The Gospel According to the Meninblack

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The Gospel According to the Meninblack
Stranglers - The Men In Black album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released7 February 1981
RecordedJanuary–August 1980
ProducerThe Stranglers
The Stranglers chronology
The Raven
The Gospel According to the Meninblack
La Folie
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2/5 stars [1]

The Gospel According to the Meninblack (or sometimes referred to as just The Meninblack) is the fifth album by English rock band The Stranglers, an esoteric concept album released in 1981. The album deals with conspiratorial ideas surrounding alien visitations to Earth, the sinister governmental Men in Black, and the involvement of these elements in well-known biblical narratives. This was not the first time The Stranglers had used this concept; Meninblack on the earlier The Raven album and subsequent 1980 single-release "Who Wants the World?" had also explored it.


The album is an elaboration of concepts first introduced by the band on the aforementioned track from their preceding LP, The Raven. Hugh Cornwell, former singer-songwriter and guitarist with the group, has stated his belief that the album is the pinnacle of The Stranglers' artistic and creative output, and he cites it as his favourite album by the band.[2] The Stranglers' bassist, Jean Jacques Burnel, regards the album as often techno in essence,[3] though The Meninblack predates the emergence of that genre by some years.

The single releases from the album were "Thrown Away" (UK chart position 42) and "Just Like Nothing On Earth".[4]

The album sold around 50,000 copies, peaking at No. 8 on the UK Albums Chart; it spent five weeks in the listings.[4] Parts of the distinctive opening instrumental "Waltzinblack" were later used as the theme music for Keith Floyd's BBC TV series, Floyd on Food. The Stranglers developed a tradition of opening their live performances with recorded excerpts of "Waltzinblack".

In a 2015 interview on British TV, Burnel stated that the band experimented with heroin in order to help their creative process and this album was the result.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed and arranged by The Stranglers

Side One
  1. "Waltzinblack" 3:38
  2. "Just Like Nothing On Earth" 3:55
  3. "Second Coming" 4:22
  4. "Waiting for the Meninblack" 3:44
  5. "Turn the Centuries, Turn" 4:35
Side Two
  1. "Two Sunspots" 2:32
  2. "Four Horsemen" 3:40
  3. "Thrown Away" 3:30
  4. "Manna Machine" 3:17
  5. "Hallow to Our Men" 7:26
CD bonus tracks
  1. "Top Secret" 3:27 (1988/2001 CD bonus track)
  2. "Maninwhite" 4:27 (1988/2001 CD bonus track)
  3. "Tomorrow Was Hereafter" 4:01 (2001 CD bonus track)


The Stranglers


  1. ^ Ogg, Alex. "The Stranglers: The Meninblack" at AllMusic. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  2. ^ "The Meninblack". Hugh Cornwell in the Torture Garden. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
  3. ^ Buckley, David (1997) : "No Mercy" (official biography of the Stranglers). Coronet books.
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 535. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ "The Stranglers BBC Breakfast 2015". BBC. January 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2018. "We thought it would help the creative process and the end result was an album that I'm personally still very proud of, which was The Gospel According to the Meninblack.
  6. ^ "The Stranglers - The Gospel According To The Meninblack". Discogs.

External links[edit]