Aural Sculpture was placed at number 14 in the U.K. album charts in November 1984. There were 3 singles released from the Album called "Skin Deep" (Number 15 in the UK singles chart),"No Mercy" (Number 37 in the UK singles chart) & "Let Me Down Easy" (number 48 in the UK singles chart) all were accompanied by 12" single versions. "No Mercy" had a further two format releases in picture disc and EP.
As part of The Stranglers' celebration of their Ruby Anniversary, the definitive collection of the B-side recordings they made whilst signed to Epic is released for the first time, via their own label. Appropriately, as befits a band marking forty years together, Here & There: The Epic B-sides Collection 1983-1991 gathers 40 tracks across 2 CDs and is also released as a 40 track digital package. The Stranglers released no less than 13 singles in the UK during this period, which saw them produce five albums: four studio and one live. The Stranglers signed to Epic Records in 1982 having been with United Artists / Liberty since 1977. The change of label coincided with changes in marketing policy across the UK industry - often dubbed "the Frankie Goes to Hollywood effect". Previously, The Stranglers' had released only one 12" single - an extended version of Bear Cage in 1980 - but from 2nd Epic single, Midnight Summer Dream until 1990, each release had a 12" version which required extra studio or, increasingly, live tracks to "add value" to the package.
Despite its rather cheeky title, Greatest Hits 1977-1990 is a good place to sample the entire Stranglers output. From the squalor of the late-'70s material, to the smoothed-out gloom pop of songs like "Skin Deep" and other mid- to late-'80s neo-goth rock, this is a solid anthology that values substance over style and exhaustive track selection. For sure, a well-edited Stranglers anthology is the only way to enjoy them; they recorded way too much dross to spend time searching out all of their plentiful, marginal records.
To speak about this extensive set of music allegorically, "Space 'n' Bass" is like an aquarium full of beautiful and varied tropical fish, each interesting in it's own way, whether breathtakingly colorful, exotically compelling or curiously fascinating. And by the very nature of the mediums, both the fish in the imaginary aquarium and the music in these CDs achieve relaxing and beautiful movement via endless repetition and effectively enjoyed for limited time periods only. This is not to say that "Space 'n' Bass" is boring; it boasts an impressive array of ambient electronica offering ample doses of acid jazz, jungle, world-beat and beat-box percussive underpinnings, a nice balance of analog, digital and sampled textures, a smattering of other instruments, infectious bass patterns and surprising aural constructions…