This album was the American version of Slade’s 1983 British release ‘The Great Kamikaze Syndrome’, rush-released after the unexpected hit single ‘Run, Runaway’ went top ten in Britain.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply
SERIAL: FZ 39336
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Noddy Holder – vocals, guitars * Dave Hill – guitars * Jim Lea – bass, keyboards * Don Powell – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Run Runaway * 02 My Oh My * 03 High And Dry * 04 Slam The Hammer Down * 05 In The Doghouse * 06 Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply * 07 Cheap N Nasty Luv * 08 Can’t Tame A Hurricane * 09 (And Now The Waltz) C’est La Vie * 10 Ready To Explode
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This album was the American version of Slade’s 1983 British release ‘The Great Kamikaze Syndrome’, rush-released after the unexpected hit single ‘Run, Runaway’ went top ten in Britain, and also following Quiet Riot‘s success with Slade’s 70’s staple ‘C’mon Feel The Noize’.
It represented a rebirth of sorts for the good time English rockers, since their stock had fallen dramatically since a string of number one singles and albums in the early 70’s. With this album Slade moved into the 80’s with some superb AOR mixed in with more traditional raucous hard rock fare, continuing the form they had begun with 1981’s ‘When I’m Dancing I Ain’t Fighting’.
Why the US repackaged this album is still unclear. It omits ‘Cocky Rock Boys’ and ‘Razzle Dazzle Man’ from ‘Kamikaze’, but includes ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply’, originally the B-side to ‘My Oh My’.
‘Run Runaway’ hit no 7 on the singles charts in Britain, but its top twenty placing in the US caused some eye opening as the band had never been popular there, primarily a British institution. The track is halfway between AOR and hard rock, with heavy riffs well placed amongst some harmless keyboards and the requisite good time hook.
‘My Oh My’ went even better, a 1983 Christmas no 2 smash in Britain. The near power ballad melodically reminds me of the theme song for English mid 80’s drama ‘Prospects’, reflective and anthemic due to the huge group chorus.
Things heat up with the blazing AOR of ‘High And Dry’, with bags of melodic guitar work and a sweat inducing chorus to compete with the best of the American heavyweights of the time. Extraordinarily memorable! Slade revisit their usual powerhouse roots as ‘Slam The Hammer Down’ pounds things out the same way ‘Get Down And Get With It’ did in 1972, bloody menacing material.
You have to love the boys own, typically English working class anthem ‘In The Doghouse’ which easily sits alongside such gems as Roger Daltrey‘s ‘One Of The Boys’, Geordie‘s ‘Rockin’ With The Boys’ and Joe Fagin‘s ‘Back With The Boys Again’ as a classic of its kind. My kind of song.
There’s another couple of fine rampages in ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply’ and ‘Can’t Tame A Hurricane’, sped up slices of harmonic hard rock with a barrage of body-blow riffing. Exquisite AOR is not forgotten, with the thrilling ‘Cheap N’ Nasty Love’, although there are a pair of slight letdowns in the form of ‘C’Est La Vie’ and ‘Ready To Explode’, neither meeting the vital standards of what preceded them.
The importance of Quiet Riot‘s success with vintage Slade hits cannot be underestimated as the reason behind their sudden success States wise, but the material on offer was of the finest sort. Who would have suspected Slade to be such fine purveyors of mammoth AOR yet still retain the ingredients which endeared them in the first place?
Typically the next two releases, 1985’s ‘Rogues Gallery; and 1987’s ‘You Boyz Make Big Noize’ fell way short of the mark set by ‘Keep Your Hands..’ and/or ‘Kamikaze’. The band descended into sub-par pop rock, although they were always a reliable live draw.
The 1987 album proved to be the last official album (a few novelty singles notwithstanding), although currently Hill and Powell are peddling Slade II to the public, Lea and Holder long since given up the ghost, the latter now a popular DJ back in England. For any AOR fan who never considered Slade worthwhile though, this might give them the shock of their life.
My Oh My
Entire Album (Select Tracks)