HUGH CORNWELL SIGNS TO SONY FOR NEW ALBUM MONSTER
INCLUDES BONUS DISC OF RE-RECORDED STRANGLERS ACOUSTIC TRACKS
OUT OCTOBER 5, 2018
One of the most celebrated songwriters of his generation, Hugh Cornwell will release his new album Monster through Sony Music on October 5. The album features ten tracks written about some of the most remarkable, and indeed infamous, people of the 20th Century, both heroes and villains. Alongside these luminaries, he took inspiration initially from an extraordinary lady who swam every day in Hampstead ponds, his 98-year-old mother, Winifred. To locals, she was a hero who swam five or six times a day in all weathers, to Hugh’s family, she was the villain who kept them all in check. This juxtaposition started Hugh off on his creation of the album with the song La Grande Dame.
The album takes its name from the eponymous track “Monster,” Hugh’s love-letter to the genius model-maker and animator Ray Harryhausen who blazed a trail with films such as Jason & the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, paving the way for Spielberg, Lucas et al to follow his lead.
Cornwell is, of course, no stranger to writing about illustrious and mythic characters, having penned The Stranglers’ evergreen 1977 hit, “No More Heroes,” with its references to Leon Trotsky, Lenin and Sancho Panza. Forty-one years later, the subjects he tackles on Monster include everyone from music legends Lou Reed (on Mr. Leather) and Mose Allison (Mosin’), to ’70s stuntman Evel Knievel (Pure Evel), 1940’s Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr (The Most Beautiful Girl In Hollywood), Sgt Bilko star Phil Silvers (Bilko), Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (Duce Coochie Man) and Zimbabwe ex-president Robert Mugabe (Robert).
“These are people who have defied categorisation,” he explains of his choices. “I’ve spent my whole life trying to defy categorisation. If someone wants to put me into some sort of a box, I’ll do my best to defy it. You could call it being obstreperous, but it’s also got something to do with being drawn to people who are dichotomous.”
As a companion disc to the album, Restoration is a collection of re-recorded acoustic versions Stranglers hits which Hugh has rediscovered over the years including favourites “No More Heroes” and “Always the Sun” alongside gems from the band’s catalogue including “Outside Tokyo,” “Don’t Bring Harry” and “Let Me Down Easy.”
Monster is available to pre-order on 2CD or double vinyl (gatefold, 180gsm) formats as well as digital downloads.
Monster Track Listing (all songs written, performed and produced by Cornwell)
1. Pure Evel
2. La Grande Dame
3. The Most Beautiful Girl in Hollywood
5. Mr. Leather
9. Attack of the Major Sevens
10. Duce Coochie Man
1. Outside Tokyo
2. Let Me Down Easy
4. Don’t Bring Harry
5. Goodbye Toulouse
6. Ships That Pass In The Night
7. Never Say Goodbye
8. No More Heroes
9. Big in America
10. Always The Sun