"Xmas Ear Bender" was produced by the band themselves and released via Cheapskate Record Label (Slade's own label) on 5th November 1980.
This single reached number 70 on the U.K. chart, spending 2 weeks on the charts. another part from the band's performance at the Reading festival in August 1980.
The 2 of 3 tracks that appeared on this single "Merry Xmas Everybody" and "Get Down And Get With It" were taken from Slade's live performance at the Reading festival in 1980. Ozzy Osbourne, during his Blizzard of Oz tour, cancelled his set at the Reading festival at short notice. The band stood in at very short notice and stole the show and quickly became popular again.
"Xmas Ear Bender" was released via Cheapskate Record Label (Slade's own label) on 5th November 1980.
"Xmas Ear Bender" was a follow up to the previous extended play "Alive At Reading '80". The 3 tracks that appeared on the E.P. was a 39 second recording of "Merry Xmas Everybody", with The Reading audience. The 2nd "Okey Cokey" was added to the E.P. however it was not actually performed at Reading. Instead, the band added audience sound effects into a new version of the song. The band had originally released the song as a single in 1979, failing to make any commercial impact. The final track was a live version of "Get Down And Get With It" taken from the Reading performance.
"Xmas Ear Bender" was originally released on 7" vinyl and produced by Slade, was an U.K. only release.
This was another part of the "Alive At Reading '80" single, except for the dreadful "Okey Cokey".
This was the last release before Slade's true comeback single "We'll Bring The House Down" on 23rd January 1981.
No video was made for this single, live concerts and word of mouth were the procedure to try publicise this single.
"Xmas Ear Bender" reached number 70 on the U.K. chart.
Track listing - 7" U.K. Single
A1. Merry Xmas Everybody (Slade and The Reading Audience) (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 0:39
A2. Okey Cokey (Jimmy Kennedy) - 3:25
B1. Get Down and Get With It (Bobby Marchan) - 6:49
Merry Xmas Everybody
"Merry Xmas Everybody" written by Holder and Lea, is only a 39 second recording with The Reading audience at the Reading concert, with a little banter from Holder.
"Okey Cokey" written by Jimmy Kennedy, Slade originally released and produced their version themselves via Barn Record Label on November 25th 1979 and failed to appear on the U.K. chart.
The single was issued as the band’s final single in the 1970s era. The band wished to record the song in hope they could earn some commercial success from the Christmas period. Years later bassist Lea stated in a fan club interview that he was originally phoned with the idea of the song. Lea was told if he didn’t turn up to record the song, it would be done without him, and so Lea turned up to record it, despite his feelings against the idea.
Get Down and Get With It
"Get Down And Get With It" written by Bobby Marchan. Slade originally released their version via Polydor Record Label on 21st May 1971 and failed to chart on the U.K. chart.
It became a regular song for their live set for nearly 2 years, in his autobiography, band member Holder said it was a Little Richard cover in 12 bar format, but "had something magical about it", the original was all piano and sax, but they did it with guitars. When eventually they decided to record it, at Olympic Studios, they did so with a live feel, setting up the microphones in the stairwell outside which gave the echo (for handclapping and stamping). Most DJs wouldn't play it because they thought it was too rowdy, but a few did, including John Peel, it peaked at number 16 on the U.K. chart, and earned them an appearance on Top Of The Pops. Little Richard was given the writer's credit, then they were sued by the real writer, Bobby Marchan, who had also performed the original. Their record company, Polydor record label, sorted out this mess.
Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals
Noddy Holder - lead vocals, guitar
Jim Lea - bass guitar, backing vocals
Don Powell - drums
Slade - producers
The Reading Audience - backing vocals on "Merry Xmas Everybody"
Slade, Mike 'Mad Robbo' Robinson - Mixers on "Merry Xmas Everybody"
Slade, Mike 'Mad Robbo' Robinson - Mixers on "Okey Cokey"
Slade, Mike 'Mad Robbo' Robinson - Mixers on "Get Down And Get With It"