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In the Shadows  The Stranglers

The Stranglers - In The Shadows
Tabbed By: Reecy
Tuning: Standard (E A D G B E)

Transcription by: Richard Stanforth (
Date of Transcription: 1st April 2002
This transcription and more is exclusive to and can be found at :-
This transcription was an extremely painful experience, I didn't know there were so damn many
variations in this damn song! What on the surface just seems like a catchy bass riff and
repetetive lyrics is actually much much more. First off, Hugh varies his guitar part
extremely regularly throughout this song, and I've tried my hardest to transcribe most
of these variations. I think most of them are at least 88% right. Comments are welcome!
I've provided the basic root notes of the bassline
as 5th chords as there are no actual chords to the song.
intro (bass): A5 C5 - A5 C5 - A5 C5, A5 G5 E5
A5 C5, A5 G5 E5
 D--------14-------12-------10-----9------7-----6-----5----| *let ring

(riff 1)
 D-------5----------| *let ring

A5 G5 E5 (riff 1)
When you're walking on the street at night
A5 G5 E5 (riff 1)
You turn around and die of fright
[A5]What's th[G5]at in the [E5]shadows?
[A5]What's th[G5]at in the [E5]shadows?
[A5] [C5] [A5] [G5] [E5]  
(riff 2) (riff 3)
 E-------------------| E--------------------------------|
 B------14-----------| B-----13------------13-----------|
 G----------14-------| G---------13------------13-------|
 D--14----------14---| D--14---------13*-----------13---|
 A-------------------| A--------------------------------|
 E-------------------| E--------------------------------|

A5 (r.2) C5
Walking down the streets at night
A5 (r.3) G5 E5
Turn around and you die of fright
A5 (r.2) G5
Walking on the streets at night
[C5]Turn around and die of [F5]fright
A5 (r.4) C5
What's that in the shadows?
A5 (r.5) G5 E5
What's that in the shadows?
(riff 4) (riff 5)
 E-------------| E--5*-----|
 B--10*--------| B--8*-----|
 G--9*---------| G--5*-----|
 D--7*---------| <- hit with lots of attack D--5*-----| <- backwards strum w/lots
 A--0*---------| and let ring A--7*-----| of attack
 E-------------| E--5*-----|

A5 (r.6) C5 (r.7) A5 G5 E5
(riff 6) (riff 7)
 E-----------| E-------------|
 B--7*-------| B--14*--------|
 G--7*-------| <- hit w/lots of G--14*--------|
 D--7*-------| attack (note: D--14*--------|
 A--0*-------| riff 7 is played A--0*---------|
 E-----------| slightly out of E-------------|

time on the recording!
[A5]Is i[G5]t a [E5]dog, [A5]is i[G5]t a [E5]cat?
A5(r.8) E5 A5 G5 E5
Is it a dog, what do you think of that? (riff 8)
 A5 C5 E----------------|------------------|
 When you're walking on the streets at night B--17--14h15p14--|-17--14h15--------|
 A5 G5 G----------------|-----------13--14-|
 Turn around and die of fright D----------------|------------------|
 A5 (r.1) C5 A----------------|------------------|
 What's that in the shadows? E----------------|------------------|

A5 (r.1) G5 E5 ^ 98% right, got stuck on the
What's that in the shadows? discordant bit ^
[G5]Is it a do[E5]g, [D5]is it a [C5]cat?
[G5]Is it a do[E5]g, [F5]what do you think of that?
[A5]When you're walking on the streets at [C5]night
[A5]Moving[G5] shiny [E5]bright
[A5]Walking on the [C5]night
[A5]When you[G5]'re walking[E5] on the streets at night
[A5]Oh [G5] - [E5] look a[A5]roun[G5]d you[E5]
[A5]Oh [G5] - [E5] look a[A5]roun[G5]d you[E5]
[A5] [C5] [A5] [G5] [E5]  
A5 C5 A5 (r.9) G5 E5
When you're walking on the streets at night
A5 (r.10) C5 A5 (r.9) G5 E5
When you turn around and die of fright
(riff 9) (riff 10)
 E--3--s--5---- E-------------
 B--3--s--5---- B--10--s--7---
 G--4--s--6---- <- hit with a lot of G--10--s--7--- <- hit with lots of attack, but
 D--5--s--7---- attack D--10--s--6--- make the slide really sloppy, as
 A--5--s--7---- A------------- well as the fingering of the second
 E--3--s--5---- E------------- chord, listen to the recording to

see what I mean
(riff 11)
[G] [A] 

Who's there in the shadows?
<..short bass bit..>
A5 C5 A5 G5 E5 ('what's that in the shadows'...etc.)
(play riff 12)
[A5]Oh [G5] - [E5] look a[A5]round[G5] you[E5]
[A5]Oh [G5] - [E5] look a[A5]round[G5] you[E5]
(riff 12)

bass riff repeats with Hugh picking riff 1 until song ends on the bass
note of A.

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A A5 C5 D5 E5 F5 G G5
Rate #1 of 2 versions

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