The Stranglers

The Hit Men 1977-1991

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The Stranglers worked better as a singles band than they did as album artists, but that doesn't mean that the double-disc, 43-track retrospective The Hit Men 1977-1991 is consistently engaging. Considerably older than their punk peers, the Stranglers nevertheless knocked out several terrific songs in their first records, including "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" and "Hanging Around," but by the mid-'80s they had become a little bland and predictable, as evidenced by covers of "96 Tears" and "All Day and All of the Night." That decline is charted on The Hit Men, as it runs through all of the group's EMI and Epic singles, as well as selected album tracks. All of the group's best moments are here, but there's also an abundance of mediocre tracks making this of interest primarily to completists. Casual fans will be content with the single-disc Greatest Hits 1977-1990.

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