To mark the album’s 40th anniversary, Feline will be available as a limited double album on remastered 180g heavyweight transparent pink and red vinyl and a 2CD digipack that features exclusive booklet artwork and a new appreciation by the band’s biographer and journalist, Chris Twomey.
Originally released in January 1983, FELINE is The STRANGLERS’ seventh studio LP and was their first for then-new label, Epic Records (Sony). The 40th anniversary edition, released courtesy of BMG, will be released on 3rd March 2023.
1982 had proved to be a very good year for the band. The last three singles released for former label EMI had been more gentle and of a mellower-nature than anything their audience had been previously accustomed to. So when FELINE landed, it perhaps shouldn’t have been such a surprise to both fans and critics alike that there was such a perceived musical shift. Hugh & JJ’s acquisition of acoustic guitars from a now world-renowned guitar maker in Bristol helped shape FELINE into becoming possibly the nearest thing to an “unplugged” studio album the band have yet made. Gone were the powerful, sinister, throbbing melodies of their New Wave sound and in came an extraordinary and, at that time, hitherto-unheard mix of acoustic and electronic delights. Having said that, from the black panther on the sleeve to the underlying melodies of the record, underpinned by that unmistakable growling bass, the band still managed to convey their dark, menacing, moody, slightly unsettling and quietly threatening no-nonsense persona.
Much of FELINE was written at Jet’s house – a disused railway station in Gloucestershire – and as soon as the band were free from the shackles of EMI, Epic arranged for them to decamp to ICP Studios in Brussels for all of September, 1982 to record it. It was produced there by the band with Steve Churchyard (Big Country, INXS, Taylor Swift) and mixed by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T-Rex).
Both the bonus LP and bonus CD on this 40th Anniversary release feature the same tracks; a mix of B- sides and rarities – that some fans will remember featured on the Coursegood vinyl re-issue (ltd to 1000 copies) that appeared in 2019.