Slade

Slade was an English hard-rock and pop band from Wolverhampton that scored sixteen UK Top 10 hits between 1971 and 1984. They evolved from beatsters The N’ Betweens and signed with Fontana for one 1969 album as Ambrose Slade.

In 1970, they met ex-Animal (and Hendrix manager) Chas Chandler, who refashioned them as skinheads under the shortened name Slade for the album Play It Loud, their first on Polydor. The following year, they appeared with long hair and flashy attire, scoring their first chart-topper, “Coz I Luv You.” Between 1972 and 1976, they released four studio albums and numerous standalone singles, topping the UK charts with “Take Me Bak ‘Ome,” “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” “Cum On Feel the Noize,” “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me,” and “Merry Xmas Everybody.”

During the late 1970s, Slade issued three albums on Barn Records Ltd. Between 1981 and 1987, they released four studio albums on RCA, finding newfound success with the 1983/84 hits “My Oh My” and “Run Runaway,” the latter marking their sole entry on the Billboard Top 20.

Members: Noddy Holder (vocals, guitar), Dave Hill (guitar), Jimmy Lea (bass), Don Powell (drums)


Background

Slade evolved from The The N’Betweens, a Midlands beat group that coalesced when guitarist Dave Hill and drummer Don Powell hired bassist Jimmy Lea and singer–guitarist Noddy Holder.

Hill (b. April 4, 1946) grew up in Penn, Wolverhampton, and purchased his first guitar through a mail-order catalog. He took guitar lessons from his science teacher and formed his first band, The Young Ones, with fellow pupils at Highfields Secondary school. The son of a mechanic, Hill worked as a teen for Tarmac Group, a Midlands construction supply company.

Powell (b. Sept. 10, 1946) emerged in Midlands beatsters The Vendors, which featured singer John Howells, guitarist Mick Marson, and bassist Dave ‘Cass’ Jones. The Vendors recruited Hill on lead guitar and morphed into The N’Betweens, which issued a 1965 EP on the French Barclay label. It features four cover songs: “Feel So Fine,” “Take a Heart,” “Little Nightingale,” and “You Don’t Believe Me.”

Lea (b. June 14, 1949) took up violin at age ten, inspired by French jazz-violinist Stéphane Grappelli. His parents owned the Grange pub in Bilbrook. In 1961, Lea joined the Staffordshire Youth Orchestra and earned first-class music honours. He took up piano, guitar, and bass in Nick & The Axemen, formed with fellow pupils at Codsall Comprehensive School. At sixteen, he auditioned for The N’Betweens.

Holder (b. June 15, 1946) spent his youth in Walsall’s Beechdale Estate, the childhood housing estate of Rob Halford. At thirteen, Holder formed the Rockin’ Phantoms with fellow pupils at T. P. Riley Comprehensive School. He drove his father’s window-cleaning van to gigs and gave lifts to fellow Midlands hopeful Robert Plant, who then fronted beatsters the Tennessee Teens. Holder formed a short-lived band called the Memphis Cutouts, then joined Steve Brett & the Mavericks, which briefly featured drummer John Bonham. Brett cut three 1965 singles on EMI Columbia with Holder on guitar and backing vocals.


The N’Betweens

In 1965, The Mavericks and The N’Betweens met on a ferry while en route to Germany. Hill and Powell befriended Holder, who joined The N’Betweens after the two parties reconvened in Wolverhampton. They opened local shows by assorted big-name acts (The Hollies, Yardbirds, Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, Spencer Davis Group).

In November 1966, The N’Betweens released their first single: the Otis Redding cover “Security” backed with the group-original “Girl Child, I Am An Evil Witchman.” American producer Kim Fowley produced both sides for the LA-based Highland Records label. “Evil Witchman” (title abridged) reappeared in December on their first Columbia EMI single: the Rascals cover “You Better Run.”

In 1967, The N’Betweens built their Midlands live reputation with a setlist comprised of Stax and Motown covers, rendered with the musical flash of Holder and Lea. They covered the Honeybus song “Delighted to See You,” which surfaced on the 1998 EMI archival comp Psychedelia at Abbey Road.

After two years of unrecorded live activity, Philips Records A&R Jack Baverstock spotted The N’Betweens. He offered them a deal on the condition they change their name. They settled on Ambrose Slade, taken from the nicknamed handbag (Ambrose) and shoes (Slade) of Baverstock’s secretary.


