Friday, December 11, 2009

The Stranglers: Who Wants the World?

And speaking of the Stranglers (more here), why would their label re-issue their awe-inducing early albums (I bought the first six) without putting the brilliant "Who Wants the World" on any of them?

The Stranglers - Who Wants The World

Dave | MySpace Video

I first heard this song in the early eighties on the North American-only album IV, which was I.R.S.' bowdlerized version the Raven padded out with singles. I loved it then and now because it's got all of what made them such a devastating listen: Burnel's concussion bass, Greenfield's Manzarek-ian keyboards, Black's relentlessness and Corwell's gruff vocals and slashing guitar. As the Stranglers softened over time*, it would get harder to understand why they didn't change their band name to something more fitting but here, they still sound like a gang intent on strangling the pop charts.

* The latest version of the band has been on a roll, though Suite XVI is no match for Norfolk Coast, which was what set me back to the band's mid-period catalog in the first place.

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  1. Awesome single and video! But I can't quite figure out why the organ was represented by a hunk of wood painted up to look like a synth. As well, the fact that this song is not on one of the cd re-issues is a glaring error in judgement on someone's part. Let's hope they're not going to try re-recording it ala "Don't Stand So Close To Me 86'"!

  2. Having another great minds think alike day again I see Jeff. I love Norfolk Coast but I actually think Suite 16 is better. Bother fine returns to form though.

  3. CPB
    Yeah even I stared at that contraption he's 'playing" going "What the Hell?" I Think the current incarnation's version would be well worth hearing unlike Sting and co.s' butchery of DSSCTM.

    It does happen a lot and it's always a good thing! Perhaps I just liked NC too much, some people say the album after the comeback album is the hardest.

  4. Last time I heard this song was almost 30 years ago on the radio... They sounded much more menacing then... but its still a great track! thanks for that.

  5. a.a.

    Yeah yesterday's menace can turn into today's oldie but this one still has some bite left.

  6. It's a great track Jeff it should be on the reissues for sure, although it was released on "Stranglers IV" which was a sort of equivalent version to "The Raven" which was released in the US (1980).

    Here's the covers.

  7. Ha! should pay more attention I see you posted that fact already Jeff.

  8. Marky

    You might have missed it because I just called it IV instead of Stranglers IV, which I think is its proper title. Thanks for the scans I didn't now it had been released on CD - I imagine the band must hate it.

  9. "Who Wants the World?" is a helluva song by the Stranglers, but somehow I wish it had been mixed differently. A minor reservation, though. Definitely the Stranglers in snarling, kick-ass form...Greg Cameron, Surrey, B.C., Canada

  10. Greg
    Yeah this songs just about marks the end of the snarling Stranglers.

  11. if you can remember the early stranglers concerts you werent there!


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