As far as practitioners of post-punk go, Britain's The Stranglers have the distinction of being veterans of both the proto-punk era of the early '70s and the full-tilt first wave of punk rock in England during the late '70s. All of this history makes the textures and pure loveliness of this 1987 track even more pleasantly fresh and surprising.
As usual, Hugh Cornwell casts an intriguing spell as the band's frontman, providing a characteristically nuanced, haunting vocal performance. However, the song's blend of dreamy keyboards and skittering guitar licks provides a singular framework for the transcendent chorus, helping "Always the Sun" compare favorably to the work of more revered post-punk artists like Echo & the Bunnymen or The Cure. Although The Stranglers' somewhat erratic output during the '80s may have convinced many fans that the band's better days had passed, this overlooked alternative pop nugget helped propel that form before it had even fully emerged as a genre. That's an accomplishment indeed.
- Sample or download "Always the Sun" here.
- Compare prices on Stranglers' CDs here.
- Top '80s Songs of The Cure
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Epic/Sony Music