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Slade - Alive

Review: 089
Date: 18 Aug 02

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Noddy Holder - Vocals & Guitar
Dave Hill - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Jimmy Lea - Bass Guitar & Vocals
Don Powell - Drums

Tracks Listing:
1. Hear Me Calling
2. In Like A Shot From My Gun
3. Darling Be Home Soon
4. Know Who You Are
5. Keep On Rocking
6. Get Down With It
7. Born To Be Wild

 


Recorded in 1971 and released in 1972, this album caught the Rock ‘n’ Roll fun machine that was Slade on the crest of a very big wave, in metaphorical terms a veritable tidal wave. Upon release this album went straight to number one in the U.K. (very unusual for a live album; the only time this feat has been duplicated was by Motor Head’s “No Sleep Till Hammersmith”). At the same time Slade were also enjoying their first number one single “Coz I Luv You”, the first of eight self composed number ones for the band. They in total released 21 hit singles.

Many people dismiss Slade today as just another Glam Rock band. It must be said that they did relish their role in the dressing up brigade. Who can forget Dave Hill’s Cleopatra? They get up for their appearance on top of the pops for “Take Me Back One” (all Slade singles had deliberate spelling mistakes in them). Underneath the make up they were one of the most talented hard rockin’ live acts on the circuit.

Almost over night in the U.K. they went from playing back street pubs to scenes of crowd frenzy not seen since the days of The Beatles, and sell out shows at all of the top arena’s. They never meant a light in America, where they just didn’t get it.

Slade Alive catches the band in transition as the set is still full of cover songs, but played the way only Slade could. Opening up with Alvin Lee’s “I Hear You Calling” the guys are immediately into a groove and have the whole audience clapping their hands, stomping their feet, and cheering the band’s every move. Immediately the band’s distinctive style is thrust down your ears. Dave Hills on stage theatrics often, distracted people from the fact that he is one of the finest rock guitarists to have ever trod the boards. Then of course there is Slade’s own ring master Mr. Noddy Holder, he of the calf length tartan trousers, mirrored top hat, gunslinger wit, and a voice that had to be sand papered down and then gargled with Solphuric acid to keep its razor sharp pitch and volume. The man didn’t need a microphone, you could hear him in the next country without one. Jimmy Lea and Don Powell were fine musicians in their own right. They knew what was needed in Slade and they produced it by the bucket load, a rock solid very heavy beat to which everybody could rock along too.

After another rocker “In Like A Shot From My Gun” you get John Sebastian’s dramatic ballad “My Darling Me Home Soon”. However, just when you think the boys may actually be taking themselves seriously, Noddy lets rip with the loudest belch ever put down on tape, reducing the audience to tears of laughter. (Although this does become a little tiresome on repeated listening as it does ruin a fine version of this classic song.) After the skinhead anthem “Know Who You Are” the final three songs are the biggest rave up possible to have in Rock ‘n’ Roll. “Keep On Rockin” is a pastiche of Chuck Berry; “Get Down and Get With It” you can almost hear the dance floor bounce up and down; nobody has ever torn through Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” like Slade did, with feed back screaming out from both lead and bass guitar.

A truly great live rock album, which should be ranked up there with AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood You Got It” and U.F.O.’s “Strangers In The Night”.

America eventually caught onto Slade a decade later when “Quiet Riot” took two of their songs to the top of the U.S. charts in “Cum On Feel The Noise” and “Mama We’re All Crazee Now”, both of which were faithful covers of the originals.

If you like your Rock ‘n’ Roll hot and sweaty get yourself a copy of Slade Alive, it’s as exciting today as it was 30 years ago.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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