Ambrose Slade — Beginnings

Ambrose Slade debuted with Beginnings on May 9, 1969, on Fontana.It features the Holder–Lea original “Pity the Mother” and the group-written songs “Genesis,” “Roach Daddy,” and “Mad Dog Cole.”

Beginnings also features covers of The Amboy Dukes (“Journey to the Center of the Mind”), The Beatles (“Martha My Dear”), Frank Zappa (“Pity the Mother”), The Idle Race (“Knocking Nails into My House”), Marvin Gaye (“If This World Were Mine”), The Moody Blues (“Fly Me High”), and Steppenwolf (“Born to Be Wild,” “Everybody’s Next One”).

1. “Genesis” (3:16)
2. “Everybody’s Next One” (2:45)
3. “Knocking Nails into My House” (2:24)
4. “Roach Daddy” (3:03)
5. “Ain’t Got No Heart” (2:37)
6. “Pity the Mother” (3:57)

7. “Mad Dog Cole” (2:42)
8. “Fly Me High” (2:56)
9. “If This World Were Mine” (3:16)
10. “Martha My Dear” (2:19)
11. “Born to Be Wild” (3:24)
12. “Journey to the Center of the Mind” (2:46)

Roger Wake – producer, engineer
Richard Stirlin – photographer
Linda Glover – artwork

“Genesis” (b/w “Roach Daddy”) appeared one week ahead as their first single. In the US, Fontana issued Beginnings as Ballzy with an illustrated cover.


The Slade

Ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler became their manager, fresh off a two-year working relationship with his last success story, Jimi Hendrix.

The Slade, 4 Oct 1969

A: Wild Winds Are Blowing
B: One Way Hotel

Slade, 6 Mar 1970
A: Shape Of Things To Come
B: C’Mon C’Mon

18 Sep 1970
A: Know Who You Are
B: Dapple Rose


Play It Loud

Slade released their second album, Play It Loud, in November 1970 on Polydor (UK) and Cotillion (US).

1. “Raven” Jim Lea, Noddy Holder, Don Powell 2:37
2. “See Us Here” Lea, Holder, Powell 3:12
3. “Dapple Rose” Lea, Powell 3:31
4. “Could I” Jimmy Griffin, Robb Royer 2:45
5. “One Way Hotel” Lea, Holder, Powell 2:40
6. “The Shape of Things to Come” Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil 2:18

7. “Know Who You Are” Lea, Holder, Powell, Hill 2:53
8. “I Remember” Lea, Powell 2:55
9. “Pouk Hill” Lea, Holder, Powell 2:23
10. “Angelina” Neil Innes 2:49
11. “Dirty Joker” Lea, Powell 3:26
12. “Sweet Box” Lea, Powell 3:24

Producer Chas Chandler
George Chkiantz – engineer
Anton Mathews – mixing engineer
Gered Mankowitz – photography
Hamish and Gustav – sleeve design


1971

21 May 1971

A1: Get Down And Get With It
B1: Do You Want Me
B2: Gospel According To Rasputin

8 Oct 1971
A: Coz I Luv You
B: My Life Is Natural

28 Jan 1972
A: Look Wot You Dun
B: Candidate


Slade Alive!

In March 1972, Slade released the live album Slade Alive!

Recorded 19–21 October 1971
Venue Command Theatre Studios, 201 Piccadilly, London W1

1. “Hear Me Calling” Alvin Lee 5:46
2. “In Like a Shot from My Gun” Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Don Powell 3:33
3. “Darling Be Home Soon” John Sebastian 5:43
4. “Know Who You Are” Holder, Lea, Dave Hill, Powell 3:37

5. “Keep on Rocking” Holder, Lea, Hill, Powell 6:29
6. “Get Down and Get with It” Bobby Marchan 5:33
7. “Born to Be Wild” Mars Bonfire 8:12

Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[33] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[39] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[36] 5
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[34] 8
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[38] 18 

19 May 1972

A: Take Me Bak ‘Ome
B: Wonderin’ Y

25 Aug 1972

A: Mama Weer All Crazee Now
B: Man Who Speeks Evil


Slayed?

Slade released their third studio album, Slayed?, in November 1972 on Polydor.

