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Slade - 'Slade Alive!' Album Review


1. Hear Me Calling (Live)

2. Born To Be Wild (Live)

3. Get Down And Get With It (Live)

4. Keep On Rocking (Live)

5. Darling Be Home Soon (Live)

6. In Like A Shot From My Gun (Live)

7. Know Who You Are (Live)

We all love Slade don’t we? From Festive fanatics to lovers of Vic and Bob, Slade are a part of our way of life, essentially British. But…do I love Slade? The truth is…I don’t know. Yeah I know all the hits and how long it takes to recreate Noddy’s legendary mutton chops out of shredded wheat fibres (it was a piss poor party!) but do I love them? This was why I was keen to review this album…to answer the question of whether I love them or am just happy to have an aural bunk up now and then.

But before we reveal the answer to that, some background to the album. Slade Alive is a re-issue to mark its 45th anniversary. Recorded in 1971 at the Command Studios in London, the album features 7 songs, 3 of which are original compositions. Right that’s enough housekeeping. I can now reveal….I LOVE SLADE!! It’s brilliant that this album doesn’t have any of the hits because this is Slade that I don’t know and so it’s the quality of the songs that have won me over. Yes there are cover versions (Born to be Wild is epic) and only 3 originals but they’re great songs and live…they’re something else.

Slade Alive is unusual as a live album, given that it’s recorded in a studio and you can feel the initial hesitance of the audience, as if they’re not quite sure how they are supposed to respond. But the joy of this album is listening to the shear power of a quality live band bringing them round, making them forget the strange setting and getting into it. Noddy encouraging them to get up and stamp their feet and they do…with more and more enthusiasm as the album goes on. A few days ago, I would have put that down to the Noddy factor, but after listening to this album I’d put it down to the dynamic of Slade. Yes, Noddy is a force to be reckoned with but it’s more than that. It’s a group of people who click and work together, are more than the sum of their parts. This is what music should be…tight, emotive and having a palpable feeling of joy, a connection between band and audience. Everyone who even thinks about auditioning for X Factor or The Voice or Britain (thinks it’s) Got Talent should be made to sit down and listen to this album. Yes, they may be able to sing but if they can’t look into their souls and be confident that they could turn in a performance like this, then they should walk out the door and never look back.

Review - Chris Watson

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