"Sign Of The Times" was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea and was produced by the band themselves. The single was released via Barn Record Label on 22nd November 1979. This single failed to appear on the U.K. chart. "Sign Of The Times" appeared on their 1979 album "Return To Base".
The single was released during the band's late 1970s period of unpopularity. As the single failed to chart, and most copies for sale were left unsold, many were melted down, making the single rare today. "Sign Of The Times" was produced by Slade, with usual producer and manager Chas Chandler allowing the band to produce themselves. The b - side "Not Tonight Josephine" was exclusive to the single, later used as the b - side to the 1981 single "Wheels Ain't Coming Down". The a - side "Sign Of The Times" was later used as the b - side to Slade's 1981 U.K. hit single "Lock Up Your Daughters".
"Sign Of The Times" was released via Barn Record Label on 22nd November 1979. Both tracks were recorded, mixed and cut at Portland Recording Studios in London. The studio was the primary studio used by Slade around the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the 20th October 1979 issue of Melody Maker, a review of the single wrote "Poor old Slade. Banished by the fickle finger of public taste, they’ve been hovering in a sort of no man’s land for ages. This 1 won’t recapture an audience, even though they’re clearly aiming for the ELO sector. Echoed vocals, lots of bombast and the odd “electronic” gimmick do not a great single make. Only when Noddy Holder recaptures his perfect John Lennon imitation will they rise from the ashes…"
"Sign Of The Times" was originally released on 7" vinyl.
Upon release, 'One Magazine' gave the single a 'Superpop' rating of 2 out of 5 and wrote "I never was 1 for the rantings and ravings of Holder & Co. and this latest single doesn't do much to change my attitude. Starting slowly and building up to the usual foot stomping, heavy head banging climax it's sure to go down well in the Northern clubs where the band have a fervent following. I'd hate to think what the Southern crowds would say to this dated sound."
Like much of Slade's singles of the time, there was no promotional video or any TV performances for the song. The main form of promotion was the band's live touring across the U.K.. In a fan club interview of the time, guitarist Dave Hill was asked why the song was not included in the live set. Dave Hill replied "The reason for that is that at the moment we feel the act is just about right. We have added 2 numbers, that have worked very well, and we are now hoping to get "Sign of the Times" in on the next stretch of dates. Also at the moment we've got one slow ballad in the act, and on this tour we didn't want to have 2." The song was occasionally performed for gig soundchecks.
"Sign Of The Times" single failed to enter the U.K. top 100 singles chart.
Track listing - 7" U.K. Single
A1. Sign Of The Times (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:58
B1. Not Tonight Josephine (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:03
Sign Of The Times
"Sign Of The Times" written by Holder and Lea, and was produced by the band themselves was originally released via Barn Record Label on 22nd November 1979 and failed to chart on the U.K. chart. Lea said 'this is a ballad based on technological revolution'. The track was issued as a single but failed to chart. It was later used as the b - side to Slade's hit single "Lock Up Your Daughters". This single appeared on their album "Return To Base".
Not Tonight Josephine
"Not Tonight Josephine" written by Holder and Lea, this was the b - side to Slades original single "Sign Of The Times". The b - side 'Not Tonight Josephine' was exclusive to the single, later used as the b - side to the 1981 single "Wheels Ain't Coming Down".
Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals
Noddy Holder - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jim Lea - bass guitar, backing vocals
Don Powell - drums
Slade - producers
Andy Miller - engineer
Dave Garland - assistant engineer
Mark O'Donoughue - assistant engineer
George Peckham - cutting engineer