1-19-12 Hugh Cornwell & Robert Williams
Disc o’ the day: Hugh Cornwell & Robert Williams “Nosferatu” (United Artists UK LP, 1979)
This ‘79 debut Cornwell solo LP came out right around the time of “The Raven”, so I was fully awakened to The Stranglers. However, this album was partially recorded in Los Angeles – right around the time Cornwell was making fun of it (Dec. ’78 – Jan. ’79), with “Dead (Loss) Angeles” (on “The Raven”). Drummer Williams had worked with Captain Beefheart. Mark & Bob from Devo guest on one track (“Rhythmic Itch”). Former Zappa keyboardist Ian Underwood is on 4 tracks. The single from this LP was a cover of “White Room” – the venerable Cream classic (with Pete Brown lyrics, no less). One of the highlights is Ian Dury (billed as “Duncan Poundcake”) as a fairground barker – I don’t think we knew for sure it was Dury at the time, but – he’s now credited in the 1992 CD re-issue.
Losers In A Lost Land
Wrong Way Round
If anything, this album was a gnat’s arse ‘stranger’ than anything The Stranglers had released up to this point. It certainly showed that Cornwell’s personality (by itself) could carry an entire album – without the help of Burnel, Greenfield etc.
A decade after this LP, Cornwell left The Stranglers – after having another solo LP in 1988 with “Wolf” (Virgin UK), a great solo album!
But “Nosferatu” certainly didn’t detract from Cornwell’s work with The Stranglers; if anything, it signaled the rise of The Stranglers, their records got demonstrably better etc. I remained a Stranglers fan until Cornwell left the band.
I’ve seen Cornwell live a few times, too. He’s quite a good solo performer. Go – if you get the chance!