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