, the crowd noise would now merge into the next song). This also meant that where the original live version on the 12" faded out as the opening bars of the next song the band played that night could be heard, these "extracts" were completely absent on the reissue CD (ie. the opening bars of "Dead Ringer", recorded in France in 1985, as evident at the end of the "Big In America" 12" was not on the "All Live..." reissue).

However, some copies (possibly all) of the 2001 reissue included two major mistakes. Firstly, the version of "Peaches" included was previously unreleased - a live version of the track recorded in Bradford in March 1990 had appeared as an extra track on the 1991 CD reissue of the "Golden Brown" single (issued by Epic to tie in with the "Greatest Hits 1977-1990" compilation), but the version on the "All Live..." reissue was a different recording, taken from a gig in France during the same tour. A bigger anomoly was the version of "All Day And All Of The Night" that was included - the last three tracks on the reissue were all supposed to be taken from Cornwell's last gig with the band at Alexandra Palace on 11th August 1990, and whilst two songs were indeed from that show, one of the studio mixes of "All Day..." was included instead - complete with crowd noise over the opening bars, and more crowd noise over the closing bars...presumably to try and dupe people into thinking it was a live recording! To be fair, the live version had already been made available on both the 1990 EP "Live At Alexandra Palace" and the 1993 release "Saturday Night Sunday Morning", issued on both VHS and CD with different tracklistings but between them, including all but one of the songs the band played that night. A live version of "Always The Sun", originally released on the "Alexandra Palace" EP was also issued on this release, but not the 2001 "All Live..." reissue as, again, a live version of this song was already part of the original 1988 tracklisting.

The "Official Bootleg" 12" mentioned earlier is worth hunting down. Not only is it housed in a unique picture sleeve, but the B-side "An Evening With Hugh Cornwell" is both entertaining (it's a compilation of on stage jokes and quips, something Cornwell was famous for) and important, as there are a few brief snippets of music and tuning up moments - the opening bars of a 'cocktail' version of "Bring On The Nubiles" recorded in Glasgow in 1985 are included. "Cocktail Nubiles" as it was known, had been released on the flip side of a fan club only 7", "Tomorrow Was The Hereafter" in 1980.

In 1989, EMI decided to issue a "Singles" compilation, as the previous 1982 release "The Collection" failed to include all of the bands' A sides from that period. To coincide, a remixed version of "Grip" was issued - short and long mixes were made and released on both 12" and CD, with "Tomorrow Was The Hereafter" added as one of two B-sides. In 1990, "Always The Sun" was remixed and reissued. The 7" featured the "Sunny Side Up" mix, and was backed with the (at the time) unissued "Burnham Beeches". The CD single featured these two tracks plus a live version of "Straighten Out" recorded in Guildford on March 19th 1990. The 12" featured the same B-sides, but included a longer remix of the A-side, the "Long Hot Sunny Side Up Mix" on side 1 instead. All of these have since found home on various reissues, the "Sunny Side Up Mix" appears on the 2001 reissue of "10", and the "Long Hot Sunny Side Up Mix" is now on "The Best Of The Epic Years". The band's only single release in 1991 was the aforementioned "Golden Brown" reissue - by which time Cornwell had left.

Stranglers - Mark 2

After the Alexandra Palace show, Cornwell announced his departure from the band. It is widely rumoured that Cornwell felt the band had gone as far as they could go, and that by announcing his departure, the remaining band members would split the band. But the rest of the band saw no reason to quit, and decided to carry on. At one point, the band considered continuing with Burnel as full time vocalist, as the band had already added a second guitarist (John Ellis) for touring purposes and the view was that Ellis and Burnel, between them, would effectively become Cornwell's replacement. But after a short while, the band decided to recruit a vocalist to add to the line up, and the relatively unknown Paul Roberts joined the band. The new look five-piece band made their live debut during February 1991, although they would not release any new material until the following year.

