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Slade - Feel The Noize: The Singlez Box (BMG)

1 October 2019

The early part of the seventies was a period when music became very serious, almost too serious. Giant, monumental landscapes of sound were formed to create albums, consisting of one or two sections of music, in turn making albums more conceptual, and cinematic. The three-minute single was now relegated as a byproduct, and the main artistic vehicle became the long-player. This was the age of progressive rock, and dancing to the music was not the done thing, it was a more recreational time for a more absorbing sound.

Thankfully a new sub-genre erupted to counteract this called Glam Rock. Spearheaded by the late Marc Bolan and T Rex, this good time form of music became an entity to dance to, making rock music fun again. From this came one of the most successful British singles acts since The Beatles, believe it or not it was Slade. That may seem like a bold statement, until attention is paid to the stats. Between 1971 to 1975 Slade racked up six number-one singles, and a further seven top ten singles. They became one of the first British acts to have three singles enter the charts at number one. As for albums, in the same period, they had three number one long-players. 

Slade then consisted of Jim Lea, Don Powell, Noddy Holder and Dave Hill all  hailing predominantly from the UK town of Wolverhampton. The songwriting partnership of Holder and Lea was as instrumental to seventies music as Jagger/Richards or Page/Plant. Viewed wrongly by the hierarchy as a novelty act, an Achilles heel which hung over their heads throughout their career and stunted the clever creativity at the core of the band. The outfit originally starting out as a more angry, mod act, a far cry from what they would come eventually become, as their first album and single releases bombed, a direction change was needed if they were to continue.

Instrumental in their success was ex- Animals bassist and Hendrix producer, Chas Chandler. A move to Polydor records, an embracing of the up and coming Glam Rock scene, along with Chandler’s insistence that they write their own material all set Slade for success. The first product of their self-penned style was the release “Cuz I Love You”, backed by an appearance on Top Of The Pops fired the single straight to number one. The misspelling of the title became a trademark of Slade singles and albums. Followed by  Slade Alive released in March 1972 reached as high as number two on the UK charts, second to Slades number one album Slayed? released the November of that year. These two albums are the finest examples of music from that era, all produced by Chandler which his Midas touch bringing fortune once again to struggling artists.

More singles and albums followed, but like so many other glam greats the birth of Punk and Slade’s move to the States in 1975 affected both their creativity and their fortunes. A resurgence would happen in the early eighties but it would never bring the same success as their Glam Rock era output.

The influence of Slade on rock music can be heard right through the punk era, bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones right through to eighties metal bands such as Motley Crue, and more so in Nirvana and Oasis, all cite Slade as being highly influential on their style. Which is why this latest release is so essential, and reeking with nostalgia. Feel The Noize: The Singlez Box  is a ‘strictly limited edition’ vinyl box which features ten ‘internationally released’ seven-inch singles with the artwork from the respective European country where it was released. The singles start with the band’s aforementioned number one, “Coz I Luv You” which was issued in 1971, and in fact five of the first six singles in this box set are those aforementioned hits that topped the UK chart (“Gudbuy T’Jane” peaked at number two).

The next three songs included here – “My Friend Stan”, “Everyday” and “Far Far Away“  – were all top three singles and the seven-inch box then skips forward six years to recreate the rare 1980 promo single of “Night Starvation”. This was one of three new songs on Six of the Best EP of the same year (the B-side of this promo single “When I’m Dancin’ I Ain’t Fightin” was also a new track that featured on the same EP).

Tracklist – 10 7” Singles;

1. Coz I Luv You / My Life Is Natural
2. Take Me Bak ‘Ome / Wonderin’ Y
3. Mama Weer All Crazee Now / Man Who Speeks Evil
4. Gudbuy T’Jane / I Won’t Let It ‘appen Agen
5. Cum On Feel The Noize / I’m Mee, I’m Now, And That’s Orl
6. Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me / Kill ‘em At The Hot Club Tonite
7. My Friend Stan / My Town
8. Everyday / Good Time Gals
9. Far Far Away / O.K. Yesterday Was Yesterday
10. Night Starvation / When I’m Dancin’ I Ain’t Fightin’