15 April 1977 – Stranglers release debut album

With several High Wycombe appearances behind them, The Stranglers released their debut album, ‘Rattus Norvegicus’, on United Artist records.

Having been formed in 1974, at the time of the release, The Stranglers had a wealth of material to choose from and the nine tracks, running in at around 40 minutes, are familiar stage favourites.  Included are debut single ‘Grip’, released in January 1977 and forthcoming single ‘Peaches’.  The closing track is the seven minute epic. ‘Down in the Sewer’. If you managed to pick up an early copy of the album, you would also have received a bonus single containing ‘Peasant’ and ‘Choosey Susie’.

The album would peak at No.4 in the UK album charts, spending the remainder of the year in the charts. Before the end of the year they would release their second album, ‘No More Heroes’ and the combined success of the two releases would cement their place in the rapidly growing ‘punk’ and ‘new wave’ movement sweeping the UK.

The Guildford band had played High Wycombe on at least three occasions in 1976. A June 1976 appearance is often listed as The Nag’s Head but is more likely to have taken place at the Student Union Bar.  This was followed by confirmed Nag’s Head appearances in October 1976 and December 1976.  The latter visit to High Wycombe came ten days after they had signed their deal with United Artists.  The band would not return to High Wycombe again, although lead singer Hugh Cornwell would take in a couple of solo dates during the early 2000’s.

If you have 40 minutes to spare, take a listen to the full album via the YouTube link below.

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