"We'll Bring The House Down" was Slades 8th studio U.K. album, it was released and produced by the band themselves via Cheapskate record label (Slade's own label) on 13th March 1981.
This album reached number 25 on the U.K. chart, this was due to the Reading Festival success the previous year, when they had stood in for heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne. Slade got exactly what they needed, and received a huge amount of notoriety from the concert. All of a sudden, as if overnight, they were now deemed 'cool'. Their record company didn't take long to jump on their success either, and released a sharp compilation "Slade Smashes"
The band tried hard to make this album contain rock based material to appeal to the band's recent triumph at the Reading Festival in 1980. The majority of the audience at Reading were heavy metal fans. Of the 10 tracks on the album, 6 songs were taken from the previous 1979 album "Return To Base".
After 4 years of commercial failure, "We'll Bring The House Down" made Slade big news once again, back in larger venues for live performances, back on U.K. music show Top of the Pops and back in the charts.
With a 3 quarters full 1977 theatre tour and after the commercially unsuccessful 1977 album "Whatever Happened To Slade", the band were taking any gig they could. The band could still sell out performances at University student union bars and draw respectable crowds at small to average sized venues. However, it was only four years since the band had headlined Earls Court and even the earthiest band had to admit it was a bit of a comedown. Bassist Jim Lea however was unfrazed. "I still thought the band was great," he told Chris Charlesworth in 1983, "We were playing as well if not better than we ever had...Now we had something to prove again." The band would prove their worth night after night in clubs and colleges up and down the country, often running at a loss bringing their own PA and lightshow. The band were still releasing singles through manager Chas Chandler's Barn record label which sold little.
The band's luck changed when Slade found themselves in front of 65,000 rock fans at the Reading festival in August 1980 (thanks to a late cancellation by Ozzy Osbourne). In the aftermath of the Reading triumph, the band rush released the "Alive At Reading ‘80 E.P", on the band's own Cheapskate record label in October 1980, which became the band's first chart showing in 3 years, while Polydor record label issued the compilation "Slade Smashes" which went on to sell 200,000 copies.
In January 1981, Slade released the single "We'll Bring The House Down" which took Slade to the upper reaches of the charts. Shortly after, the album with the same name was released, consisting of previous tracks from Slade's little known "Return To Base" album with a few new tracks. The follow up single "Wheels Ain't Coming Down" stalled at number 60 but was just enough to keep the momentum until the fresh campaign later in the year.
"We'll Bring The House Down" was released via Cheapskate record label (Slade's own label) on 13th March 1981.
Both tracks "Dizzy Mamma" and "Nuts Bolts And Screws" were especially remixed by the band at Portland Studios in London for this album. The latter track was originally titled "Nut Bolts And Screws" for their "Return To Base" album.
"We'll Bring The House Down" was originally released on 12" vinyl and cassette.
As this album was released not long after their Reading appearance, there was little time to record new tracks, so some of the tracks were recycled from their failed "Return To Base" album of the previous year.
The sleeve shows a Slade 'fist' bursting through a shield with four diagonal stripes on it. According to the band this is supposed to signify '4 royal bastards', although in heraldic terms this is not strictly correct. The album artwork featured the new Slade logo which was created by Slade's manager and producer Chas Chandler.
Just weeks before the release of the album, guitarist Dave Hill was interviewed for the Slade fan club newsletter where Dave Hill explained why the album consisted of mainly previously used tracks. "Obviously a lot of the fans that have bought "Return To Base", "Six Of The Best" and 1 or 2 other things they are going to have a lot of this material. But it is a compilation LP of a lot of the material that we have recorded over the last 18 months, which as the fans know, the majority of the public have never even heard. It's really for the benefit of the new fans that are coming along and who are in the fan club and have none of the old material. It won't be the same as "Return To Base" as it will have a lot of the tracks pulled out and other numbers such as "Dizzy Mamma" and "Night Starvation" and "When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'" added, making up a more rocky album. It will basically consist of the live act at the moment, so anyone who's into the live act should like the album. But for the benefit of the old fans, new material is in the pipeline. After this tour we shall be making a new single and a new album."
After the success of the album, Dave Hill was asked in a fan club interview about trying to extend the band's new found success in Europe. Dave Hill responded "It's got to follow on. What we suffer from at the moment is that we haven't sorted a record deal abroad. There's only Belgium where we have actually got something sorted out and we have had a bit of success there already. I think that over the next few weeks we have got to be very seriously sorting something out for Europe. I mean we want to be as big as far away as Australia, like we used to be."
After the album's release, drummer Don Powell was asked in a fan club interview as to why he no longer writes any Slade material. Powell replied "Well, the trouble is as I don't play any instruments, I can only write lyrics. And when I used to write with Jim Lea, I used to have to try and sing to him how I thought the song should go, and he'd sing it back to check that he'd got the right thing, and then write it down. It would take a hell of a long time to get a song together. So as Holder and Lea write songs a lot quicker and better, I leave it to them."
The band's new success allowed the band to appear in larger venues and a tour was organised during the album's release. Slade also appeared on U.K. TV to promote the same titled song.
During the band's 1980 tour, an independent film company created a documentary film about the band's life on the road. This film was never shown on TV, as originally intended. The same film company recorded the promotional video for the "We'll Bring The House Down" single. This video was filmed at the band's Ipswich Gaumont Concert on the 17th January 1981.
