Live (X Cert) and The Raven
This joint article spotlights the memorabilia associated with the band’s two album releases of 1979 – February’s live album Live (X Cert) and September’s new studio album The Raven. Sadly for collectors, promo material for each album was steadily reducing as it was less necessary to promote such a successful band. Having said that, there were some amazing items produced for these releases…
As before, please click thumbnail for a larger image.
History – memorabilia
The band’s debut live album was released in February 1979 with it’s striking open and closed fist cover designs. Unfortunately, only a few promotional items were produced for the album’s release…
The band’s first live album was promoted with a stunning yet simple poster in the UK. Following the monochrome posters associated with Black and White, it was nice to see a return of some colour albeit only red! The poster measures 20″ x 30″
X Certs’ release was advertised in shops using a large striking ‘3D’ cardboard display. The 3D effect was created using a black back board with the band’s logo and the album title and an image of the cover’s ‘fist’ as the front board. The design works well and this display is very rare nowadays…
There are two stickers relating to the album’s release, one official and the other of more dodgy origins. The small 5″ official promo sticker features the ‘Nude woman horror shock’ cutting from the album’s cover.
The second appears to be unofficial and is printed on a 4″ sliver sticker with some odd moon design. It certainly doesn’t look legit…
The UK album’s release had a press kit which was housed in a folder featuring a strange, and seemingly unrelated, image of a scantily clad woman.
The press kit itself also bizzarely showed a pair of wrestlers. Not sure what angle Modern Publicity were thinking of there…
Various promo photos taken from one photosession were released at the time. Two are shown below.
Only one badge was produced for the album and showed the press clipping from the album’s cover. There are two variants. Firstly (shown here) a shaped plastic backing badge with a paper ‘cutting’ attached to the front. Secondly, a moulded plastic version with the words embossed and highlighted in black. Size is about 1″ across.
Continuing with the somewhat minimal promotion to X Certs’ release, there is unfortunately only one other item to collect.
As before, the UA sheet for the album provides details of the release.
The band’s fourth studio album The Raven was unleashed on the public in September of 1979. It was a distinct musical change from the band’s three preceeding albums and its songs presented the band’s worldview on events in the last year of the 70s.
The UK release of the album was promoted using two posters. Firstly there was a standard, small 16″ x 20″ poster. This had a red flash across its base detailing album release information.
This poster was later reissued by SIS but minus the red strip.
This poster was designed for posting on billboards or walls in the street and is, sadly, very hard to hang at home…
There is another raven related poster. This one comes from Japan and is pretty strange. It is 39″ x 29″ and shows four small images of the band members over a background photo showing the raven backdrop through smoke. It also features the band logo in fireworks (like the Tomorrow’s World TV appearance) in the corner. There is a UA logo bottom right. Quite an odd poster…
Shop display material
The UK release of The Raven in shops was promoted with a plethora of promotional display material. As with previous albums, there was a 20″x30″ free-standing cardboard display board but this one was different. The display consisted of a flat red board with the raven photo from the album’s cover. A plastic 3D effect clear sheet was placed over that which then revealed either the raven photo or the band logo and album title depending on the angle it was viewed at. Hopefully it comes across in the photos. Very novel and incredibly rare…
A range of shaped stickers were produced for use on shop windows which all featured the different, side view raven graphic. The stickers were made with differing orientations to fit in the different corners of windows. They measure 15″ x 12″.
Lastly a small, ceiling hanging raven mobile was made again featuring the side view of the raven. This design was only ever used in shop display material. These mobiles are 17″ across.
The UK album release was promoted using a sticker featuring the raven graphic with a band logo in red at its centre.
Strangely no press material for The Raven’s UK release seems to have surfaced. Please let us know if you have any. Some promo photos were produced including the iconic photo of the band in front of the raven symbol and also from the session where they appear wrapped in plastic…
There are six 1.25″ badges available relating to the release of The Raven. Firstly, a pair of badges were sold on the UK tour, one of which showed the full raven symbol whilst the other featured its head.
The band played at the Loch Lomond festival in Scotland that May and two badges were made for the event. One is a plain ‘Loch Rock’ design whilst the other features the legendary phrase ‘I was a victim of…’ which was first used back in 1976.
Also that summer, the band played at Wembley Stadium as special guests of the Who. A pair of badges were produced to commemorate the event and feature phrases inquiring ‘Who are’…
Tour programmes and related
1979 was the first year that tour programmes were produced for the band. Both the February and December Japanese tours that year had tour programmes for sale and they feature some beautiful and otherwise unpublished photos. The autumn UK tour had its own programme. All three are shown (L-R: Japan February; UK autumn; Japan December)
In addition to the December Japanese tour programme, an expanded and properly bound 64 page book called ‘The Mad World Of The Stranglers’ was produced. Its cover is almost identical to the December tour programme but has some additional text added. This featured the full contents of the programme itself but also a 15 track songbook with lyrics and sheet music, a discography and various other band images etc. Its purpose is unclear but it makes a unique and highly sought after item…
Sadly, it appears that UA stopped sending out their release sheets around the time of The Raven and even the ones around this time were split with other artists.
The Duchess one is shown. Anyone know what happened to Ossa?!
The final item relating to The Raven is a set of playing cards housed in a plastic case. The rear of the card features the band logo and raven symbol. A very nice little promo item…
Thanks to Stevie T for the XCert display image and Chelsea Danny for some Raven material
Next memorabilia feature- The Gospel According To The Meninblack, La Folie and The Collection 1977-1982
Photosession early 1979