Black and White (The Stranglers album)

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Black and White
Studio album by The Stranglers
Released 12 May 1978
Recorded February 1978 at T.W. Studios, Fulham, London
Genre Post-punk, punk rock, new wave
Length 39:50
Label United Artists
Producer Martin Rushent
The Stranglers chronology
No More Heroes
(1977)
Black and White
(1978)
The Raven
(1979)
Singles from Black and White
  1. "Nice 'n' Sleazy"
    Released: 1978
  2. "Walk on By"
    Released: 1978

Black and White is the third studio album by English new wave band The Stranglers. It was released on 12 May 1978, through record label United Artists.

Background[edit]

As with The Stranglers' first two albums, Black and White was produced by Martin Rushent. The album sees The Stranglers adopting a more experimental approach to song structures and time signatures (for example, "Curfew" features 7/4 time).[citation needed]

The band recorded a version of "Sweden" sung in Swedish, called "Sverige" and released it in Sweden. The song was partly inspired by Cornwell's PhD placement at Lund University in the mid-1970s. In an anecdote related in the Swedish online magazine, Blaskan, it is stated that the song was inspired by a disastrous visit to Sweden during a European tour, when a gig was violently interrupted by a gang of "raggare" (greasers). [1]

The song title "Death and Night and Blood" is taken from a line from Yukio Mishima's novel Confessions of a Mask.

The song "In the Shadows" had previously been released as the B-side to the band's 1977 single "No More Heroes".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by The Stranglers (Hugh Cornwell, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Dave Greenfield, Jet Black), except as noted. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Tank"   2:54
2. "Nice 'n' Sleazy"   3:11
3. "Outside Tokyo"   2:06
4. "Sweden (All Quiet on the Eastern Front)"   2:47
5. "Hey! (Rise of the Robots)"   2:13
6. "Toiler on the Sea"   5:23
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Curfew"   3:10
2. "Threatened"   3:30
3. "Do You Wanna"   2:38
4. "Death and Night and Blood (Yukio)"   2:50
5. "In the Shadows"   4:15
6. "Enough Time"   4:16
Bonus 7"
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Walk on By"   Burt Bacharach, Hal David 6:22
2. "Mean to Me"     1:55
3. "Tits"     5:25

Release[edit]

Black and White was released on 12 May 1978. The album peaked at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart, spending eighteen weeks in the chart.[2]

The first 75,000 LPs came with a free white vinyl 7" composed of three tracks: "Walk on By" (a cover of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song written for and originally recorded by Dionne Warwick), "Mean to Me" and "Tits".

The US version of the album, on the A&M label, was pressed on black and white marbled vinyl, but came without the three-track single.

Singles released from the album were "Nice 'n' Sleazy", b/w "Shut Up", and "Walk on By", b/w "Tank" and "Old Codger". "Old Codger" featured a guest vocal from jazz singer George Melly. An edited version of "Walk on By" with "Tank" was also pressed as a double A-side radio-play single.

Most of these tracks were included in the remastered 2001 CD re-issue of the album.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[3]
Trouser Press unfavourable[4]

Retrospective critics generally view Black and White in a lesser light to the band's previous albums. AllMusic called it "arguably the weakest" of The Stranglers' first three albums, "yet it still has some absolutely stunning moments."[3] Trouser Press wrote, "Black and White lacks only good songs. Except for 'Nice 'n' Sleazy', most of the tracks are merely inferior rehashes of earlier work, making the LP easily forgettable."[4]

Personnel[edit]

The Stranglers
Additional personnel
Technical

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I huvudet på en gammal punkare", 2006 article in online Swedish magazine, Blaskan | http://www.blaskan.nu/Blaskan/Nummer44/Punkspecial/i_huvudet_pa_en_gammal_punkare_capo.html
  2. ^ "Stranglers | Artist | Official Charts". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Ogg, Alex. "Black and White – The Stranglers : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Robbins, Ira. "trouserpress.com :: Stranglers". trouserpress.com. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 

External links[edit]