‘Slade In Flame’ is widely considered the groups best album, their prior album ‘Old New Borrowed And Blue’ was a fine effort, but from the opening track it’s obvious this record is going to be something special.
Written by: Eric
ALBUM: Slade In Flame
LABEL: Warner Bros (USA), Polydor (UK)
SERIAL: BS-2865 (USA), 2442-126 (UK)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Noddy Holder – vocals, guitar * Dave Hill – guitars, vocals * Jim Lea – bass, keyboards, vocals * Don Powell – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 How Does It Feel? * 02 Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing * 03 So Far So Good * 04 Summer Song (Wishing You Were Here) * 05 O.K Yesterday Was Yesterday * 06 Far Far Away * 07 This Girl * 08 Lay It Down * 09 Heaven Knows * 10 Standin’ On The Corner
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Legendary glam rockers Slade started life as a skinhead band in the late 60’s before trading in Doc Martens for platform shoes and goofy headgear simply because their rough n’ tumble image made it difficult for them to get gigs.
Riding the crest of the glitter wave spearheaded by Marc Bolan, Slade along with Sweet were at the top of their game in the early part of the decade. But in 1974 things were beginning to change as the Teen audience that paid their bills were beginning to grow up, looking for more in their music than glam had to offer.
Instinctively sensing this, Slade began work on a film concerning an imaginary British band called Flame, documenting their struggles, successes and failures. As rock films go, this is one of the better and indeed entertaining films of its type, but what makes it more special is this album which played as the soundtrack to the movie.
‘Slade In Flame’ is widely considered the groups best and I tend to agree. The group had matured considerably since their prior album ‘Old New Borrowed And Blue’ which itself was a fine effort, but from the opening track ‘How Does It Feel?’ it’s obvious this record is going to be something special.
With a touch of The Beatles and Elton John this is a gorgeous and catchy song that gently builds before quietly disappearing into your brain, never to leave again. ‘So Far So Good’ and ‘Lay It Down’ are classic Slade stompers while ‘Far Far Away’ is a mid-tempo tune and one of Slade’s finest, going all the way to number two on the British charts.
This song and ‘How Does It Feel?’ alone are worth tracking down a copy of this album, or better yet the newly remastered CD version.
In 1975 Slade moved to New York in the hope of gaining the attention of American audiences. Intensive touring followed but the quality of the band’s releases had taken a noticeable dip. Slade returned to the UK disillusioned, until 1981 and a triumphant appearance at the UK’s Reading festival turned the group’s fortunes around.
The resurgent interest in the band reached an all time high in 1983 with Quiet Riot‘s cover of ‘Cum On Feel Noize’, a massive hit in the United States which lead to Slade once again hitting the charts with ‘Run Runaway’ and ‘My Oh My’ in both Britain and America.
With all this attention surprisingly Slade cancelled a North American tour with Ozzy Osbourne in 1984, especially since another Quiet Riot cover of Slade’s ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ was riding the charts at the time.
A missed opportunity for sure and as the 80’s progressed; Slade disappeared into the annals of hard rock history, although it seems they still gig around Europe these days, paying the bills I guess.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)