The band tended to shy away from playing too many songs that had originally featured Burnel as vocalist - as Roberts did not play any instruments, there was concern over what he would actually do if Burnel was singing large numbers of such songs. When the band did play Burnel songs, Roberts sang them instead, although the odd Greenfield-sung track like "Genetix" did filter into the set in 1995, still sang by Greenfield. The first album release by the "Mark 2" line up was "Stranglers In The Night", issued via a China Records offshot, Psycho. The Mark 2 lineup would release three more studio albums, but on a new label, Eagle Music, during the rest of the 1990s (1995's "About Time", 1997's "Written In Red" and 1998's "Coup De Grace"). An attempt by Eagle to issue a box set called "The New Testament" including all four albums was thwarted because of problems in trying to include the China Records material, and Eagle instead issued a box set of the post 1994 albums as "A Collection", boosted with material from a live album recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in 1997, "Friday The Thirteenth" (which was also issued on VHS).

Singles-wise, the Mark 2 line-up were less prolific than Mark 1. Two singles were taken from "Stranglers In The Night" - the first, "Heaven Or Hell" came with a variety of bonus tracks spread across the various formats, and you had to buy at least three of the four different versions issued to get all the "new" material. "Sugar Bullets" was issued in an edited form, with a non album B-side "So Uncool" (included on some foreign pressings of "In The Night" as a bonus track). The CD Single added a so-called "Extended Mix" of the A-side, but this was actually the album version.

Eagle released a pair of singles from the band's first two albums for the label (but none for "Coup De Grace") - "Lies And Deception" was issued on two CD singles with different B-sides, with the second CD housed in a differently sleeve. A 12", using the tracks from CD2, but with the artwork from CD1, was also released. "In Heaven She Walks" was also issued on two CD singles with different live tracks on each. The live tracks were recorded during the band's Winter 1995 UK tour, and a 'fan club' only CD called "Access All Areas" was released soon after, featuring the typical setlist for that tour compiled from a mixture of recordings from different shows.

By the turn of the century, it was all change for the band again - Ellis left the band, and was replaced by Baz Warne. Warne had previously crossed paths with the band before - one of his former bands, Smalltown Heroes, had supported The Stranglers on the Winter 1995 tour.

Mark 3 and beyond

The first Mark 3 release, rather strangely, was not a studio album, but a live album recorded during 2001 titled "5 Live 01", technically a German only release on the SPV label, but exported to the UK and also issued in several other territories. By 2004, the band had signed (again) to EMI, and released the critically acclaimed "Norfolk Coast" that year. The big budget of a major label seemed to be an advantage, as the band released their first single for seven years ("Big Thing Coming") and found themeselves back in the top 40 as a result. A mail order only live CD "Coast To Coast" followed, although some copies have been made available through normal sources, like the HMV website. In 2006, the line up changed again - Roberts decided to leave the band to pursue outside interests, and with Warne having been a vocalist in his previous outfits, the decision was made to revert to the original four-piece style lineup, which meant that in the live environment, Warne would now be singing both Cornwell and Roberts vocal parts. The band's 16th studio album, "Suite XVI", was issued in 2006, trailed by the "Spectre Of Love" single. The single was issued on 7" and CD, both in different sleeves, and with different b-sides, although I believe both the b-sides had previously been issued on a DVD called "On Stage On Screen" - I would be grateful for any clarification about this.

2010's "Decades Apart" is simply the latest in a long line of retrospective releases. Ever since the band parted ways with EMI back in 1982, the different phases of the band have been rife for reissue and compilation madness by all of the band's labels - and even other labels that have never even released any of the band's studio albums. I will attempt to go into greater detail in a future blog about exactly what has been released when and by who, by these are the most important releases:
"The Early Years" - issued by Newspeak in 1992, effectively a compilation of previously bootlegged material, including pre-1977 demo material
"Strangled From Birth And Beyond" - a fan club only release, then released commercially in the second half of the 1990s, it cobbles together fanclub only singles releases (such as "Tomorrow Was The Hereafter" & "Cocktail Nubiles", and the 1991 "New Day Today" flexi) with some otherwise unavailable Mark 1 and Mark 2 recordings.
"Hits And Heroes" - first release of the (at the time) unreleased "You Hold The Key To Love In Your Hands".
"Death And Night And Blood" - first released in 1994 on Receiver Records, the bulk of the album features most of the band's performance in Zurich in April 1985. It has subsequently been reissued in different picture sleeves in various countries.
"The Sessions" - 1995 CD compiling Mark 1 EMI era BBC Radio Sessions - most already available on bootleg, but only four of the tracks on here had been previously released officially.
"BBC In Concert" - the bands' 1982 Hammersmith Odeon gig.
"Live At The Apollo" - the bands' 1981 Glasgow Apollo gig, this was released via the Stranglers official website. Other versions exist (with extra tracks) but were deemed as "unofficial" releases by the band, due to poorer sound quality.

