|1. Street Life|
|2. Just Like You|
|6. A Song For Europe|
|7. Mother Of Pearl|
There wasn't as much a shift in the band's sound as is often claimed. Though toned down from the Eno period, the sonic oddities and experimentalism are still very much in evidence. Anyone first hearing the combined '50s fingerpoppin'/UFO landing intro of "Street Life" knew damn well they were witnessing something new under the sun. Rather, "Stranded" introduced a new conciseness in the band's performance, a more intensive focus. The meandering twelve-minute suites were gone, replaced by songs that started at 'A' and ended up... Well, they may have ended in the stratosphere of Jupiter, but, for the first time, they covered all the bases in between.
There are no poor songs on the album. Every cut is a gem, with preference a matter of taste. To my mind, standouts include the relentless "Mother of Pearl" (no more compelling song about romantic obsession has ever been released), "Psalm", a unique religious song (an example of the virtually ignored religious element of Glam, Bowie's "Soul Love" and Mott's "Hymn for the Dudes" being others), and the autumnal album closer "Sunset" (has anyone else noticed that the Ferry/Eno "I Thought" acts as an answer piece to this song, thirty years on?) The band never rocked harder than on "Street Life" and "Serenade". I'm sure there's even somebody out there who loves "Just Like You".
Roxy lost something after "Standed", a quality hard to identify, that was the band's alone, and which reached its peak with this album. They went on to make more popular albums, more polished albums, and albums that rocked harder. But never did they match the combination of originality, experimentalism, skill, flash, and what can only be called panache as they displayed on "Stranded". But, needless to say, nobody else did either.
With Eno gone, it is almost if Brian Ferry was trying to find his voice. Read more