"Sladest" is a compilation album by Slade of their hits from 1970 to 1973, it was released and produced by Chas Chandler via Polydor record label on 28th September 1973.
This album reached number 1 on the U.K. chart (Being Slades 2nd number 1 album), this is a collection of the band's greatest hits and some lesser known early work from 1970 to 1973. The album features 14 tracks in total. 8 of these tracks were hit singles, 4 track were taken from their 1970 album "Play It Loud", 1 track from their 1972 "Slayed?" album and the 1969 failed single "Wild Winds Are Blowing".
The compilation was released to keep the band's momentum up after drummer Don Powell suffered a near fatal car accident. Whilst Don Powell was given time to recover, "Sladest" continued Slade's popularity within the U.K. and Europe.
The compilation was originally to be titled "The Best Of Slade" before its release.
It stayed around the Top 10 until 1974, when it climbed to the No. 1 spot once again, following the huge success of "Merry Xmas Everybody".
The album was certified U.K. Silver by BPI in September 1973. By the first week of release, "Sladest" was awarded the U.K. Silver Disc. 2 weeks after, the album was awarded a U.K. Gold Disc and was soon due to surpass 200,000 sales at the time.
The album was voted number 3 of the top 3 Slade album covers in the Slade Fan Club Poll of 1979.
"Sladest" was released via Polydor record label on 28th September 1973.
Falling somewhere between the glam of T.Rex and the hard rock of Nazareth, Slade's finest moments came with arena rockers "Cum On Feel The Noize", "Mama Weer All Crazee Now", and "Gudbuy T'Jane", songs specifically written to be strong live numbers that would get kids up off their seats. "Sladest" is a 'best of' collection that includes all of the material that helped the band sell tons of records and fill arenas in the U.K. in the early '70s.
"Sladest" was originally released on 12" vinyl and cassette and 8 track cartridge.
"Sladest" has a significantly different track listing in the U.S.A. and Canada which is now out of print, ever since the original release on Reprise record label. This release states the time for "Skweeze Me Pleeze Me" as 2:35 and not the correct 4:35, whilst "Get Down And Get With" It is incorrectly credited to Bobby Marchand instead of Bobby Marchan.
Bob Houston wrote the album's original liner notes whilst photography was by Gered Mankowitz. The song "Look At Last Nite" is titled "Look At Last Night" on this compilation.
On September 19, 2011, Salvo remastered and re released "Sladest" with 4 bonus tracks. This included a previously unreleased studio version of "Hear Me Calling". The track was previously a rarity, before being officially made available on this remaster. The song was written by English musician Alvin Lee and originally performed by the English rock band Ten Years After in 1969, from their album Stonedhenge. Slade covered the song frequently live, and it soon became the band’s show opener for many years. The band decided to record the song in the studio as a potential follow up to their 1971 breakthrough hit "Get Down And Get With It". However, the band couldn’t better the song in the studio than live and so the vinyl acetate wasn’t released, but kept by drummer Don Powell, never to be seen again until now. This was also due to the fact that the band would soon release a live version of the track for their 1972 live album "Slade Alive!" and because manager - producer Chas Chandler wanted the band to write their own material.
Aside from the promotion of the album's singles, the band's live performances was a big form of promotion.
The album reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
Track listing - 12" LP U.K.
A1. Cum On Feel The Noize (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 4:30
A2. Look Wot You Dun (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Don Powell) - 2:57
A3. Gudbuy T'Jane (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:31
A4. One Way Hotel (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Don Powell) - 2:39
A5. Skweeze Me Pleeze Me (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 4:35
A6. Pouk Hill (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Don Powell) - 2:24
A7. The Shape Of Things To Come (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil) - 2:16
B1. Take Me Bak 'Ome (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:13
B2. Coz I Luv You (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:24
B3. Wild Winds Are Blowing (Jack Winsley, Bob Saker) - 2:38
B4. Know Who You Are (Slade) - 2:54
B5. Get Down And Get With It (Bobby Marchan) - 3:48
B6. Look At Last Nite (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:05
B7. Mama Weer All Crazee Now (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:42
Cum On Feel The Noize
"Cum On Feel The Noize" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 23rd February 1973 and reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
This was Slade's 4th number 1 single in the U.K. and their 1st to enter straight at number 1.
It entered at the top slot in both the U.K. and Irish charts, which was quite a rare feat at the time and was the 1st occasion this had happened since The Beatles single 'Get Back' in 1969. The song spent all 4 weeks of March at the top of the chart, discounting the final day of the month where the single went down to number 2. Originally, the song was titled 'Cum On Hear The Noize' until Lea suggested the change in words. Holder officially revised the title when he recalled, "how I had felt the sound of the crowd pounding in my chest". Holder's 'Baby, baby, baby' introduction was actually just a microphone test. Upon release, the single sold 500,000 copies in only 3 weeks of release. As a result, the pressing factory were completely out of stock for a few days.
