J.J. BURNEL

J.J. BURNEL – “EUROMAN COMETH” (1979)

I’ve always been entertained not only by The Stranglers’ music, hygiene but by their prolific nature. Those dudes released their first three albums (“Rattus Norvigicus”, “No More Heroes” and “Black And White”) within the space of 13 months! No easy feat.

In the midst of the explosive success of these records, somehow both bassist J.J. Burnel and frontman/guitarist Hugh Cornwall found the time to also record solo albums. Cornwall’s was called “Nosferatu”, and featured Captain Beefheart drummer Robert Williams, as well as members of Devo(!) — and Burnel’s was called “Euroman Cometh”. Both albums were a clear departure from the trademark “nice ‘n sleazy” Stranglers sound: “Nosferatu” employed a darker, Gothic sound, and “Euroman Cometh” was very synth and drum machine-heavy, and sounded in the same league as Cabaret Voltaire.

Both albums were not well-regarded at the time, and both players quickly reconvened with their bandmates to churn out the fourth Stranglers LP, “The Raven”. I’ve got mixed feelings about “Euroman Cometh”, but it contains one of the greatest post-punk tracks I’ve heard to date, period–and believe me, I’ve heard a LOT of post-punk at this point. It’s called “Freddie Laker (Airbus and Concorde)”, and it’s abrasive as fuck, but groovy and punchy as well. It sounds like an unholy mixture of The Stranglers and Chrome, and the album download is well worth it for this track alone.

J.J. Burnel – “Euroman Cometh” LP (ZIP file)

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772 Responses to J.J. BURNEL

  1. Dwayne Erickson says:

    Brilliant post–I have only come across this album 2 times in the last 20 years, and almost bought it, then decided not to–and always regretted it afterwards. I have a serious Stranglers fixation, and have the rarities and even the fundraiser show for Hugh–just never bit on this one. thanks a million—if you would be so inclined , would you consider posting the Hugh Nosferatu album? That one has only once come my way,and again, never took the plunge.

    Thanks for all your great posts!

  2. researcher says:

    1992 EMI reissued this on CD with 8 additional live tracks, and I also remember seeing a Picture LP of this once….

  3. Jim Donato says:

    The 1992 CD is a delight. The live Hempstead concert practically reprises the entire album with a full band that gives the material a completely different feel. It ends up sounding more like The Stranglers (like that’s a bad thing) but both are valid and great to have. They are certainly different enough to have sitting on the same disc! I just checked and found that while this pressing is OOP, Fire + Water (Burnel + Greenfield) is on CD for the first time ever! http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Water-J-J-Burnel/dp/B0015U0PPE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1231950610&sr=1-1

    Now that saves me hours of remastering from vinyl!

  4. Jim Donato says:

    Oops. Wrong there. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to purchase the enhanced Euromen Cometh CD here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Euroman-Cometh-J-J-Burnell/dp/B00002847J/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi

  5. John Terhorst says:

    Is this the same building on the cover as seen on the cover of the Futura album earlier this month (it was a close up of vents but looks like the the same tall vertical structure on the corner of the building is in the picture. If so that would be a funny coinsidence.

    Perhaps I am just ignorant and there are a lot of buildings of this design and they are common in Europe.

  6. Dwayne Erickson says:

    I believe that the building is the Pompedeu Center in Paris–it is designed to have the normally hidden working parts of the building on the outside instead of the inside. It was a major style, at one time, so I am sure there were a lot of buildings that look similar, but they very well could be the same place. It would be cool to find out for sure…..

    Also, Bret, did you get my return email regarding Nosferatu? I can send it again if not—

  7. ilan katin says:

    Contrary to the post claim I actually like most of the song on this one. Its always personal with these things. I am also a fan of The Stranglers so that helps too.

  8. Harry says:

    This is the Pompidou Center as Dwayne mentioned. It is the same building as on the Futura album. It’s the France national musuem of modern art. I’m not aware of any other buildings of this style, but I’m sure there are likely others that are similar.

  9. bcr says:

    awesome.

  10. Jon says:

    excellent post!

  11. ian mcilvaine says:

    Great to see this one. And kudos to Mr. Burnel for being some 20 years ahead of the formation of the EU, with his theme of a unified Europe that is the basis of this album.