Hugh Cornwell: The Fall And Rise Of Hugh Cornwell

First collection of the former Strangler’s solo recordings.

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If you lost touch with Cornwell after he left The Stranglers in 1990, here’s a chance to make amends. The Fall And Rise contains two songs apiece from each of his six solo albums (the first of which he recorded in 1988), plus a new track.

And it’s a minor revelation, hearing what an undervalued songwriter Cornwell is, even if fans of No More Heroes et al might be disappointed – it’s more of a showcase of his melodic, baroque Always The Sun-style material.

The 80s stuff (Getting Involved, Break Of Dawn) is full of period details, all gated drums and soulful female backing vocals, but by 1997’s One Burning Desire, it’s clear just how impervious he is to contemporary trends – it’s like grunge and Britpop never happened.

2000’s Leave Me Alone is more stripped-down, and 2008’s Beat Of My Heart has a raw, echoey, early-60s Liam Watson production. But as 2015’s Live It And Breathe It proves, Cornwell’s pop sensibility remains utterly intact.

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Paul Lester

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.