Forgotten Bands of the 1970s: Slade

Forgotten Bands of the 1970s: Slade

If you’re in the UK or Europe, you’re probably wondering what the heck Slade is doing here. If you’re from the US, however, you can consider yourself knowledgeable if you know their two monster hits from the early 1980s, Run Runaway and My Oh My. What Slade are best known for in the US, however, is being the band who were the original artists for Quiet Riot’s two metal classics, Cum On Feel the Noize and Mama Weer All Crazee Now.

slade.jpgIn the early 1970s, Slade were the UK’s biggest glam band everywhere but the US. According to Wiki, they had 17 straight Top 20 hits and six number one singles, not to mention a lot of goofy misspellings! In the US, we were pretty much limited to one album: Sladest, a collection of most of their hits up to 1973, although we were also limited to 10 tracks. It wasn’t until the CD was released with the full UK album that I learned the US had been cheated of another four songs!

The album opens up with the aforementioned Cum On Feel the Noize, showing that Quiet Riot’s version was an almost note-for-note copy, albeit a bit heavier. Even Quiet Riot’s singer (Kevin DuBrow) sounds like a copy of Noddy Holder. It also sets the blueprint for much of Slade’s music: having fun in life.

The video below will give you an idea of the band that sold more records in the UK in the 1970s than any other.

The next song, Look Wot You Dun, slows down the tempo, showing that Slade could play more than party songs. A good thing, because the next several songs are nothing but the good time rock n’ roll Slade is most known for, including Gudbuy T’Jane and Skweeze Me Pleeze Me.

The US version including My Friend Stan, but this was left off the UK version for some reason, even though it was a #2 hit. Both versions also leave off Slade’s biggest hit of all, Merry Xmas Everybody, which is to UK Christmas music what White Christmas is to the US. It’s re-entered the charts multiple times in the UK, most recently in 2013.

The album ends with three brilliant rockers in a row that should have even the most adamant of rock hater’s toes tapping: Get Down and Get With It, Look at Last Nite, and Mama Weer All Crazee Now.

The band are still around with lead guitarist Dave Hill and drummer Don Powell, but without Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea (the two wrote nearly all of Slade’s songs), it’s not the same. You can learn more about the band’s current activities at their website here.