To sum up, the bulk of the UK band's discography is shown below. The only releases not listed are any reissues of already existing material that do not "add" to the originals, or singles that feature no exclusive material or artwork, but were also issued on a more "collectible" format at the time.


(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)/London Lady (AA 7", United Artists UP 36211)
Choosey Susie/Peasant In The Big Shitty (Live) (7", originally given free with first 10000 copies of "Rattus Norvegicus", United Artists FREE3)
Peaches/Go Buddy Go (AA 7", United Artists UP 36248, initial copies in "Blackmail" p/s, most copies in "Peach" p/s)
Something Better Change/Straighten Out (AA 7", United Artists UP 36277)
No More Heroes/In The Shadows (7", United Artists UP 36300)
5 Minutes/Rok It To The Moon (7", United Artists UP 36350)
Nice N Sleazy/Shut Up (7", United Artists UP 36379)
Walk On By/Mean To Me/Tits (Live) (White Vinyl 7", given free with first pressings of "Black And White", United Artists FREE9)
Walk On By/Old Codger/Tank (7", United Artists UP 36429)
Duchess/Fools Rush Out (7", United Artists BP 308)
Nuclear Device/Yellowcafe UF6 (7", United Artists BP 318)
Don't Bring Harry/In The Shadows (Live) +2 (4 track EP, only these tracks feature The Stranglers, United Artists STR1)
Bear Cage/Shah Shah A Go Go (7", United Artists BP 344)
Bear Cage (12" Mix)/Shah Shah A Go Go (12" Mix) (12", initial copies in "UA" company bag, United Artists 12 BP 344)
Who Wants The World/The Meninblack (Waiting For Em) (7", two slightly different sleeves, Liberty BP 355 / BPX 355)
Thrown Away/Top Secret (7", Liberty BP 383)
Just Like Nothing On Earth/Maninwhite (7", Liberty BP 393)
Let Me Introduce You To The Family/Vietnamerica (7", Liberty BP 405)
Golden Brown/Love 30 (7", some copies with brown lettering on front, others with white, Liberty BP 407)
La Folie/Waltzinblack (7", Liberty BP 410)
Strange Little Girl/Cruel Garden (7", Liberty BP 412)
The UA Singles 77-79 (10 x CD Box Set, includes all the above releases from "Grip" to "Duchess", with "Peaches" in blackmail p/s, plus track listing and p/s of "FREE3" altered, EMI 889 1722)
The UA Singles 79-82 (12 x CD Box Set, includes all the above releases from "Nuclear Device" to "Strange Little Girl, "Bear Cage" includes all mixes from both original 7" and 12" pressings, "Golden Brown" comes in 'brown lettering' p/s, "La Folie" includes 'Radio Edit' mix as a bonus track, plus bonus singles "Sverige" and "N'emmenes Pass Harry", EMI 551 6722)


