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2023/4 Albums Thing 307 - Slade “Slayed?”

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Around the age of 12 my musical tastes started to, not narrow, but become more partisan shall we say. The cause of this was my growing obsession with the Black Country’s, nay, the country’s finest Glam Rockers, the mighty Slade. 

The first evidence of this growing obsession came when I bought…AN ALBUM. The album in question was “Slayed?”, their 3rd studio album but their first as bona fide pop stars. It was home to the singles “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” (#1 Sept 1972) and “Gudbuy T’ Jane” (#2 Dec 1972, the week of my birthday !) . It had a great picture of them on the cover looking like some rough arsed gang of Glam boot boys and all sporting the word SLADE biro’d across their knuckles (I’m sure they were going for the gang-tattoo look but I was 12, I didn’t know what a tattoo was, but I did have easy access to biro’s). 

Keeping those two singles company were a raft of Slade classics. Track 1 Side 1 “How D'You Ride" was considered as a single (maybe The Seers realised the potential in that opening riff when they lifted it for “Wild Man”); “The Whole World's Goin' Crazee" is good a time time rock ‘n’ roll song about being in a good time time rock ‘n’ roll band driven along by a stampeding herd of elephants style performance by Jim Lea and Don Powell; if you listen very carefully at the start of “I Won't Let It 'Appen Agen" you can hear Don shout “yeah” he was having such a good time playing it. 

Side 2 is made up of 4 bangers in a row by the now settled songwriting partnership of Holder/Lea including those #1 and a #2 singles plus “Gudbuy Gudbuy” and “I Don’ Mind’. Other than covers of Janis Joplin’s “Move Over” and live favourite “Let The Good Times Roll” Nod and Jim wrote all the songs on “Slayed?”.

I gotta make mention of a track that’s not on this album. I’ve always admired bands that made non-album singles. Record companies don’t want singles that aren’t on albums, they want singles on albums to help sell the albums. Non-album singles are a nuisance, something to put extra resources into, chiefly, an extra expense. Three of my very favourite bands often released non-album singles (is it a coincidence they were all on Polydor ?), The Jam, The Wonder Stuff and obviously Slade made one of THE greats in the thundering Glam Rock behemoth that is “Cum On Feel The Noize”. It was released after “Slayed?”, between it and “Old, New, Borrowed And Blue, it entered the charts at #1,  it stayed in the charts for 3 months! It is like a microcosm of all good things Slade, it’s loud, you can stomp about to it, it’s got an ace singalong chorus and think about what they’re asking you to do. They’re not asking you to listen to the noise or hear the noise or dance to the noise, they’re inviting you to FEEL THE NOIZE, and feel it I still do.

NME said “Slayed?” was "one of the greatest rock 'n' roll releases ever"! The Illinois Wheeling Herald concluded (and I love this especially as Slade never did crack America) "Slade is punk, street rock at its best and loudest" and no matter what you think of them Slade DID have an influence on Punk Rock. The juggernaut was rolling and Slade were about to become as big as it gets.

I Won't Let It 'Appen Agen - https://youtu.be/PlOsRKIQIJw?si=QE9az14DfnFHPNd1

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