1. “How d’You Ride” Noddy Holder, Jim Lea 3:11
2. “The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazee” Holder 3:35
3. “Look at Last Nite” Holder, Lea 3:05
4. “I Won’t Let It ‘Appen Agen” Lea 3:16
5. “Move Over” Janis Joplin 3:45

6. “Gudbuy T’Jane” Holder, Lea 3:32
7. “Gudbuy Gudbuy” Holder, Lea 3:28
8. “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” Holder, Lea 3:44
9. “I Don’ Mind” Holder, Lea 3:05
10. “Let the Good Times Roll / Feel So Fine” Leonard Lee 3:46

Chas Chandler – producer
Gered Mankowitz – cover photography
Chris Charlesworth – liner notes

Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[23] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[30] 1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[26] 2
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[24] 3
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[29] 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[27] 10
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[28] 10 

17 Nov 1972

A: Gudbuy T’ Jane
B: I Won’t Let It ‘Appen Agen

23 Feb 1973

A: Cum On Feel The Noize
B: I’m Mee, I’m Now, An’ That’s Orl

22 Jun 1973

A: Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me
B: Kill ‘Em At The Hot Club Tonite

“Let the Good Times Roll”
Released: August 1973 (US only)
“Move Over”
Released: November 1973 (Japan only)

In September 1973, the compilation Sladest appeared on Polydor and Reprise.

1. “Cum On Feel the Noize” Noddy Holder, Jim Lea 4:29
2. “Look Wot You Dun” Holder, Lea, Don Powell 2:57
3. “Gudbuy T’Jane” Holder, Lea 3:31
4. “One Way Hotel” Holder, Lea, Powell 2:39
5. “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me” Holder, Lea 4:35
6. “Pouk Hill” Holder, Lea, Powell 2:24
7. “The Shape of Things to Come” Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil 2:17

8. “Take Me Bak ‘Ome” Holder, Lea 3:13
9. “Coz I Luv You” Holder, Lea 3:24
10. “Wild Winds Are Blowing” Bob Saker, Jack Winsley 2:38
11. “Know Who You Are” Dave Hill, Holder, Lea, Powell 2:53
12. “Get Down and Get with It” Bobby Marchan 3:48
13. “Look at Last Nite” Holder, Lea 3:05
14. “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” Holder, Lea 3:44

28 Sep 1973

A: My Friend Stan
B: My Town

7 Dec 1973
A: Merry Xmas Everybody
B: Don’t Blame Me


Old New Borrowed and Blue

Slade released their fourth studio album, Old New Borrowed and Blue, on February 15, 1974, on Polydor and Warner Bros.

All tracks are written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, except “Just Want a Little Bit” by John Thornton, Ralph Bass, Earl Washington, Piney Brown and Sylvester Thompson

1. “Just Want a Little Bit” 4:00
2. “When the Lights Are Out” 3:05
3. “My Town” 3:06
4. “Find Yourself a Rainbow” 2:11
5. “Miles Out to Sea” 3:49
6. “We’re Really Gonna Raise the Roof” 3:09

7. “Do We Still Do It” 3:01
8. “How Can It Be” 3:01
9. “Don’t Blame Me” 2:32
10. “My Friend Stan” 2:41
11. “Everyday” 3:10
12. “Good Time Gals” 3:33

Chas Chandler – producer
Tommy Burton – piano (track 4)
Alan O’Duffy, George Chkiantz – engineer
Dave Ferrante – mixing
Wade Wood Associates – design
Ian Murray – art direction
Gered Mankowitz – photography

29 Mar 1974

A: Everyday
B: Good Time Gals

28 Jun 1974

A: The Bangin’ Man
B: She Did It To Me

11 Oct 1974
A: Far Far Away
B: O.K. Yesterday Was Yesterday


Slade in Flame

Slade released their fifth studio album, the soundtrack to Slade in Flame, on November 29, 1974, on Polydor and Warner.

1. “How Does It Feel” 5:54
2. “Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing” 3:27
3. “So Far So Good” 3:02
4. “Summer Song (Wishing You Were Here)” 3:36
5. “O.K. Yesterday Was Yesterday” 3:58

6. “Far Far Away” 3:37
7. “This Girl” 3:32
8. “Lay It Down” 4:08
9. “Heaven Knows” 3:55
10. “Standin’ On the Corner” 4:54

16 Nov 1974
A: Merry Xmas Everybody
B: Don’t Blame Me

7 Feb 1975
A: How Does It Feel?
B: So Far So Good

9 May 1975
A: Thanks For The Memory (Wham Bam Thank You Mam)
B: Raining In My Champagne

14 Nov 1975

A: In For A Penny
B: Can You Just Imagine

30 Jan 1976
A: Let’s Call It Quits
B: When The Chips Are Down


Nobody’s Fools

Slade released their sixth studio album, Nobody’s Fools, on March 5, 1976, on Polydor and Warner.

