Ask any sladehead and they’ll tell you that SLADE isn’t just for Christmas…
Rock enthusiasts have been singing their praises for years. Ask Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx and Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore … they’ll all tell you the same thing: SLADE were sensational and their legacy is enduring…
The Wolverhampton band rose to prominence in the glam rock era of the early 1970s, but it was never truly a glam outfit, not in the same way that Sweet would be or for that matter, how fellow Black Country heroes Wizzard would turn out.
After former Animal bassist and spinmeister extraordinaire Chas Chandler took over Ambrose Slade as artist-manager he sliced off the “Ambrose” bit and turned Noddy Holder (lead vocals, guitar) Jim Lea (bass, vocals) Don Powell (drums) and superyob Dave Hill (lead guitar, vocals) into a bunch of mean-looking skin ‘eads.
He moved them over to Polydor records and released (for the second time) their cover of Little Richard’s “Get Down and Get With It” (written by Bobby Marchan). With their new bovver-boy image and a big label behind a newly shortened name, the re-release charted; thus demonstrating that tenacious persistence is all you need if you want to get anywhere in rock.
By the time the luscious “Coz I Luv You” (written in half an hour by Holder / Lea) had arrived, the band had grown their hair out, put away their snarls and fists and Dave (in particular) had started to become conspicuously snazzy in silver foil and spangles. Though they kept their “bovver boots” — coz they were alright for stompin’.
This was in 1971 and the band took on the likes of Elton John, Alice Cooper, Mott the Hoople, and T. Rex on TV. So they had to be theatrical and they had to be showy. But really, deep down, they were a classic rock band.
They put on thunderous concerts. And they attracted as many boys as they did girls. They were blistering loud and they were braying good fun. When they released “Gudbuy T’ Jane” in 1972 you could tell that, under the eyeliner and the tinsel, were four heavy rockers trying to get out.
1973’s “Cum on Feel the Noize” went straight to number one and is probably the most memorable sizzle of the year. But no less important was the follow-up “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me” — which also went right into the top spot. And don’t forget, they were up against Paper Plane era Status Quo, 48 crashing Suzi Quatro, Living For the City Stevie Wonder, joking Steve Miller, Abba in the ring, and smoking Deep Purple. In other words, they took on the best rock acts this world has ever seen and still made it straight to the top!
After their Slade in Flame movie, an American tour felt flat and by the time “Let’s Call It Quits” was released in early 1976, we all knew how they felt.
Their “Nobody’s Fools” album moved their sound from stomping loud to soulful reflective. But here’s a thing: they never sold out. Many people don’t recall that this was exactly how the ‘N Betweens (pre-Ambrose Slade) began…
SLADE started their musical adventure — in the mid-1960 — playing soul and rhythm and blues covers in the Stax style. In other words, they came full circle.
BMG will release Slade’s “Cum On Feel The Hitz” on September 25, 2020. It is a comprehensive collection of Slade’s singles from 1970 to 1991
The collection will include the six UK number one singles: “Coz I Luv You”, “Take Me Bak ‘Ome”, ”Mama Weer All Crazee Now”, “Cum On Feel The Noize”, “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me“ and “Merry Xmas Everybody” . There’s a total of 16 Top 10 singles in the collection!
“Cum On Feel The Hitz” is to be released as a double CD and a 2LP collection: the CD comprises of 43 singles, while the double vinyl features 24 singles.