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Stranglers “Dreamtime” (1986)

The last album with The Stranglers original line-up, Dreamtime is an excellent collection of smooth pop. Referring to an Australian aboriginal term for the drug-induced trance when the elders walk with the spirits, this is no studious examination of primitive cultural beliefs but rather an aural travelogue.

“Big In America”, “Mayan Skies” and “Nice In Nice” are written more for effect than any real interest in the subjects but it is the calibre of both music and overall sound which lifts the whole album above the norm. Each song is imbued with its own sense of place and perception as if written to create the perfect mood. In the main it works perfectly and is an excellent companion piece to their previous album Aural Sculpture. The Stranglers continue with their fondness for horns and Was It You? is particularly effective. Dreamtime was also good from a singles perspective for the band. Besides “Shakin’ Like A Leaf”, The Stranglers found differing shades of chart success with “Nice In Nice”, “Big In America” and “Always The Sun”. But, in truth, it would have been just as easy for the record company to choose the likes of “Ghost Train”, “Was It You?” or “Too Precious” as alternatives. —Ian

One comment on “Stranglers “Dreamtime” (1986)

  1. Kym on

    Actually, the subsequent album ’10’ (which is the rotten album you mention) is the last with The Stranglers’ original line-up.

    “Always The Sun” should have been a bigger hit than it was. The song’s heavy airplay on college radio helped ‘Dreamtime’ chart on the Billboard Top 200, the only Stranglers album to do so.


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