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SLADE

Members

Biography

SLADE, although at the forefront of the British 70s Glam boom, has endured as Hard Rockers high on memorable songs and sheer persistence. The band have risen from the doldrums on two separate occasions , for the first time in 1973 - to spearhead the Glam explosion and pouring out a succession of classic hits whilst bedecked in increasingly bizarre and outlandish stage costumes - then once more in 1983, after a legendary Reading Festival appearance which catapulted the band into the Hard Rock limelight, further buoyed along by American act QUIET RIOT scoring a U.S. top five hit with their take on SLADE's 'Cum On Feel The Noize'.

Wolverhampton musicians guitarist Dave Hill and drums Don Powell formed their first act THE VENDORS together with vocalist Johnny Howells, guitarist Mickey Marston and bassist Dave Jones in 1964. By the following year the band had evolved into THE N' BETWEENS, signing to the Astra agency for live work and recording demos for French label Barclay, which secured their first record deal. First product was their cover of THE SORROWS track 'Take A Heart' in 1965. A further French release saw the band sharing an EP with THE HILLS.

The band added ex-STEVE BRETT & THE MAVERICKS guitarist Noddy Holder on lead vocals and bassist Jim Lea in 1966. Holder had previously recorded on singles with THE MAVERICKS and previous to that had journeyed through Beat acts such as ROCKIN' PHANTOMS and THE MEMPHIS CUT-OUTS.

Howells, Marston and Jones where to depart and the band issued a further single in November of that year with a version of THE RASCALS 'You Better Run'. The same year the band encountered notorious svengali manager / producer KIM FOWLEY, who was to manage the band for the next six years. In this incarnation THE N' BETWEENS toured relentlessly, including forays into Germany.

With the failure of their first brace of singles, the band was effectively put on ice. Holder became a roadie for West Midlands act BAND OF JOY, then fronted by the pre LED ZEPPELIN singer ROBERT PLANT. With Plant quitting BAND OF JOY Holder offered him the position of lead vocalist in his act but the offer was declined as Plant pursued more esoteric and whimsical themes with HOBBSTWEEDLE.

The band, still with Holder on vocals, re-emerged in 1969 retitled AMBROSE SLADE and relocated to London. The band would be promptly spotted by ANIMALS bassist Chas Chandler, who secured the band a deal with Fontana and took over the reins as manager / producer. This boost to their career was soon dampened with the failure of the debut album 'Beginnings'. However, things could have been far bleaker. The album was originally to be titled 'Genesis' (proof copies still exist) and the Fontana A&R department made an attempt to retitle the band NICKY NACKY NOO!

Nevertheless, the band persevered, shortening their name simply to SLADE. The name change also brought about a change of image and the band adopted a skinhead bootboy image and considerably toughened up their musical approach. After a few singles ( all of which fared badly, including a cover of THE YARDBIRDS 'Shapes Of Things') SLADE suddenly burst into the charts in 1971 with 'Get Down And Get With It'.

single heralded a new age for SLADE. At one show in Amsterdam to promote the single the band were even threatened by gun toting police, who insisted SLADE were playing too loud. 'Get Down And Get With It' eventually peaked at number 16 in the British charts and, sensing changing times, SLADE switched from the skinhead look to Glam.

Such a simple move heralded an awesome run of British hit singles, including no less than six number one hits starting off with 'Cuz I Love You' , which hung on to the top slot for four weeks. So popular were SLADE that three of their number one's actually debuted in the chart at the top.

The band were characteristically bedecked in outrageous Glam costumes, including Holder's trademark silver high heels and Hill's exotic hats, which livened up many TV appearances. Although a huge Pop success SLADE nevertheless kept it raw and loud onstage and built up a solid Rock fan base. The band's 1972 British tour saw STATUS QUO supporting, although a venture into America for live work where the band guested for HUMBLE PIE and J.GEILS BAND proved disheartening.

SLADE rounded off the year in grand style by touring Australia, where quite incredibly at one point they dominated the singles charts to such an extent that the top three singles placings could be attributed to SLADE.

1973 began well with 'Cum On Feel The Noize' debuting in the British charts at number 1 and another highly successful British tour being undertaken with support from Glam queen SUZI QUATRO and up and coming Rockers THIN LIZZY. Once more SLADE tackled an American tour, but returned after a distinct lack of appreciation. However, a sold out crowd of 18'000 at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre more than made up for it.

Unfortunately, Don Powell was involved in a horrendous car accident in July of 1973 in which his girlfriend Angela Morris was killed. Powell himself was seriously hurt, including two broken legs and a broken arm, and although recovering from his physical injuries was to suffer from serious amnesia.

Soldiering on while Don recuperated, Jim's brother Frank Lea deputised on drums. In August of 1973 the band, recording at New York's Record Plant studios, were to record their trademark Christmas single 'Merry Xmas Everybody'. This seasonal release was to give SLADE their biggest selling record to date.