Tomorrow Was The Hereafter/Cocktail Nubiles (7", SIS SIS001, fanclub issue, some in p/s)
European Female/Savage Breast (7", Epic EPCA 2893)
European Female/Savage Breast (7" Picture Disc housed in clear sleeve, Epic EPCA 11 2893)
Aural Sculpture (1-sided 7", given free with inital vinyl copies of "Feline", Epic XPS 167)
Midnight Summer Dream (Edit)/Vladimir And Olga (7", Epic EPCA 3167)
Midnight Summer Dream (Extended Mix)/Vladimir And Olga (12", Epic EPCA 13 3167)
Paradise/Pawsher (7", Epic A 3387)
Paradise/Pawsher/Permission (12", Epic TA 3387)
Skin Deep/Here & There (7", Epic A 4738)
Skin Deep (Extended Mix)/Here & There/Vladimir & The Beast (12", Epic TA 4738)
No Mercy/In One Door (7", Epic A 4921)
No Mercy/In One Door (Shaped Picture Disc in clear sleeve, Epic WA 4921)
No Mercy (Cement Mix)/In One Door/Hot Club (12", Epic TA 4921)
No Mercy EP: No Mercy/In One Door/Hot Club (Riot Mix)/Head On The Line (7", Epic GA 4921)
Let Me Down Easy/Achilles Heel (7", white bordered p/s, Epic A 6045)
Let Me Down Easy (12" Mix)/Achilles Heel/Place de Victoires (12", Epic TA 6045)
Let Me Down Easy (12" Mix)/Achilles Heel/Place de Victoires/Vladimir Goes To Havana/Aural Sculpture (2nd 12" with free poster, Epic QTA 6045)
Nice In Nice/Since You Went Away (7", silver bordered p/s, Epic 650055-7)
Nice In Nice/Since You Went Away (Shaped Picture Disc in clear sleeve, Epic 650055-0)
Nice In Nice (Porridge Mix)/Since You Went Away/Midnight Summer Dream (Live)/European Female(Live) (12", Epic 650055-6)
Always The Sun/Norman Normal (7", black p/s, some issued as double pack with "Nice In Nice 7", Epic SOLAR 1 / SOLAR D1)
Always The Sun/Norman Normal (Shaped Picture Disc in clear sleeve, Epic SOLAR P1)
Always The Sun (Hot Mix)/Norman Normal/Souls (Live) (12", white p/s, Epic SOLAR T1)
Big In America/Dry Day (7", "Statue Of Liberty" p/s, some issued as double pack with "Always The Sun" 7", Epic HUGE 1 / HUGE D1)
Big In America/Dry Day (Shaped Picture Disc in clear sleeve, Epic HUGE P1)
Big In America (Texas Mix)/Dry Day/Uptown (Live) (12", "Skycraper" p/s, Epic HUGE T1)
Shakin' Like A Leaf (7" Edit)/Hitman (7", Epic SHEIK 1)
Shakin' Like A Leaf (7" Edit)/Hitman (Shaped Picture Disc in clear sleeve, Epic SHEIK P1)
Shakin' Like A Leaf (Jelly Mix)/Hitman/Was It You (Live) (12", some copies with poster, Epic SHEIK T1 / SHEIK QT1)
Shakin' Like A Leaf (Live)/Hitman/An Evening With Hugh Cornwell (2nd 12", unique p/s, Epic SHEIK B1)
All Day And All Of The Night (7" Mix)/Viva Vlad! (7", red p/s, Epic VICE 1)
All Day And All Of The Night (7" Mix)/Viva Vlad! (Shaped Picture Disc in clear sleeve, Epic VICE P1)
All Day And All Of The Night (12" Version)/Viva Vlad!/Who Wants The World (Live) (12", black p/s, some with poster, Epic VICE T1 / VICE QT1)
All Day And All Of The Night (12" Version)/Viva Vlad!/Who Wants The World (Live)/Strange Little Girl (Live Version from "All Live And All Of The Night") (CD, white p/s, Epic CDVICE 1)
Grip 89/Waltzinblack (Red Vinyl 7", in PVC sleeve with poster insert, EMI EMR 84)
Grip 89 (Grippin' Stuff Mix)/Grip 89/Waltzinblack/Tomorrow Was The Hereafter (12", EMI 12EM 84)
Grip 89 (Grippin' Stuff Mix)/Grip 89/Waltzinblack/Tomorrow Was The Hereafter (CD, EMI CDEM 84)
The Radio 1 Sessions EP: The Man They Love To Hate (BBC Version)/Nuclear Device (BBC Version)/Genetix (BBC Version)/Down In The Sewer (BBC Version) (12", Strange Fruit SFNT 020)
The Radio 1 Sessions EP: The Man They Love To Hate (BBC Version)/Nuclear Device (BBC Version)/Genetix (BBC Version)/Down In The Sewer (BBC Version) (CD, diff p/s, Strange Fruit SNFTCD 20)
96 Tears/Instead Of This (7", issued in either tin can or regular p/s, Epic TEARS Q1 / TEARS 1)
96 Tears/Instead Of This (Cassette, Epic TEARS M1)
96 Tears (Tearaway Mix)/Instead Of This/Poisonality (12", Epic TEARS T1, some with paint palette)
96 Tears/Instead Of This/Poisonality (Picture Disc CD, housed in clear sleeve, Epic TEARS P1)
96 Tears/Instead Of This/Poisonality (CD, normal p/s, Epic TEARS C1)
Sweet Smell Of Success (Edit)/Motorbike (7", Epic TEARS 2)
Sweet Smell Of Success (Edit)/Motorbike (Cassette, Epic TEARS M2)
Sweet Smell Of Success (Edit)/Motorbike/Something (12", Epic TEARS T2)
Sweet Smell Of Success (Edit)/Motorbike/Something (CD, Epic TEARS C2)
Sweet Smell Of Success (Indie-Pendence Mix)/(Strangled House Mix)/(Strangled House Dub) (2nd 12", unique p/s, Epic TEARS B2)
Always The Sun (Sunny Side Up Mix)/Burnham Beeches (7", Epic 656430 7)
Always The Sun (Sunny Side Up Mix)/Burnham Beeches (Cassette, Epic 656430 4)
Always The Sun (Long Hot Sunny Side Up Mix)/Burnham Beeches/Straighten Out (Live, Guildford Civic Hall 19.3.1990) (12", Epic 656430 6)
Always The Sun (Sunny Side Up Mix)/Burnham Beeches/Straighten Out (Live, Guildford Civic Hall 19.3.1990) (CD1, Epic 656430 3)
Live At Alexandra Palace EP: Always The Sun (Live, 11.8.1990)/Nuclear Device (Live, 11.8.1990)/All Day And All Of The Night (Live, 11.8.1990)/Punch & Judy (Live, 11.8.1990) (CD2, unique p/s, Epic 6564305)
Golden Brown/You/Peaches (Live, Bradford 2.3.1990)/Skin Deep (Extended Mix) (CD, Epic 656761 2)
New Day Today (7" flexidisc, given away free with copy of "Strangled" magazine, SIS SIS004)


