Peaches

Album: Rattus Norvegicus (1977)
Charted: 8
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Songfacts®:

  • The Allman Brothers released an album in 1972 called Eat A Peach, which makes sense considering their home state of Georgia is "The Peach State." The title is also a slang term for cunnilingus, but that's up for interpretation, as are The Stranglers' peaches. This song finds a man hanging out on a lovely beach, looking at the beautiful women. The peaches are either a fond term for the girls he spots, or a more lascivious reference to their vaginas. A generation later, the Presidents of the United States of America released their own ambiguous song about peaches.
  • This was the second single released by The Stranglers (not counting promo releases). When we spoke with their frontman JJ Burnel, he explained how the song came together: "In the very early days, in order to earn a bit of money, we had a little PA, and one day we were signed to a black label called Safari, which was more or less a reggae label. We hadn't released anything. But the owner phoned us up one day and said, 'Look, do you want a few pounds to augment your PA to a sound system?' Well, we didn't know what 'sound system' was.

    So we turned up in part of London and we were the only white guys there. We stuck our PA to their sound system, and there was an awful lot of grass going about. We were kind of excluded from the line of grass. And lo and behold, I discovered sound systems, which were I suppose an early form of rap. You'd have a toaster: a black guy talking sort of stream of consciousness over mainly a bass and drums backing rhythm. Reggae. It was all reggae. What you might know as 'dub.' So you have a delay on the snare or something, there'd be a lot of separation and mainly bass speakers throughout the total.

    So we stayed there for the whole gig. And at the end of it, I was hooked on the idea that the bass should be the most dominant feature. So I went back to where we were living and that night, came up with the three notes which constitute 'Peaches.' And of course, I wanted to make a reggae song out of it. But we didn't quite get the snare in the right beat. But never mind. We Strangle-fied it. We interpreted a reggae theme in The Stranglers way, which became 'Peaches.'"

Comments: 1

  • Zabadak from London, EnglandA radio-friendly version was created with the offending words replaced. The b-side of this was Go Buddy Go, les punk and more in the band's pub-rock roots style. Reached #8 in 1977 in the UK.
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