Keen to project themselves to a larger audience, most of 1974 was taken up with the band's debut celluloid performance as stars of their own movie 'Slade In Flame'. With SLADE's star shining bright the band opted to concentrate on America throughout 1975-76. The result was disastrous for their British audience drifted away made all the more humiliating by a complete rebuttal by America. To cap it all Punk was to erupt in the band's homeland and acts of SLADE's ilk became vilified at every turn.

Their 1977 effort, the cruelly titled 'Whatever Happened To Slade?' failed to chart. As SLADE moved to the Barn Records (a Polydor subsidiary label) further attempts also scored badly with the single 'Gypsy Roadhog' only managing to scrape to number 48 and the band resorted to pub gigs to survive. 1978 was equally humbling as SLADE persevered on the British club circuit after being finally dropped by Polydor. A tour of Poland was followed by cabaret shows in England.

Completely at odds with the British media and radio Lea was so convinced that SLADE were being blocked by an unofficial radio blacklist that he created a side project titled THE DUMMIES together with his wife and brother Frank. SLADE were effectively put on ice and Powell busied himself with session work.

SLADE found themselves thrust into the spotlight once more with a last minute appearance at the 1980 Reading Festival, stepping in for the cancelled OZZY OSBOURNE. With British support almost non existent and a disastrous American tour behind them, SLADE had nothing to lose and turned in a rousing set promoting their 'We'll Bring The House Down' album. The album, and in particular the single, reignited the SLADE flame and set the band on another successful cycle, although SLADE parted company with long term manager Chaz Chandler, opting to handle their own affairs and musically pursue a much more aggressive Hard Rock sound.

In the 80s, as SLADE's popularity increased once more, Holder and Lea were approached to produce a GIRLSCHOOL single, 'High n' Dry'- a Holder/Lea composition, but finally ended up producing the whole album 'Screaming Blue Murder'. Lea was also to produce a single by CHINA DOLL.

SLADE were now hot property as 'My Oh My' reached no. 2 in the single charts, maintaining the bands renewed popularity. Holder was to guest on GARY MOORE's album and also appeared guesting on the 'Catch A Falling Star' single by ex-HEAVY METAL KIDS frontman Gary Holton.

With interest high in America due to the enormous success of QUIET RIOT's cover of 'Cum On Feel The Noize', a top 5 hit, SLADE embarked for their first American tour supporting OZZY OSBOURNE in 1984. After three warm up shows and one gig with the tour was scuppered as Powell contracted hepatitis. Both QUIET RIOT and Irish act MAMA'S BOYS did SLADE a further favour in 1985 when they both released covered 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now'. Both versions cracked the American charts.

1986 was to prove quiet for SLADE, but Lea was to keep the band name in the press by work with CHROME MOLLY on the 'Shooting Me Down' single and BOW WOW WOW's Annabella Lwin. SLADE themselves were to break up unexpectedly in 1988 after the single 'Let's Dance' flopped. Both Powell and Hill recorded solo albums but both remain unreleased to this day. In 1989 Holder and Hill formed a new act, BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE, releasing the single 'Crying In The Rain' during November.

With Holder DJing for the first time with local station BRMB Radio, Jim Lea kept in the limelight releasing a brand new version of 'We'll Bring The House Down' under the band name of THE CLOUT. Goths THE MISSION also paid homage by anonymously releasing a single version of 'Merry Xmas Everybody' under the pseudonym of METAL GURU. The B side track, 'Gudbuy T'Jane', featured Holder on guest vocals. The following year SLADE regrouped briefly onstage for a 25th anniversary bash. Later the same year Lea released the debut album by his project band THE DUMMIES.

SLADE II formed with Hill, Powell (recovering from another car crash- this time with a combine harvester!) and members of the REDBEARDS FROM TEXAS, including vocalist Steve Whalley. This line up performed a Scandinavian club tour in 1993.

SLADE II performed at the Kent custom bike show in June 1994 opting to include many cover versions in their set rather than pick from their own illustrious catalogue.

SLADE II recorded a 1994 album 'Keep On Rockin' but this only saw a European release. The band put in a tour of Germany which saw the act playing to many large audiences once more. Further dates saw the band active in Russia.

Lea kept up his work schedule by releasing the 1994 single 'Hello Goodbye' as GANG OF ANGELS. The bassist was also to record with ex members of Ska band THE SPECIALS and get back to live work with pub outfit THE ROCKIN' WRINKLIES.

Still, classic SLADE were put back on the map in 1995 when current Pop faves OASIS covered 'Cum On Feel The Noize'. proving that you can't keep a good band down!

A well overdue tribute record arrived in 2001 entitled 'Slade Remade'. Artists doffing their hat to SLADE would include ex RAINBOW vocalist Doogie White, Terry Brock of STRANGEWAYS, Bob Skeat of WISHBONE ASH, Steve Overland and Pete Jupp from FM, Mick White from SAMSON and even RICK WAKEMAN. One of Germany's biggest bands, BȪHSE ONKELZ, put SLADE back into the German charts when their no.2 hit single 'Keine Amnestie für MTV' sported a take on 'Coz I Luv You'.