Rattus Norvegicus
(LP + 7", United Artists UAG 30045)
No More Heroes (CD, 1987 reissue with "5 Minutes" as bonus track, EMI CDP 7 46613 2)
Black And White (LP + White Vinyl 7", United Artists UAK 30222)
Live X-Cert (CD, 2001 reissue with 7 extra tracks, EMI 7243 5 34687 29)
The Raven (1st press LP of 20000, in 3D sleeve, United Artists UAG 30262)
The Gospel According To The MenInBlack (CD, 1988 reissue with period B-sides "Maninwhite" and "Top Secret", EMI CD-FA 3208)
La Folie (CD, 1988 reissue with "Cruel Garden" as bonus track, EMI CD-LBG 30342)
Feline (LP + 7", Epic 25237)
Aural Sculpture (UK LP, with original unedited mix of "Souls", Epic EPC 26220)
Dreamtime (Picture Disc LP, Epic EPC 11 26648)
All Live And All Of The Night (CD, original issue with "Album Version" of "All Day And All Of The Night", Epic EPC 460259 2)
10 (Picture Disc LP, Epic 466483 0)
Stranglers In The Night (CD, Psycho WOLCD 1030)
About Time (CD, When! WENCD 001, initial copies with autographed insert)
Written In Red (CD, When! WENCD 009, initial copies in "blood pack" digipack sleeve)
Friday The Thirteenth (Video, Eagle Rock QLC 5013, also issued as standard CD but with less tracks)
Coup De Grace (CD, Eagle EAG CD 042)
5 Live 01 (2 x CD, SPV 085-71052 DCD)
Norfolk Coast (CD, EMI 5969512)
Suite XVI (CD, EMI 371 3862)


