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RATTUS NORVEGICUS

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Produced by Martin Rushent
Recorded at T.W. Studios in Fulham on January/February 1977
Released in avril 1977

SOMETIMES
GOODBYE TOULOUSE
LONDON LADY
PRINCESS OF THE STREETS
HANGING AROUND

PEACHES
(GET A) GRIP (ON YOURSELF)
UGLY
DOWN IN THE SEWER
(a) Falling
(b) Down In The Sewer
(c) Trying To Get Out Again
(d) Rats Rally

 

Hugh Cornwell : Guitars and vocalst
Jean-Jacques Burnel : Bass and vocals
Dave Greenfield : Keyboards
Jet Black : Drums and percussion

Eric Clark : Tenor sax on 'Grip'

 

 

 

The first LP of The Stranglers was due to be a live album. A gig at The Nashville on 23rd December 1976 was taped, but nobody beeing satisfied with the result, they decided to record it in studio. The live version of 'Peasant In The Big Shitty' that appears on the free single that was distributed with the first copies of 'Rattus Norvegicus' is taken from this concert.

The first title of the album was 'Dead On Arrival', but 'Rattus' was choosen in the end, when someone from United Artists found a book with the famous picture of the rat that is reproduced at the back of the sleeve.

The pictures of the front and the inside are very puzzling, as they contains many signs that predict the albums the band would record later : The man (actually a statue) looks a lot like a maninblack, and holds a viking spear ('The Raven'), Dave holds a black cat that will become later a 'Feline', and Hugh has (Why ??) a strange tube in the ear ('Aural Sculpture').

The Strange house where the pictures were shot will be used two other times in the future : The video of 'Midnight Summer Dream' was fimed there, and the band took the pose once again for the inside pictures of 'About Time'.


SOMETIMES

Someday I'm going to smack your face
Someday I'm going to smack your face
Somebody's going to call your bluff
Somebody's going to treat you rough
Sometimes there is only one way out
I've got to fight

Sometimes I get to feel so mean
Sometimes I get to feel so mean
Sometimes you look like you're too clean
Sometimes I see the in-between
Sometimes only one way
I've got to fight

You're way past your station
Beat you honey till you drop

You're way past your station
It's useless asking you to stop
I got morbid fascination
Beat you honey till you drop

Sometimes you're going to get some stick
Sometimes you're going to get some stick
Somebody's standing in our way
Somebody's gonna have to pay
Sometimes there is only one way
I've got to fight   

 

GOODBYE TOULOUSE

Your streets were paved with love
Your skies were blue
Goodbye Toulouse

I walked your streets in fear
I washed your streets with tears
Toulouse

Goodbye Toulouse

Your cafes tell the tale
Of saddened millionaires
Toulouse

A million dreams I've had
A million lies I've told
Toulouse

Goodbye Toulouse

Paula looked down on me
From her high balcony
Toulouse

I will return some day
So you can hear me say
Farewell

Goodbye Toulouse
Goodbye Toulouse
Goodbye Toulouse

 

LONDON LADY

Little lady
With Dingwall's bullshit
You're so stupid
Foetid brainwaves
Little lady
What really happens
When you see mirrors
You get the shivers

Aaaah!

Making love to
The Mersey Tunnel
With a sausage, have you ever been to Liverpool?
Please don't talk much
It burns my ears
Tonight you've talked for a thousand years

Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick
Plastic's real when you're real sick

Tell me what you've got to look so pleased about
Tell me what you've got to look so pleased about

Oh London Lady
Why did you lay me?
Your head is crowded
With the names you've hounded
The lines around your
Eyes they show me
You realise the party's over London Lady
Party's over London Lady

Tell me what you've got to look so pleased about
Tell me what you've got to look so pleased about

 

PRINCESS OF THE STREETS

She's gone and left me
I don't know why
That girl she's crazy
She made me cry
She's gone and left me
I don't know why

Yeah she's the queen of the street
What a piece of meat

She's real good looking
She makes me sigh
Blue jeans and leather
Her heels are high
She's real good looking
she makes me sigh

Yeah, she's the queen of the street
What a special treat

She's no lady
She'll stab you in the back
She's no lady
She's princess of the pack

With words of fire
She'll make you small
With eyes that smile
She'll make you tall
With words of fire
She'll make you small
But you would rather wait a year
till she gave you a call

She's gone and left me
I don't know why
That girl she's crazy
She made me cry
She's gone and left me
I don't know why
But she's queen of the streets
what a piece of meat

She's no lady
She'll stab you in the back
She's no lady
She's princess of the pack

 

HANGING AROUND

Big girl in the red dress
She's just trying to impress us
And she's got the barley fever
But she doesn't make a sound
She's just hanging around
She's just hanging around

Down the Court Road early
With the hustlers big 'n' burly
There's a million of 'em selling
And the buyers can't be found
They're just hanging around
They're just hanging around

