The Raven (The Stranglers album)

Infobox Album
Name = The Raven
Type = Album
Artist = The Stranglers

Released = September 21, 1979
Recorded =
Genre = New Wave, Post-punk
Length = mm:ss
Label = United Artists
Producer = Alan Winstanley, The Stranglers
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [ link] |
Last album = "Black and White"
This album = "The Raven"
Next album = "The Gospel According to The Meninblack"

"The Raven" is an album by The Stranglers, released in 1979. The album was originally released with a limited edition 3-D cover. Another limited edition was inadvertently created when the band was forced to remove an image of Joh Bjelke-Petersen from the inner sleeve artwork. Petersen was the subject of the album's sixth track, "Nuclear Device".

"The Raven" sold well, reaching No.4 in the UK Album Chart, although it is believed it could have made No.1 but for an error in the chart. The Police hit No.1 despite their album not yet being released, leading to controversy that the Police album was mis-credited with sales of "The Raven". Although the album was successful, "The Raven" only spawned one top 20 single, "Duchess", with "Nuclear Device" only reaching No.36 and the EP "Don't Bring Harry" reaching No.41.

Despite its high peak chart position in the UK, "The Raven" only spent 8 weeks on the chart, a significantly shorter duration than the band's previous three studio albums.

Track listing

# "Longships"
# "The Raven"
# "Dead Loss Angeles"
# "Ice"
# "Baroque Bordello"
# "Nuclear Device"
# "Shah Shah A Go Go"
# "Don't Bring Harry"
# "Duchess"
# "Meninblack"
# "Genetix"
# "Bear Cage"
# "Fools Rush Out"
# "N'Emmenes Pas Harry"
# "Yellowcake UF6"

Tracks 12-15 were not in the original vinyl release. They are singles and B-sides, approximately contemporaneous with the "Raven" album, but have subsequently been released as bonus tracks on some CD versions.

It is often said that this album is steeped in Nordic imagery. This is true of the first two songs, much of the artwork (the band is shown standing on the prow of a viking longship) and the raven itself is, of course, a feature of Norse mythology. However the album deals with a variety of issues including: Japanese ritual suicide ("Ice"); heroin use ("Don't Bring Harry"); the Iranian Revolution ("Shah-Shah-a-go-go") and Genetic engineering ("Genetix").

Track 9, "Duchess", was the first, and most successful, single from the album despite the video - which showed the band as choir boys - being banned by the BBC because they considered it blasphemous.

Track 10, "Meninblack", ended up becoming the starting point for their next album, "The Gospel According to The Men in Black".

Audio sample

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