Heaven Or Hell (Extended Version)/Disappear/Brainbox (Live)/Hanging Around (Live, 1991) (12", Psycho WOK 2025)
Heaven Or Hell (Extended Version)/Disappear/Brainbox (Live)/Hanging Around (Live, 1991) (Cassette, Psycho WOKMC 2025)
Heaven Or Hell (Extended Version)/Coffee Shop/Hanging Around (Live, 1991) (CD1, Psycho WOKCD 2025)
Heaven Or Hell (Single Version)/Vicious Circles/Brainbox (Live) (CD2, Psycho WOKCDR 2025)
Sugar Bullets (Edit)/So Uncool (Cassette, Psycho PSYMC 002)
Sugar Bullets (Edit)/So Uncool/Sugar Bullets (CD, Psycho PSYCD 002)
Lies & Deception/Kiss The World Goodbye/Bed Of Nails (12", When! WENX 1008)
Lies & Deception/Swim/Cool Daddy (CD1, When! WENX 1007)
Lies & Deception/Kiss The World Goodbye/Bed Of Nails (CD2, diff p/s, When! WENX 1008)
In Heaven She Walks/Golden Brown (Live, London The Forum 16.12.1995)/In Heaven She Walks (Extended Version) (Cassette, When! WEN 1018)
In Heaven She Walks/Golden Brown (Live, London The Forum 16.12.1995)/In Heaven She Walks (Extended Version) (CD1, When! WENX 1018)
In Heaven She Walks/(Get A) Grip (On Yourself) (Live, London The Forum 16.12.1995)/Something Better Change (Live, London The Forum 16.12.1995) (CD2, diff p/s, WENX 1020)
Big Thing Coming/Peaches 2004 (Red Vinyl 7", EMI 548 0697)
Big Thing Coming/I Don't Agree/Tucker's Grave (Live)/Big Thing Coming (EPK - Video) (CD1, diff p/s, EMI 548 0690)
Big Thing Coming/Peaches 2004 (CD2, diff p/s again, 548 0692)
Long Black Veil (Radio Edit)/Waltzinblack (Red Vinyl 7", EMI 548 9067)
Long Black Veil (Radio Edit)/Life's Too Short/Waltzinblack/Long Black Veil (CD, diff p/s, EMI 548 9062)
Spectre Of Love/Instead Of This (Live) (CD, EMI 375 0342)
Spectre Of Love/Death And Night And Blood (New Live Version) (Green Vinyl 7", diff p/s, 375 0357)