1. “Nobody’s Fool” 4:40
2. “Do the Dirty” 4:42
3. “Let’s Call It Quits” 3:30
4. “Pack Up Your Troubles” 3:25
5. “In for a Penny” 3:35

6. “Get on Up” 3:26
7. “L.A. Jinx” 3:58
8. “Did Ya Mama Ever Tell Ya” 3:06
9. “Scratch My Back” 3:06
10. “I’m a Talker” 3:18
11. “All the World Is a Stage” 3:57

Mid-1975
The Record Plant, New York
Chas Chandler – producer
Tasha Thomas – backing vocals
Paul Prestotino – dobro guitar
Corky Stasiak, Denis Ferranti, Gabby Gabriel, Gess Young – engineers
Ian A. Walker – art direction
Gered Mankowitz – photography

9 Apr 1976
A: Nobody’s Fool
B: L.A. Jinx


Whatever Happened to Slade?

Slade released their seventh studio album, Whatever Happened to Slade?, on March 21, 1977, on Barn Records.

All tracks are written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, except “My Baby Left Me: That’s Alright” by Arthur Crudup

1. “Be” 3:59
2. “Lightning Never Strikes Twice” 3:08
3. “Gypsy Roadhog” 3:23
4. “Dogs of Vengeance” 2:48
5. “When Fantasy Calls” 3:23
6. “One Eyed Jacks With Moustaches” 3:20

7. “Big Apple Blues” 4:38
8. “Dead Men Tell No Tales” 3:38
9. “She’s Got the Lot” 4:34
10. “It Ain’t Love But It Ain’t Bad” 3:09
11. “The Soul, the Roll and the Motion” 4:36

Chas Chandler – producer
Paul Hardiman – engineer
Gered Mankowitz – photography
Wade Woode Associates – artwork
Jo Mirowski – art direction

21 Jan 1977
A: Gypsy Roadhog
B: Forest Full Of Needles

15 Apr 1977
A: Burning In The Heat Of Love
B: Ready Steady Kids

14 Oct 1977
A: My Baby Left Me / That’s All Right
B: O.H.M.S.

24 Feb 1978
A: Give Us A Goal
B: Daddio


Slade Alive Vol. Two

In October 1978, Slade released their second live album Slade Alive Vol. Two.

13 Oct 1978
A: Rock ‘n’ Roll Bolero
B: It’s Alright Buy Me


Return to Base

Slade released their eighth studio album, Return to Base, on October 1979 on Barn.

25 May 1979
A: Ginny, Ginny
B: Dizzy Mama

26 Oct 1979
A: Sign Of The Times
B: Not Tonight Josephine

7 Dec 1979
A: Okey Cokey
B: My Baby’s Got It


We’ll Bring the House Down

Slade released their ninth studio album, We’ll Bring the House Down, on March 13, 1981, on Cheapskate Records.


Till Deaf Do Us Part

Slade released their tenth studio album, Till Deaf Do Us Part, on November 13, 1981, on RCA.


The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome

Slade released their eleventh studio album, The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, on December 3, 1983, on RCA.

In March 1984, a repackaged version of the album appeared on North American CBS as Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply.


Rogues Gallery

Slade released their twelfth studio album, Rogues Gallery, on March 29, 1985, on RCA (UK) and CBS (US).


Crackers: The Christmas Party Album

On November 18, 1985, Slade released the seasonal disc Crackers: The Christmas Party Album.


You Boyz Make Big Noize

Slade released their fourteenth and final studio album, You Boyz Make Big Noize, on April 27, 1987, on RCA.


Discography:

  • Beginnings (1969, Ambrose Slade)
  • Play It Loud (1970)
  • Slayed? (1972)
  • Slade Alive! (live, 1972)
  • Old New Borrowed and Blue (1974)
  • Slade in Flame (OST, 1974)
  • Nobody’s Fools (1976)
  • Whatever Happened to Slade? (1977)
  • Slade Alive Vol. Two (1978)
  • Return to Base (1979)
  • We’ll Bring the House Down (1981)
  • Till Deaf Do Us Part (1981)
  • The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome (1983)
  • Rogues Gallery (1985)
  • Crackers: The Christmas Party Album (1985)
  • You Boyz Make Big Noize (1987)

Sources:

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