5 Minutes

Album: The Stranglers IV (1978)
Charted: 11

Songfacts®:

  • The 5 minutes referred to in this song is the time it takes to drive from the sketchy area of West Hampstead, London to the palatial estates of Bishops Avenue. In our interview with Stranglers lead singer JJ Burnel, he explained: "I just thought that there was a juxtaposition there between the comfort of all these gated protected communities with cameras and electronic entrances and our situation on the fifth floor of an old apartment building, where people could just come in and rape someone."
  • The rape described in this song really happened. JJ Burnel told us: "I was sharing a flat with a bloke called Wilko Johnson, who was a guitarist for the band Dr. Feelgood - a UK rhythm and blues band. They had really peaked, they had got to #1 the year before. I was sharing a flat with him and a girl who worked for the Sex Pistols. That flat was an amazing thing. It was 1977, so all kinds of people would walk through. Lemmy from Motörhead was a good friend of Wilko's and various people, members of the Clash and Sex Pistols.

    And while I was away gigging one night, the girl, she got raped. Which more or less constituted the end of our stay there, because the apartment was tainted."
  • There are some French lyrics at the end of this song, which go along with the rape story. "cherie enculée" roughly translates to "girl who is f--ked."

Comments: 1

  • Zabadak from London, EnglandSuperior Stranglers single, with Rok It To The Moon on the flip. Reached #11 in the UK in 1978.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Rock Stars of Horror

Rock Stars of HorrorMusic Quiz

Rock Stars - especially those in the metal realm - are often enlisted for horror movies. See if you know can match the rocker to the role.

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.