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2023/4 Albums Thing 312 - Slade “Whatever Happened To Slade ?”

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Other than a few singles this is where me and Slade go our separate ways. There are a few reasons for that but the two main ones are…

Looking back this is the start of what I now refer to as “Slade…the Heavy Metal years”. Tracks like “Be”, “Lightning Never Strikes Twice” and “Dogs Of Vengeance” lean very much more toward Metal than I’m comfortable with. Apart from very few exceptions, most of which are what I would call Rock bands (AC/DC, Motörhead, Thin Lizzy), I find Heavy Metal a ridiculous style aimed at children, something you should grow out of. 

There are classic Slade songs in here, the single “Gypsy Roadhog” (the greatest song about snorting mountains of Cocaine that ever got past the Radio One censors), “One Eyed Jacks With Moustaches” and “The Soul, The Roll And The Motion” are as good as anything from Slade’s heydays. There are a couple of stinkers too but it was the Metal-ness of some of it that bothered me.

The second reason that this is where we part ways was that on Thursday, 5th May 1977 I went to my first gig, Slade at the Birmingham Hippodrome as it happens. The gig was fantastic BTW, I’m not suggesting it was one of the reasons we parted company. Just over 3 weeks after the gig, 22 days to be exact, on Friday 27th May 1977 Virgin Records released the Sex Pistols second single “God Save The Queen” and upon hearing that it turned my world upside down, inside out and changed my life for good. Once I’d discovered Punk Rock, Slade weren’t gonna cut it no more.

An honourable mention for the artwork on “Whatever Happened To Slade”. It has a picture of all four members in their then current garb standing next to billboard pictures of themselves in “skinhead Slade” days. It’s a great image and Don still looks as hard as a genuine skin.

I don’t need to ask whatever happened, after a few more singles (“Ginny Ginny”, “Give Us A Goal”, “Burning In The Heat Of Love”) I stopped buying Slade releases. They eventually resurrected their career in the early ‘80’s after going full on Metal, it didn’t appeal to me at all and apart from one single (1987’s “You Boyz Make Big Noize”) Slade never troubled my ears apart from the early 70’s classics of course. 

Slade were my first musical obsession and are still a massively underrated band. I’ll always love ‘em.

The Soul, The Roll And The Motion - https://youtu.be/13BbSa2MsW8?si=Zkf6MfU2DFBkEJ1-

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