J.J. Burnel

Armed with a Fender Precision, John Entwistle’s Rotosound round-wound strings, and a background in classical guitar; bassist, vocalist, composer, producer Jean-Jaques Burnel places his plectrum in proximity to the bridge – and the rest, as we say, is rock ‘n’ roll history which continues to this day with The Stranglers.

His raucous reggae grooves beneath “Peaches” the growling blues licks which underpin “Dead Ringer,” his crisp execution throughout the ska inflected “Something Better Change,” the deep resonance and space from the almost-heavy- metal “Do You Wanna,” his tumbling flange fueled lines from “Longships,” his warped disco octave motifs on “Shah Shah A Go Go,” his abbreviated dare-I-say New Romantic stance on “Skin Deep,” his interpretation of American funk on “No Mercy” – and that’s just a sampling of Burnel’s brilliance from the first decade of classic Stranglers collections, not counting his varied yet always adventurous solo canon.

And I dig J.J.’s work on Pat DiNizio’s fantastic debut platter Songs and Sounds (1997).