Christ has told his mother
Christ he told her not to bother
'Cos he's alright in the city
'Cos he's high above the ground
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around

One of them comes closer
He's got a monkey on his shoulder
And the monkey's getting grinner
But his eyes are on the ground
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around

I'm moving in the Coleherne
With the leather all around me
And the sweat is getting steamy
But their eyes are on the ground
They're just hanging around
They're just hanging around

Christ has told his mother
Christ he told her not to bother
'Cos he's alright in the city
'Cos he's high above the ground
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around

Christ has told his mother
Christ he told her not to bother
'Cos he's alright in the city
'Cos he's high above the ground
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around
He's just hanging around

 

PEACHES

Strolling along minding my own business
Well, there goes a girl and a half
She's got me going up and down
She's got me going up and down

Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches

Well I've got the notion girl that
You've got some sun tan lotion in that bottle of yours
Spread it all over my pealing skin baby
That feels really good
All this skirt
Lapping up the sun
Lap me up
Why don't you come on and
Lap me up

Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches

Well there goes another one
Just lying down on the sand dunes
I better go take a swim
And see if I can cool down a little bit
'Cos you and me woman
We got a lot of things on our minds
(You know what I mean)

Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches

Will you just take a look over there
Where?
There
Is she trying to get out of that clitoris?
Liberation for women, that's what I preach
Preacher man

Walking on the beaches looking at the peaches

Oh shit! there goes the charabang
Looks like I'm going to be stuck here the whole summer
Well what a bummer
I can think of a lot worse places to be
Like down on the street
Or down in the sewer
Or even on the end of a skewer

Down on the beaches
Just looking at the peaches
Down on the beaches
Just looking at the fried bodies
Down on the beaches
Just looking at the sun glasses
Down on the beaches
Just looking at all the peaches
Down on the beaches
Just looking at all the peaches
Down on the beaches
Just looking at all the peaches
Down on the beaches

 

(GET A) GRIP (ON YOURSELF)

Didn't have the money round to buy a Morry Thou
Been around and seen a lot to shake me anyhow
Begged and borrowed sometimes I admit I even stole
But the worst crime that I ever did was play in rock and roll

But the money's no good
Just get a grip on yourself
But the money's no good
Just get a grip on yourself

Suffering convictions on a two-way stretch inside
The air in here is pretty thin, I think I'll go outside
Commited for insanity and crimes against the soul
The worst crime that I ever did was play some rock and roll

But the money's no good
Just get a grip on yourself
But the money's no good
Just get a grip on yourself

And you should known

Now I find from week to week the sentence sticking fast
Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last
Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole
Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock and roll

But the money's no good
Just get a grip on yourself
But the money's no good
Just get a grip on yourself

And you should know

 

UGLY

I could have read
A poem called
Ozymandias
To her instead

I lived for the moment
It was a futile
Gesture anyway
I was here
And she was here

And being broad
Of mind and hips
We did the only
Thing possible

I guess I shouldn't have strangled her to death
But I had to go to work and she had laced my coffee with acid

Normally I wouldn't have minded
But I'm allergic to sulphuric acid
Besides she had acne
And if you've got acne well I apologise for disliking it instensely.
But it's understandble that ugly people have got complexes
I mean it seems to me that ugly people don't have a chance

It's only the children or the fucking wealthy who tend to be good looking

An ugly fart
Attracks a good looking
Chick, if he's got money

An ugly fart
Attracks a good looking
Chick if he's got money

An ugly fart
Attracks a good looking
Chick
If he's got money

It's different for Jews somehow
I'd like to see
A passionate
Film between
The two ugliest
People in the world.
When I say ugly
I don't mean rough looking
I mean hideous

Don't tell me that
Aesthetics are
Subjective, you
Just know the truth
When you see it
Whatever it is

Muscle
Power, muscle
Power, muscle
Power, muscle
Power

 

DOWN IN THE SEWER

Down in the sewer
Picking up quite a lot of empty coca cola cans
and there sure are a lot of them around here

How did I get down here ?
Well it's a long story.
I should have stayed down home out on the farm
and kept my tootsies warm instead of freezing them off down here

There's lots of rats down here
You can see the whites of their eyes
They got sharp teeth
Deep breath
And lots of diseases

People say you shouldn't stay down here too long
Lose your sense of light and dark
Lose your sense of smell

I tell you what I'm gonna do
Gonna make love to a water rat or two
and breed a family
they'll be called the survivors
You know why ?
No
They're gonna survive

I'll see you in the sewer darling
And don't be late

I'll see you in the sewer
I'll see you in the sewer, the sewer, the sewer

I'll see you in the sewer
I'll see you in the sewer

I'll see you in the sewer
I'll see you in the sewer

I'll see you in the sewer
I'll see you in the sewer