BMG [Release date 25.09.20]
You have to love Slade – one of Britain’s finest hit makers during the 70s and were strongly associated with the glam rock and hard rock scenes. But with a unique frontman (and one of the most powerful and recognisable voices in rock), solid song writing and genuine talent, and a keen ear for the catchy, there’s a lot to this band.
Formed in the late 60s, Slade ruled the 70s and in their original guise kept going until the late 80s. This album, 43 tracks over 2 CDs, is not only good value, but contains most of what you need to know about the band. Cum On Feel The Noize, Coz I Luv You, Gudbuy T’Jane, Radio Wall Of Sound and the perennial Merry Xmas Everybody are all here, but what adds and really makes it worth buying is the material from the late 70s, where Slade became more experimental.
Aside some decent hard rock, tracks like 1976’s Let’s Call It Quits could be a rock’n’roll power ballad. And I have to admit I was unfamiliar with 1977’s Burning In The Heat Of Love, but know the song very well through the 1984 Girlschool version. Then at the turn of the 80s and the big Slade comeback, and 1981’s Knuckle Sandwich Nancy typical of the hard Slade put out at the time.
Then there’s 1984’s Run Run Away, a track I grew up with at school – and proof that even when Slade weren’t glamming it up there was always an anthemic feel. Crunchy riffs, a rolling rhythm and the unmistakeable Noddy Holder up front, what’s not to love?
Several tracks from 1971, and there’s a good spread over the years, closing with 1991’s Radio Wall Of Sound, a commercial rocker that was more a Jim Lea solo song (Noddy sang backing vocals), and that was the beginning of the end for the band. Amongst the plethora of hit collections around, this has a better spread and is therefore a better and more complete intro to their full career. In that 20 year slot, chemistry riffs and hits that should be a part of everyone’s record collection. ****1/2
Review by Joe Geesin
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