The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.

Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.

S is for Something Better Change and Straighten Out, released by The Stranglers as a double-A single in July 1977.

We can argue all day and all night whether The Stranglers should be seen as a bona-fide punk outfit, or whether they were lucky grubby pub rockers who happened to be in the right city at the right time.  I liked a lot of their singles, although I reckon if I’d been a few years older and more politically/culturally/socially aware, I’d have been appalled by some of their lyrics.  As it was, the tunes got inside my head and the shout-along style of the vocals was nigh on perfect for any teenager looking to annoy their parents and teachers!

mp3: The Stranglers – Something Better Change
mp3: The Stranglers – Straighten Out

This made it all the way to #9 in July 1977. Something Better Change was the first single lifted from the album No More Heroes, released two months later. Straighten Out didn’t appear on the album.



  1. ‘Straighten Out’ is still so great. Who else sounds like the Stranglers? Nasty singer, aggressive bass, scratchy guitar, a Hammond organ solo and a jazz drummer. Outstanding and incomparable.

  2. Great tracks, both. As a teenager, always loved the “stick my fingers right up your nose” line in SBC. The debate about punk/ not-punk and the (ironically?) neanderthal lyrics can tend to lead to them not being given the credit they deserve. And of course Something Better Change showcases the wonderful keyboard of Dave Greenfield. If people haven’t heard it yet, the track “And if You Should See Dave…” from their latest/ last album is a perfect tribute from JJ.

  3. The Collection 1977-1982 was an early purchase as a teen and remains a treasured slab of vinyl. I’m split on The Stranglers, not so much on the punk/ not-punk debate but the conflict between some great music and some excruciating and – as you say – appalling lyrics: 5 Minutes and Always The Sun being two other examples. JTFL brilliantly captures their appeal in 14 words.

  4. I used to have these tracks on the streaky pink vinyl 4 track ep that included Grip and Hanging Around, but unaccountably I got rid of this item somewhere along the line. I did like The Stranglers at the time and many of their early choons are still great r&r, but the words to most of them are undeniably dumb. I’ll always remember though at school in 1977 when the music teacher allowed us to play one of our own records in class and my mate stuck on Rattus Norvegicus. The look on various faces as High Cornwell grunted out, “Someday I’m going to smash your face…” Arf!

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