Look Wot You Dun
"Look Wot You Dun" written by Holder, Lea and Powell, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 28th January 1972 and reached number 4 on the U.K. chart.
The track was originally written by Lea and Powell and was taken to Holder for his input. The track was influenced by John Lennon. During recording, Slade's guitarist Hill borrowed Peter Frampton's guitar as his own had been left at home and was inaccessible due to bad weather during the Christmas holiday. This track is the only Slade song to feature a Powell vocal of heavy breathing in the chorus.
Upon release, the single sparked a protest from teachers across the U.K. about bad spelling. Record Mirror magazine published a short article about the protest at the time, "The new Slade single "Look Wot You Dun" has sparked off protests amongst the teaching profession, according to a spokesman for the group. He told Record Mirror that several teachers have written to the Ministry of Education complaining about the deliberate misspelling of the title and the previous single "Coz I Luv You". They allege that the phonetic spellings create confusion in their pupils' minds.
Yet today the bad spelling has become a cult for texting.
"Gudbuy T'Jane" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on November 17th 1972 and reached number 2 on the U.K. chart.
The song lost the number 1 spot to Chuck Berry's single 'My Ding A Ling' Slade's 2 previous singles had charted at number 1 in the U.K. the single stayed in the U.K. top 10 from the moment it was released for 8 weeks. The single was also the most successful of Slade's 1970s singles in the U.S.A. peaking at number 68.
At the time, the band were on tour and needed a follow up hit single to "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". The idea came to Lea while he was sitting by a pool in San Diego. He completed it in the toilet in the plane on the flight home. Holders lyrics came from a TV show he saw in San Francisco on which the band appeared, and on which a girl called Jane demonstrated a Sex Machine. Holder completed his lyrics just prior to the recording session. Holders original lyrics were 'Hello to Jane' however Lea decided that it would sound better as 'Goodbye to Jane' when they went to record it. The loose feel of the record is explained by the fact this was Take 2 and the band had never played the song before until that day.
One Way Hotel
"One Way Hotel" written by Holder, Lea and Powell, this was the b - side to Slades original single "Wild Winds Are Blowing", eventually being released on CD via the 2007 Salvo compilation B - Sides (containing most of Slades b - sides). Not often realised, this b - side was not the same version that appeared as a track on the "Play It Loud" album. Although the song was later remixed, this version features slightly jazzier guitar parts.
Skweeze Me Pleeze Me
"Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 22nd June 1973 and reached number1 on the U.K. chart.
The song was the band's 5th number 1 single in the U.K. and their 2nd to enter the charts at the top spot.
Lea got the idea of the track at the Trumpet pub in Bilston where local pianist Reg Kierle was playing piano. The single was recorded whilst the band were touring in America, originally being titled 'You Know How To Squeeze Me'.
"Pouk Hill" written by Holder, Lea and Powell, the song's lyrics referred to the event of creating the artwork for their 1969 debut album "Beginnings". The cover featured a photo of the band on Pouk Hill in Walsall. The band didn't enjoy the photo session due to the cold weather which is described in this song. The line "Dick took a shot and he got us" refers to the photographer Richard Stirlin.
Allmusic.com wrote "Surprisingly, there's no Animals or Hendrix that can be seen on the surface, an original like "Pouk Hill" leaning more toward the rock side of things than the blues embraced by Jimi and Eric Burdon."
The Shape Of Things To Come
"Shape Of Things To Come" written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, originally performed in 1968 by Max Frost and the Troopers. Slade originally released their version via Fontana record label on 6th March 1970 and failed to appear on the U.K. chart.
This single would be the band’s final under Fontana record label, as the band would sign to Polydor record label for their commercial peak, beginning in 1971. Despite being released under Fontana record label, the song still appeared on their "Play It Loud" album which was released under Polydor record label. On the "Play It Loud" album, the song was titled "The Shape Of Things To Come".
Take Me Bak 'Ome
"Take Me Bak 'Ome" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 26th May 1972 and reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
This was Slade's 2nd number 1 single in the U.K. it stayed at number 1 for a week. The song was also the band's debut appearance on the U.S.A. singles chart, peaking at number 97.
Around this time the band appeared at the Great Western festival near Lincoln. Slade triumphed before a large crowd despite a line up of more serious acts. Hill, incidentally wore an all silver leather outfit for the first time on stage at Lincoln, his sartorial touch would influence British fashion for the next few years. "Take Me Bak 'Ome" was currently at number 2 in the British charts during the festival. The following week it reached number 1 and Slade gained further credibility as live performers.
