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Black and White Import


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Biography

The story of how The Stranglers came into existence in the first place, is perhaps atypical of the music industry. No less surprising then, that it’s history too, is unusual. It began in 1973 and that story is both long and complex.

A lengthy discourse covering those formative days has now been covered in some considerable detail in Jet's musical odyssey elsewhere on these ... Read more in Amazon's Stranglers Store

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for 152 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Black and White + No More Heroes + Rattus Norvegicus
Price For All Three: £27.61

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Emi
  • ASIN: B0000246XL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,383 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Released in the summer of 1978 and cruelly denied the Number One spot by the decidedly non-New Wave Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Black and White--The Stranglers' third studio album--found Guildford's gruesomely confrontational punks persisting brilliantly with their angrified and melodiously intoxicating melange of Hugh Cornwell's scrubby telecaster guitar, Dave Greenfield's burbling psychedelic keyboards and Jean-Jacques Burnel's brutally flatulent bass. That said, the album marked a noticeable departure from the antagonism and political incorrectness of No More Heroes. Deadpan pessimism featured prominently on Side 2 (the "black side" in old vinyl terms) courtesy of the apocalyptically grim "Enough Time" and the Cold War neurosis of "Curfew". Burnel spouted the memorable line "Bring me a piece of my Mummy, she was quite close to me" on "Threatened" and also paid tribute to controversial Japanese poet Yukio Mishima on the almost funky "Death And Night and Blood". Cornwell, in comparision, was relatively jovial, satirising the sterility of Scandinavian life on "Sweden" ("too much time to think too little to do") and penning a memorable joyriding ode in the spirit of "Fun Fun Fun" or Chris Spedding's "Motorbikin'", except this one was called "Tank". Black and White's less morbid moments included the elongated (and probably the best ever version) of Bacharach & David's "Walk On By" (imagine an instrumental, New Wave version of Deep Purple), the biblically-versed punk-reggae of "Nice 'n' Sleazy", the epic "Toiler On The Sea" and the ungainly mesh of punk noise (including Laura Logic's squawky toy sax) that was "Hey! Rise Of The Robots" ("They're gonna want a union soon, oil break that's dead on noon"). A brilliant record, true, but the best was yet to come. Kevin Maidment

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Schnorbitz on 30 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD
With reference the negative review of this marvellous album I would just like to share an abiding memory of my youth. John Peel on his legendary show announcing that he had in his hands a copy of the new Stranglers Album Black and White. I clearly remembering him saying that he wanted to pick a track to play. But when he listened to it to choose one every track was so good that he couldn't choose. So he played the whole album, every track, back to back, without an interruption. The last word goes to John, I think.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The faces and poses on the cover say it all - the band that was beginning to drive themselves harder instead of falling apart. The music didn't suffer, it just became both more aggressive and more subtle (Up and Down?).
After the previous two albums this was a bit of a shocker. Suddenly the songwriting has taken on a new angle. There's the pseudo-reggae of 'Nice and Sleazy', the jaunty epic 'Toiler on the Sea', the dark and growling 'In the Shadows' and an up and down, black and white goodie bag of Stranglers classics.
From 'Rattus Norvegicus' to 'The Raven' they just didn't seem to be able to put a foot wrong. Rarely have 4 musicians fitted together like the perfect jigsaw that is the Stranglers.
The bonus tracks include the brilliant reworking of 'Walk on By' and an amazing 'Old Codger' with jazz officionado George Melly on vocals. The only thing this album lacks is the kitchen sink!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By timothykemp@sensorium.freeserve.co.uk on 13 Jan. 2000
Format: Audio CD
The Stranglers produced three albums in quick succession. 'Rattus Norvegicus', their first, was liked by much of the music media in 1977, while a few short months later saw the release of 'No More Heroes' - an album that was less favourably reviewed, but which, at the same time, led to The Stranglers charting with several of its tracks. Then, in 1978 came 'Black and White'. While the feel of the album was undeniably 'Strangleresque', the power of J.J.Burnell's bass guitar, the subtle weaving of Dave Greenfield's synth, the merciless pounding of Jet Black's drums and the distorted, overdriven - yet somehow 'controlled' lead guitar of Hugh Cornwell had become almost a single entity. The result, as heard on 'Black and White' is a set of superbly crafted songs (ignoring the free tracks 4 and 14 which don't belong on the original recording) which range from the subtle melodies of 'Outside Tokyo', and the positively restrained, yet still thrusting 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' - through the powerful assault of 'Tank', 'Sweden', 'Hey!' and 'Curfew' - those were the main 'White' parts of the album. Once again, as per The Stranglers trade-mark, bass guitar and drums form a superb pair of lead instruments, and Hugh Cornwell maintains the 'glue' of the group with his attacking lead guitar - somewhat less manic than Hugh's previous guitar playing, yet managing to give the whole proceedings even more 'drive' (if that's possible). Their rendition of 'Walk On By' (another 'bonus' track originally given away as a white vinyl 7" single with the album - all those years ago) is again typically re-created to suit their mood, with 'choppy' lead guiter, thudding bass and roller-coaster synth work.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. J. H. Thorn TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
The production values are the same as on their first two albums, but on 'Black And White' The Stranglers shift from schoolboy sniggers and misanthropy toward serious issues. They retain their confrontational stance, as ever, but 'Sweden' marks a new target, the nation. The first, 'white,' side of the original LP links with previous recordings and is, for the most part, quite manic, laced with the usual thrilling keyboard runs. Only the reggae-slanted 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' and the short, sober 'Outside Tokyo' differ from this approach. 'Tank' is familiar fare, about a recruit who can't wait to go out and 'maim.' 'Sweden' and 'Toiler On The Sea' are relentless epics and the pacy, sax-ridden 'Hey!' portrays a future in which machines rule.
The second side is the jaw-dropper. Visions of Russian invasion, stalkers, bloodlust and apccalypse are new and frightening areas. Gone also is the infectious hit potential, replaced by JJ Burnel's nightmarish vocal delivery, and plainer, repetitive patterns. Bonus tracks are the usual mixture of comical throwaways that appeared on b-sides and the free EP that came with the LP, plus the superb, 6-minute hit cover of 'Walk On By,' which was also featured on the EP. 'Black And White' is a leap forward for an already formidable band, but it doesn't make easy listening.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Whistlekiller on 28 July 2009
Format: MP3 Download
I've always loved this album, ever since it came out in 1978. Great collection of songs. Admittedly it could have done without "In The Shadows" (already released so a bit of a con) and "Enough Time" can drag a bit when you're sober, but for me there is nothing to touch one track - "Curfew" still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck 30+ years later. The time signature changes, the incredible mini-moog riff during the verses, Greenfield and Cornwell's harmony sung choruses in total contrast to Burnel's screamed statements and the final crashing, clanging four chords, the heaviest they ever got, even more than the previous year's "5 Minutes" and that's saying something. Buy it.
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