_Golden Brown_ works on two levels. It's about heroin and also about a girl
- Hugh Cornwell
A candidate for the best number two hit of all time, “Golden Brown” was kept off the top spot by “Town Called Malice” in February 1982. Over time it has gone from being an album track to something that got a bit of radio play, to a hit single, to the kind of track familiar to fans and non-fans of The Stranglers alike, and a cookie-cutter radio staple.
As a kid, listening to it, you find yourself drawn in by something you instinctively grasp as different from the rest, without truly knowing what’s going on. These are not the instruments of a punk band, or a chart band, and there’s something intriguing but not quite right about the time signature (it’s the additional beat that switches it from 6/8 to 7/8 every other measure…)