The Stranglers were one of the early punk bands, forming in 1975. Many questioned their motives -- were they truly punks or just riding the punk wave? Regardless, they helped shape the punk movement.
Like The Clash and The Sex Pistols, the Stranglers infused their music with overtly political statements. Also like the Clash, their musical style varied greatly over the years.
Their debut album, 1977's Rattus Norvegicus, featured three exceptionally good songs: Hanging Around, Peaches, and (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
Later that year they followed up with No More Heroes -- highlighted by the title track. 1978 saw the release of Black & White after which their American label dropped them.
Black & White's failure to find an American audience isn't really surprising: Punk was only a fringe genre in the US at the time. More surprising is that the Stranglers weren't rediscovered in the punk renaissance of the late 90's.
Black & White is truly one of the quintessential Punk/New Wave/Power Pop albums. Lyrically and melodically their strongest album.
The Stranglers continued to make albums throughout the 80's and 90's -- mostly for their dedicated cult followers. An occasional song or two from these records is worth listening to - but only 1987's Dreamtime meets the expectations of their early albums.
The Stranglers originally consisted of Hugh Cornwell, Jet Black, JJ Burnel, and Dave Greenfield.