Coz I Luv You
"Coz I Luv You" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 8th October 1971 and reached number 1 on the U.K chart.
Being the bands 1st U.K. number 1. Typical of Slade's brash, stomping glam style, it prominently featured Lea's electric violin and quickly reached number 1 in the U.K. singles chart, where it stayed there for 4 weeks in November 1971. Originally, the 1st week of being released, the single hit number 26, followed by number 8 the next week and number 1 the following after. The single was number 1 for 4 weeks in a row and stayed at number 3 for the following 3 weeks after.
The track was written in half an hour. This began the writing partnership of Holder and Lea which would carry on throughout Slade's career. Originally the band felt the song to be too soft and so clapping was added to the recording. The misspelt titles also became a trademark for Slade, causing a great dislike among teachers up and down the country.
Wild Winds Are Blowing
"Wild Winds Are Blowing" was written by Jack Winsley and Bob Saker, this was the 1st single to be released under their name Slade, Slade originally released their version via Fontana Record label on 24th October 1969 and failed to appear on the U.K. chart.
At the time, manager - producer Chas Chandler demanded the group write their own material for the "Play It Loud" album but he believed the band should have a hit single before releasing the album. Chas was soon sent a song from a publishing company, for the group to record.
The single was issued as a non album single following the commercial failure of the band’s debut album "Beginnings".
Know Who You Are
"Know Who You Are" written together by Hill, Holder, Lea and Powell, the single was originally released via Polydor Record label on 18th September 1970 and failed to appear on the U.K. chart.
The single was issued on as the second and final single from the "Play It Loud" album. Unlike the group’s 1969 debut album "Beginnings", the band were now managed and produced by Chas Chandler, who encouraged the band to write more of their own material.
The song was originally an instrumental track from the debut "Beginning", titled "Genesis". The original song featured an influence of a 1960s psychedelic theme however "Know Who You Are" proved to be more of a 1960s influenced rocker. In later years, drummer Powell stated the song was all about guitarist Hill.
"Know Who You Are" was the band's 1st release via Polydor record label, after the band left Fontana record label.
The song was later recorded live and released on the band’s 1st live album in 1972 titled "Slade Alive!".
Get Down And Get With It
"Get Down And Get With It" written and originally performed by American musician Bobby Marchan, gaining more popularity by Little Richard, Slade originally released their version via Polydor record label on 21st May 1971 and reached number 16 on the U.K. chart.
This was Slade's 1st U.K. chart entry.
Originally, both Slade manager - producer Chas Chandler and Slade had decided that in order to make a break into the charts they would need to capture their strong reputation as a live act onto record. They chose "Get Down And Get With It" as the band would frequently play the song live and it was always a popular live number. The song was successfully captured in the studio, complete with foot stomping and hand clapping as intended, eventually breaking Slade into the U.K. chart as well as Europe.
"Get Down And Get With It" would become a popular concert track for the rest of Slade's career with live versions appearing on their 1972 live album "Slade Alive!".
Look At Last Nite
"Look At Last Nite" written by Holder and Lea, it is a slower mid tempo rock track, inspired by the fickleness of fame. Allmusic.com wrote "The down key but still eminently stompalongable "Look At Last Nite" being a reminder that, even at its loudest, Slade was still capable of some fetching balladry.
Or should that be the other way around?"
The song was originaly from their 1972 U.K. number 1 album "Slayed?".
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
"Mama Weer All Crazee Now" was written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 25th August 1972 and reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
It was the band's 3rd number 1 single in the U.K.
Originally, the idea was to release the single with pre radio plays and pre orders, in hopes the single would go straight to number 1 during the 1st week of release. The single entered the charts on its 1st week at number 2, then followed by number 1 for the next 3 weeks in September 1972 (giving the band their 3rd number 1 in the U.K.). The single fared less well in the U.S.A. where it peaked at number 76.
Some months before, the band had played at the Boston Gliderdrome in Linolnshire, a bouncer had told them about another act who'd appeared there drunk 'crazy with whiskey' and this gave Holder the idea for the lyrics. The song was originally titled 'My My We're All Crazy Now' the title was changed by manager Chas Chandler, the spelling, of course was adapted by the band's own traditions. Several of the most distinctive parts of the record were virtual ad libs, including the 'mama mama mama yeah' coda at the end.
Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals
Noddy Holder - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jim Lea - bass guitar, backing vocals, violin on "Coz I Luv You"
Don Powell - drums
Chas Chandler - producer
Bob Houston - liner notes
Gered Mankowitz - photography