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When Rock Went Glam: Slade

From Wolverhampton, England, Slade created some of the most raucous pop tunes ever to storm the charts and after outliving the glam era have become affectionately regarded as something of a national institution.

In 1970 the band, in particular Dave Hill, cultivated an even more outrageous glam-rock image and released long-time live favourite “Get Down and Get With It” which took them into the UK top 20 for the first time. On BBC TV’s Top of The Pops they were now donning tartan, top hats, stack heels and in Holder’s case outrageous sideburns. At Chandler’s insistence Holder and Lea began to write all the band’s material relying on crunching riffs, stomping beats, simple yet memorable lyrics and deliberately mis-spelt song titles.

The result was the number-one follow-up single “Coz I Luv You” (1971) which was the first of an incredible six chart-toppers over the next three years. These included “Take Me Back ‘Ome“, “Mamma Weer All Crazee Now“, the oft-covered “Come On Feel The Noise” and the rather dubious “Skweeze Me Pleeze Me“. The band’s finest album from this era, Slayed (1973) is now regarded as a classic.

During their glam phase Slade also produced arguably the best Christmas pop tune ever, “Merry Christmas Everybody” (1973), which has re-charted most Christmases since. Slade have always enjoyed a reputation as legendary live performers able to whip their audience up into a boot-stomping frenzy, and there is no better illustration of this than the 1972 album Slade Alive on which Holder punctuates a quieter moment with a loud belch!

Slade were Noddy Holder (vocals/guitar), Jim Lea (bass/violin), Dave Hill (guitar) and Don Powell (drums).

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