BMG [Release date 31.05.19]
One for vinyl lovers, this box is, even at first view, an amazing package.
With their roots in the late 60s, Slade found fame in the early 70s and were front runners in the UK Glam scene, with some massive world-wide hits. There’s lots more to the perennial ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’, the band have quite an extensive catalogue.
For collectors, the area of foreign picture sleeves is a massive part of the fun. From the mid 80s onwards, many world-wide releases were fairly consistent, track choices, b-sides and picture sleeves. If not the same they more often than not followed a theme. However, in the 70s, very few UK single releases had a picture sleeve, and certainly across Europe (and Japan, and occasionally elsewhere too), it was free reign. As a Nazareth collector I have over 200 45s, and 24 copies of Cozy Powell’s ‘Dance With The Devil’, many with unique picture sleeves. Some are as common as the UK issue, whilst others can run into 3 figures.
From Noddy Holder’s arresting vocals to guitarist Dave Hill’s dress sense, the band had a pretty unique look and sound. Something I’m sure you’re all familiar with.
Here the 10 singles have a rare sleeve, something that will be new to many. And they’re solid cardboard, there’s a great feel to them (many of the original sleeves were thin paper and easily damaged).
‘Opener Coz I Love You’ features a violin and is a solid track. There’s an interesting video on YouTube of Holder with a guitar, Hill playing bass and bassist Jim Lee playing violin (he played both on the record). A rare band shot on the sleeve. ‘Take Me Bak ‘Ome’ is a rawer track with plenty of fuzz. A rarity in its own right being a non album single.
No band photo on’ Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, but some crazy art on this major hit. An interesting monochrome band pic on’ Gudbuy T’Jane’, another 1972 catchy number.
‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, another number 1 hit and non album single, features a nice live shot on the sleeve. This song really typifies the Slade sound and energy. Totally rocking.
‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’ is another classic and another rare band photo on the sleeve. ‘My Friend Stan’ has another live shot, a great song that moved away from the trad Slade sound. Bassist Lee doubles up on piano.
A fuzzy colour photo on ‘Everyday’ has a festive feel, the song more the ballad.
‘Far Far Away’ comes from the ‘Slade In Flame’ soundtrack, a gentler song in a lovely colour sleeve.
Final track ‘Night Starvation’ is mocked up as a rare promo in a custom sleeve. All part of a lovely package.
The whole package is just lovely to hold, look at, feel, and maybe a doorway into the never ending story of collecting such master pieces from around the world.
This is only a sample, a very small sample. With a catalogue as comprehensive as Slade’s, such a box could go on here, so we’ll leave it as a sample, a very very fine one.
Not only is the music as classic as British Glam Rock ever got, but the package epitomises vinyl collecting at its finest. Part of an essential collection or maybe even the start of a whole new cause of expenditure. *****
Review by Joe Geesin
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