John Peel Wiki

The Stranglers are an English rock band who emerged via the punk rock scene. Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning four decades, the Stranglers are one of the longest-surviving and most "continuously successful" band to have originated in the UK punk scene of the mid to late 1970s. Beginning life as the Guildford Stranglers on 11 September 1974 in Guildford, Surrey, they originally built a following within the mid-1970s pub rock scene. While their aggressive, no-compromise attitude identified them as one of the instigators of the UK punk rock scene that followed, their idiosyncratic approach rarely followed any single musical genre and the group went on to explore a variety of musical styles, from new wave, art rock and gothic rock through the sophisticated pop of some of their 1980s output. They had major mainstream success with their single "Golden Brown". Their other hits include "No More Heroes", "Peaches", "Always the Sun" and "Skin Deep". The Stranglers' early sound was driven by Jean-Jacques Burnel's melodic bass, but also gave prominence to Dave Greenfield's keyboards at a time when the instrument was seen as unfashionable. Their early music was also characterised by the growling vocals and sometimes misanthropic lyrics of both Jean-Jacques Burnel and Hugh Cornwell. (read more at Wikipedia)

Keyboard player Dave Greenfield died in May 2020 at the age of 71 after testing positive for coronavirus. Drummer Jet Black died in December 2022 at the age of 84 after an unspecified long illness.

Links To Peel []

Peel first went to see The Stranglers at the Hammersmith Odeon in October 1976 supporting Patti Smith, well before the band were signed to United Artists Records and subsequently became a champion of their music in their early stage. The band recorded two sessions for his show, the first of which was broadcast before their debut album "Rattus Norvegicus" came out and later repeated several times. During one of these repeats on 12 May 1977, Peel enthusiastically referred to them as one of the bands who were making "the first half of 1977 the best six months for music since the latter half of 1967" and added that the more he heard them, the more he liked them. 40 years later, in 2017, bassist J.J. Burnel recalled that the BBC sessions and Peel's support signaled the moment when the band started to gain credibility and legitimacy in the scene[1].

Peel continued to feature exclusive tracks from their albums in the late 70s, including famously playing their third album "Black and White" in full before its release date[2]. He also featured tracks from Burnel's solo album "Euroman Cometh", from "Nosferatu", a collaboration between frontman and guitar player Hugh Cornwell and Robert Williams, the then-current drummer for Captain Beefheart, which also included cameos by Ian Dury and members of The Mothers of Invention and Devo among others and the two singles by Celia & The Mutations, who were The Stranglers in disguise as the backing band of punk singer Celia Gollin.

However, when the band signed to Epic Records in 1983, they changed their songwriting to a more mellow pop sound with less focus on Burnel's bass playing and more on Greenfield's synthesizers. This change of style wasn't appreciated by Peel who on his Peel 042 (BFBS) show called their "Nice In Nice" single "a bit of a bore". Nonetheless, their older more aggressive material still got occasional plays.

Festive Fifty Entries[]


1. Recorded: 1977-03-01. Broadcast: 07 March 1977. Repeated: 08 April 1977, 12 May 1977, 21 December 1977, 16 July 198019 August 1986.

  • Hangin' Around / I Feel Like A Wog / Goodbye Toulouse / Somethin' Better Change

2. Recorded: 1977-08-30. Broadcast: 13 September 1977. Repeated: 17 October 1977, 21 November 1977, 28 December 1977.

  • Dead Ringer / No More Heroes / Burning Up Time / Bring On The Nubiles


Recorded at the London Roundhouse gig of 1977-11-06. Broadcast: 27 December 1977. Repeated: 23 January 1978. No commercial release but parts of this show appeared on "Live (X Cert)" (United Artists Records, 1979).

  1. No More Heroes
  2. Dead Ringer
  3. Sometimes
  4. Dagenham Dave
  5. Hanging Around
  6. Bitching
  7. Burning Up Time
  8. I Feel Like A Wog
  9. Straighten Out
  10. Something Better Change
  11. London Lady
  12. Peaches
  13. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

Other Shows Played[]

(The list is incomplete. Please add further information if known)


The Stranglers - Rattus Norvegicus (Full Album)

  • 10 February 1985 (BFBS): '(Get A) Grip (On Yourself) (LP-Rattus Norvegicus)' (UA)
  • Peel 005 (BFBS): '(Get A) Grip (On Yourself) (LP-Rattus Norvegicus)' (UA) (JP: 'Goodness me, that used to sound really hard in the days when it first came out. It sounds sort of Gary Numanesque these days.')
  • Punk 78: Sweden (All Quiet On The Eastern Front) / Hey! (Rise Of The Robots) / Toiler On The Sea (LP - Black And White) United Artists
  • Staying Single: Something Better Change
  • Punk Fiction: Peaches / Nice 'n' Sleazy
J.J. Burnel
Hugh Cornwell & Robert Williams
Celia & The Mutations

Top Of The Pops[]

See Also[]

External Links[]