With the Dave Hill / Don Powell band SLADE II now re-billed simply SLADE a new single, 'Some Exercise' recorded at New Rising Studios in Essex, was issued through Virgin in June of 2002. The album 'Cum On Let's Party' followed. Meanwhile, Jim Lea returned to the fore, debuting his new band JIMJAM with a gig at the Bilston Robin Rock Club delivering a set peppered with SLADE classics. That Christmas, OASIS gave the band a further healthy dose of exposure by covering 'Merry Xmas Everybody'. Noteworthy would be an HMV Records survey of customers which put 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as the most popular Christmas song of all time.

In rather more unsettling news, SLADE bassist Dave Glover received a harsh press broadside when British newspapers reported he had been in correspondence with reviled murderer Rosemary West, claiming the musician had offered to marry her. Although Glover refuted the claims his exit from the band would be swift.

2003 saw SLADE back in the European charts when major Belgian band MAMA'S JASJE issued the single 'Voor Jou Alleen', actually a translated version of 'Still The Same'. Jim Lea would also announce the recording of a new solo album. Maintaining the profile would be German Heavy Metal band NOT FRAGILE, covering both 'We'll Bring The House Down' and 'Thanks For The Memory' on their 'Yesterday's Heroes' album. NOT FRAGILE put out a third SLADE song, 'Knuckle Sandwich Nancy', in 2004.

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Discography

Album


YOU BOYZ MAKE BIG NOIZE 1987

CRACKERS 1985

ROGUES GALLERY 1985

KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY POWER SUPPLY 1984

THE AMAZING KAMIKAZE SYNDROME 1983

SLADE ON STAGE (LIVE) 1982

WE'LL BRING THE HOUSE DOWN 1981

TIL DEAF DO US PART 1981

RETURN TO BASE 1979

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SLADE 1977

SLADE ALIVE VOL. 2 (LIVE) 1977

NOBODY'S FOOLS 1976

OLD NEW BORROWED AND BLUE 1974

SLADE IN FLAME 1974

SLADEST 1973

SLADE ALIVE 1973

SLAYED? 1972

COZ I LUV YOU 1971

PLAY IT LOUD 1970

BEGINNINGS 1969

Single/EP


Cum On Let's Party 2003

Some Exercise 2002

Universe 1992

Radio Wall Of Sound 1991

Let's Dance 1988

That's What Friends Are For 1987

Ooh La La In LA 1987

We Won't Give In 1987

Still The Same 1987

You Boyz Make Big Noize 1987

The Christmas Pack 1985

7 Year (B)Itch 1985

Do You Believe In Miracles 1985

Little Sheila 1985

Myzterious Mizter Jones 1985

Run Runaway 1984

Slam The Hammer Down (Hot Version) 1984

All Join Hands 1984

My Oh My 1983

Ruby Red 1982

(And Now The Waltz) C'Est La Vie 1982

Lock Up Your Daughters 1981

We'll Bring The House Down 1981

Wheels Ain't Comin' Down 1981

Knuckle Sandwich Nancy 1981

Rock And Roll Preacher (Hallelujah I'm On Fire) 1981

When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin' (Live) 1980

Six Tracks - Six Of The Best EP 1980

Ginny Ginny 1979

Sign Of The Times 1979

Okey Cokey 1979

Rockn' Roll Bolero 1978

Give Us A Goal 1978

My Baby Left Me 1977

Gypsy Roadhog 1977

Burning In The Heat Of Love 1977

Nobody's Fool 1976

Let's Call It Quits 1976

In For A Penny 1975

How Does It Feel 1975

Thanks For The Memory (Wham BamThank You Mam) 1975

When The Lights Are Out 1974

Bangin' Man 1974

Everyday 1974

Far Far Away 1974

My Friend Stan 1973

Cum On Feel The Noize 1973

Merry X-Mas Everybody 1973

SkweezeMePleezeMe 1973

Take Me Bak 'Ome 1972

Mama Weer All Crazee Now 1972

Look Wot You Dun 1972

The Whole World's Gone Crazy 1972

Move Over 1972

Gudbuy T'Jane 1972

Coz I Luv You 1971

Baja Y Consíguelo (Get Down And Get With It) 1971

Get Down And Get With It 1970

Know Who You Are 1970

Shape Of Things To Come 1970

Wild Winds Are Blowing 1969

Genesis 1969

Compilation


THE VERY BEST OF 2005

GENESIS OF SLADE- RARE RECORDINGS 1964-1966 1997

GREATEST HITS FEEL THE NOIZE 1996

WALL OF HITS 1991

SLADES GREATS 1984

STORY OF SLADE 1981

SLADES SMASHES 1980