ROCK / Riffs - Leo Moran of The Saw Doctors on 'Something Better Change' by The Stranglers

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The Independent Culture
I FIRST heard this single in the summer of 1977, I was 12 at the time. I didn't know anything about drums or bass or guitars or what they did, but the amazing energetic, powerful racket being made by these four London fellahs was unbelievable, it was the first time I'd heard anything like it. It has a brilliant start - a pumping, hard bassline and a guitar line which consists of Hugh Cornwell hitting his Telecaster very hard with a plectrum. It stops dead then goes into the song. The whole thing is very aggressive, which suits a 12-year-old. It sounds like they're just banging away but in fact it's very well crafted. I know it's too difficult for us to play. It has this wonderful over-the-top lyric, containing the immortal line 'I stick my finger right up your nose', and the organ - I think it's a Hammond - is mostly melodic, but it goes a bit daft towards the end. I remember going into Galway to buy the record, I suppose RTE must have been playing it. It was the first single I'd seen with a picture sleeve, which was just a black and white photo of The Stranglers playing live, and their simple, strong logo with their name in joiny writing. I'm not mad to dissect it truly, I'd rather preserve the memory.

'Something Better Change' is on The Stranglers' 'No More Heroes' album (Fame CDP 7466132).