Never a big fan of live albums or live tapes, I have this one as a souvenir of the show, which I attended with friends. It's an FM broadcast from Philadelphia's WMMR 93.3 (can you imagine that happening today?). A friend of mine was left at home with the task of taping the broadcast, but of course he flaked on it. Actually, he managed to record the last 10 minutes for me when he finally remembered. But a couple years later I managed to secure this 2nd gen copy from someone selling records and tapes out of the trunk of their car at Trenton's City Gardens' parking lot. It's a pretty decent copy of an excellent show. My favorite bits are the between song banter. I remember being surprised at the time that The Stranglers were such cut-ups.
Emerald City was a strange place for shows, and they had lots of 'em. Formerly the Latin Casino, they used to host the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, etc. And the place still retained the trappings of the mafia-chic decor, with glitter, cherub'ed water fountains inside, etc. Saw many great shows there in the pre-hardcore days of the late 70's-early 80's: Gang of Four, Stiff Little Fingers, Captain Beefheart, many Ramones shows, Buzzcocks, B-52's, Iggy Pop (during an hellacious snowstorm, "You guys are lucky I showed up". Really, what else was he gonna do in strip-mall hell Cherry Hill?, ensconced as he was at the Hilton across the street), The Jam, XTC, etc. all in their heyday. Even Alice Cooper and Blue Ōyster Cult in "secret" club shows at a time they were playing hockey arenas.
Then that all came to an end when they closed down and became (and believe still are) a car dealership. An ignominious end to a fun place. Other Philly clubs were still going strong (East Side Club, mainly, but Ripley's on South St. as well) bridging the gap (for me, anyway) 'til HxCx shows and their scattershot gigs in the back lot of pizza shops (Abe's), basements, Elks Centers, etc. And then the gorilla of Tri-State shows, City Gardens. Where I practically lived, going to 3-4 shows per week at the peak. I'll find time to go on about the ups and downs and ups of this place in another post.
But for now, HERE's the Stranglers April 11, 1981 show. (Please note with my apologies that 2 songs are together as Track 5 since I missed the track edit - on the toilet or something, haha - and was too lazy to start over). And yup, that's my ticket stub up there as the "cover".
01. Waltzinblack (intro)
03. The Raven
04. Toiler on the Sea
05. Just Like Nothing On Earth / Thrown Away
06. Who Wants the World
07. Second Coming
09. Shah Shah A Go Go
10. Hallow To Our Men
12. Nuclear Device