The Collection 1977-1982 (LP, includes "Walk On By", "Bear Cage", "Who Wants The World" and "Strange Little Girl", also issued on VHS but with diferent tracklisting, Liberty LBG 30353)
12" Tape (Cassette, includes unique mix of "No Mercy", Epic 450129-4)
Off The Beaten Track (LP, includes B-sides of non album A-sides like "Go Buddy Go", Liberty LBG 5001)
Rarities (CD, subsequently reissued in different sleeve and retitled "The Rarities", EMI CDP 7 910722)
Singles (LP, extended version of "The Collection 1977-1982", EMI EM 1314)
Greatest Hits 1977-1990 (CD, some pressed with picture on disc and inlay booklet shrinkwrapped to rear of case, Epic 4675411 / 4675419)
The Early Years (CD and Coloured Vinyl, reissued again in different sleeve at a later date, Newspeak SPEAKCD101)
All Twelve Inches (CD, nearly all of the band's extended mixes for Epic, with unreleased "Was It You" mix, Epic 471416 2)
Live At The Hope And Anchor (CD, release of full gig, excerpts of which had been released officially in dribs and drabs over the years, EMI CDGO 2033)
The Old Testament (4 x CD Box Set, EMI CDSTRANG 1)
Saturday Night Sunday Morning (CD, Hugh's last gig, also available on VHS - CD tracklisting heavily edited and in the wrong order, Essential ESSCD 194)
Death And Night And Blood (CD, Zurich 85, plus 3 "Punk" era tracks as well, Receiver RRCD 187)
The Sessions (CD, BBC Session material from 1977 and 1982, Essential ESSCD 283)
Strangled From Birth And Beyond (CD, fanclub rarities compilation, Voiceprint SOF 002 CD)
The Hit Men (2 x CD, issued in two different sleeves, includes the never-before released "Was It You" 7" remix, EMI CDEMC 3579)
Access All Areas (CD, fanclub only, but released commercially as well, 1995 tour document, SIS CD003)
The Collection (CD, includes mostly non album stuff, such as "Straighten Out", "Maninwhite" and "Top Secret", EMI Gold CDGOLD 1091)
Exclusive Fan Club CD (CD, Mark 2 live material, believed to be all previously unissued, Voiceprint SOF 003 CD)
The Best Of The Epic Years (CD, Epic 487997 2)
BBC In Concert: Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 81 (CD, gig from January 1982, EMI 497 7732)
Hits Collection (CD, hits and rarities, from "Peaches" to "Love 30", EMI CDMFPE 6434)
Hits & Heroes (2 x CD, mostly singles on disc 1 and B-sides on disc 2, EMI 521 0892)
The Epic Years (5 x CD, 2001 reissues of the Epic LPs, Epic 5045962)
Laid Black (CD, mail order only via website, "Acoustic" LP, Zen 00312)
Rattus Britanicus (Mail Order Only CD, gig from the Roundhouse in 1977, Impress LVL 071 01 6)
Forgotten Heroes (Mail Order Only CD, gig from Cleveland 4.3.1978, Impress PYCD 064 036)
Clubbed To Death (CD, dance remix LP, Stranglers samples with new vocals by Paul Roberts, Stable STABLE1)
Peaches -The Very Best Of (CD, EMI 540 2022)
Sweet Smell Of Success (CD, another Epic "Best Of", includes live version of "Peaches" recorded in France from 1990, Epic 509826 2)
Live At The Apollo (Mail Order Only CD, not complete gig but perfect sound quality - other versions exist issued "without the band's permission", [no cat no.])
Gold (2 x CD, one of numerous Mark 2 collections that mixes live and studio material from the Eagle Records period, but with Mark 1 photos, Dejavu Retro R2CD42-57)
A Collection (3 x CD Box Set, East World EWO 009 CD)
Coast To Coast (CD, mail order only live LP, Absolute AMD CG3)
The Very Best Of The Stranglers (CD, includes Mark 1 and Mark 3 material, Sony 82876 862092)
10 Track Collectors Album (CD, given free with "The Mail On Sunday" for one day only, EMI [no cat no.])
The Story So Far (CD, includes Mark 1, 3 and 4 material, EMI 397 2972)
Decade (CD, strange 1981-1990 collection, in doing so includes all the Epic years but only some of the EMI years, Camden 88697 556802)
The MenInBlack In Brugge (CD, mail order only, another acoustic set, cat details unknown)
UA Singles 1977-1982 (3 x CD, effectively all the A sides, B sides, plus more from the (first) EMI period)
Decades Apart (2 x CD, includes new songs including "Retro Rockets" plus material from all four lineups, EMI Gold 456 0322)

I have not mentioned the "Stranglers And Friends" set (a live album from 1980 with guest vocalists in place of the at-the-time imprisoned Hugh Cornwell) as this list purely concentrates at the standard Mark 1 to 4 lineups. A future blog will go into greater detail about the various compilation albums and video collections mentioned above, plus will detail other compilations on the market that simply replicate what is already shown here.

Further reading:
The Stranglers Discography
Stranglers Worldwide Discography