The album reached number 25 on the U.K. chart.
Track Listing - 12" LP U.K.
A1. We'll Bring The House Down (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:32
A2. Night Starvation (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:04
A3. Wheels Ain't Coming Down (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:36
A4. Hold On To Your Hats (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:33
A5. When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin' (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:10
B1. Dizzy Mamma (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:37
B2. Nuts Bolts And Screws (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:28
B3. My Baby's Got It (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:34
B4. Lemme Love Into Ya (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:34
B5. I'm A Rocker (Chuck Berry) - 2:41
We'll Bring The House Down
"We'll Bring The House Down" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Cheapskate record label (Slade's own label) on 23rd January 1981 and reached number 10 on the U.K. chart.
The track was Slade's 1st hit single since 1977. The style of the track shown Slade's sound heading towards a heavier rock genre. The track became part of Slade's live song set.
Allmusic wrote "The title track is automatic. 1 listen and you'll be chanting along, just as Slade audiences did ever since the band started playing the song. An absolute must hear."
"Night Starvation" written by Holder and Lea, this track became part of Slade's live song set. Chris Ingham of Rock Backpages stated ""Night Starvation" is a lusty piece of oompah rock."
Wheels Ain't Coming Down
"Wheels Ain't Coming Down" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Cheapskate record label (Slade's own label) on 27th March 1981 and reached number 60 on the U.K. chart.
Originally the opener from the "Return To Base" album. It tells the tale of a near death flying experience suffered by Holder and Lea when traveling to Los Angeles. The track was later released as a single in 1981 after Slade's 1980 Reading Festival performance which put them back in the public eye. It peaked at number 60. The track also became part of the band's live set list.
Geoff Ginsberg for allmusic.com stated the track ranked among the band's best work.
Hold On To Your Hats
"Hold On To Your Hats" written by Holder and Lea, this was the b - side to Slades original single "We'll Bring The House Down". This was recycled from Slade's previous album "Return To Base". The track is a mid tempo track influenced by a more rock 'n' roll sound. The track uses backward reverb effects. The track features a question and answer technique between Holder and the other band member Hill and Lea during the chorus.
When I'm Dancin' I ain't Fightin'
"When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'" written by Holder and Lea, was released as the main track on their E.P. "Alive At Reading ‘80". The song became part of Slade's live set. Chris Ingham stated "When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'" is a catchy rock song with a sing a long hook."
Allmusic wrote "When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin" is pure classic Slade. This is just the type of song that made people go crazy over this band in the 1st place, and it stacks up to their chart topping singles."
"Dizzy Mamma" written by Holder and Lea, this was the b - side to Slades original single "Ginny, Ginny". The track is influenced and similar to ZZ Top's song 'Tush'. It became part of the band's live set and was for some time, the band's stage opener. The song was originally taken from the unsuccessful 1980 "E.P. Six Of The Best". "Dizzy Mamma" and was remixed by the band at Portland Studios in London for this album. Ingham wrote "Dizzy Mamma is a Southern 12 bar boogie number."
Allmusic stated ""Dizzy Mama" was the Reading show opener, and it grabbed that crowd by the throat even thought the audience had never heard it."
Nuts Bolts And Screws
"Nuts Bolts And Screws" written by Holder and Lea, was taken from their album "Return To Base". It is a rock based track which allmusic.com states as a track that ranks among the band's best work. The song was remixed by the band at Portland Studios in London for this album.
My Baby's Got It
"My Baby's Got It" written by Holder and Lea, this was the b - side to Slades original single "Okey Cokey" is a track influenced by rock 'n' roll and boogie rock. The track was originally from "Return To Base". The track was performed on the U.K. TV show Get It Together along with a cover of "Okey Cokey" in 1979.
Lemme Love Into Ya
"Lemme Love Into Ya" written by Holder and Lea, is a minor key ballad which became used as part of the band's live set list. It was taken from the previous album "Return To Base". Record Mirror stated "The production is by the band and Andy Miller which really is excellent, especially the little tricks like the backwards tremeloed guitar intro to "Lemme Love Into Ya" and the very ambient sound throughout." The song was re worked by Lea, re titled 'Poland'. It was released under the artist name Greenfields of Tong in 1982. It was also the b side to the 1983 Sue Scadding single 'Simple Love' which was written by Holder and Lea, produced by Lea. The Poland song also appeared on the 1991 album 'A Day In The Life Of The Dummies', a collection of all the demos and recordings that Lea recorded with his brother Frank Lea and wife Louise Lea, under the name The Dummies.
I'm A Rocker
"I'm A Rocker" is a cover version of a Chuck Berry track. The track, originally from "Return To Base", was mimed on Belgian TV to promote the "We'll Bring The House Down" album as the song had topped the singles chart there in 1980. A video of the band at Portland Studios in London also showed the band originally recording the track in 1979.
Allmusic stated "The version of Chuck Berry's "I'm A Rocker" is catchy as all get out." James Parade for Record Mirror stated "Holders vocal prowess certainly hasn't dimmed on "I'm a Rocker."
Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals, producer
Noddy Holder - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, producer
Jim Lea - bass guitar, backing vocals, producer
Don Powell - drums, producer
Laurie Richards - art direction
Chas Chandler - cover concept