Black and White (The Stranglers album)

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Black and White
Stranglers - Black-White album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released12 May 1978
RecordedFebruary 1978 at T.W. Studios, Fulham, London
GenrePost-punk, punk rock, new wave
LabelUnited Artists
ProducerMartin Rushent
The Stranglers chronology
No More Heroes
Black and White
The Raven
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.


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".


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
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[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."[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by The Stranglers (Hugh Cornwell, Jean-Jacques Burnel, Dave Greenfield, Jet Black), except as noted. CD releases have a slightly different running order with 'In The Shadows' appearing after 'Threatened'.

White Side
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
Black Side
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"
1."Walk on By"Burt Bacharach, Hal David6:22
2."Mean to Me" 1:55
3."Tits" 5:25
2001 CD reissue bonus tracks
13."Mean to Me" 1:55
14."Walk on By"Bacharach, David6:22
15."Shut Up" 1:07
16."Sveridge" 2:49
17."Old Codger" 2:49
18."Tits" 5:25


The Stranglers
Additional personnel


  1. ^ "I huvudet på en gammal punkare", 2006 article in online Swedish magazine, Blaskan | Archived 23 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Stranglers | Artist | Official Charts". Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b Ogg, Alex. "Black and White – The Stranglers". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  5. ^ Robbins, Ira. " :: Stranglers". Retrieved 27 April 2013.

External links[edit]