"Slade Smashes" is a compilation album by Slade of their hits from 1971 to 1978, it was released and produced by Chas Chandler via Polydor record label on 1st November 1980.
This album reached number 21 on the U.K. chart, becoming their biggest album of the band's 80s output.
The compilation was the first Polydor record label release relating to Slade since 1976, featuring 20 tracks in total, with the compilation being released on vinyl.
The album was certified U.K. Gold by BPI in December 1980, selling 200,000 copies.
The album was issued in the wake of the band's new found success following their appearance at the annual Reading Festival, filling in for Ozzy Osbourne.
The album featured most of the band's big hits from their early and mid 1970s heyday in the U.K. as well as less successful tracks from the band's 'down period'
in the late 1970s. This collection, alongside the band's subsequent release "We'll Bring The House Down", further cemented Slade's comeback in the U.K. and Europe
(and shortly afterwards, newfound success in the U.S.A.).
The compilation was created by Polydor record label and did not feature much input from the actual band. According to the Slade January – February 1981 fan club magazine,
Polydor record label spent £250,000 on promotion for the compilation.
In a 1980 fan club interview, Noddy Holder was asked why Polydor record label were releasing a compilation now. "It's not been the Reading Festival that has prompted the release of the Hits album they had already made plans to release the album before we decided to do the show."
In a November 1980 Sounds magazine interview, Noddy Holder was asked if he was at all depressed at this preoccupation with past glories? Noddy Holder replied "Depressed? No.
This compilation will be great for the fans, a chance to get all the hits on one record. But we don't relate to them in the same way anymore,
the way we play them now is bugger all like the records anyway."
"Slade Smashes" was released via Polydor record label on 1st November 1980.
According to the Slade Fan Club Newsletter for November – December 1980, the album was released because all Slade's singles were deleted and unavailable new except for "Merry Xmas Everybody".
Stated in the Slade fan club magazine of the time, some songs on the album were slightly remixed in the studio to give a more '1980's feel'. Several tracks
from the album were not the original recordings, but outtakes instead, added by mistake via Polydor record label.
In December 1984, guitarist Dave Hill had sold his personal U.K. Gold Disc award for 250,000 sales of "Slade Smashes!" to charity,
which sold for a total of £385 at the time. This was shown on the U.K. TV show Saturday Starship.
"Slade Smashes" was originally released on 12" vinyl and cassette.
Upon release, Record Mirror wrote "People keep telling me there's a Slade revival going on, but it's hard not to laugh. It's more than interesting to watch
those who've seen them live attempt to convert those who keep their look of bemusement and incredulity intact during the discourse. It's also funny to watch
the curious become fervent disciples whose faces light up at the mention of Slade. They're the ones who stumble across the truth, via the experience, that
there is no Slade revival. The word revival always implies that the band were redundant for a period between their 'hey day' and their current 'resurgence'
but Slade have remained constant throughout. They slogged up and down the toilets and flea pits of this country for five years before their first hit
"Get Down And Get With It" gave everybody the opportunity to realise that they are one of the best live attractions in this land.
Their aggressive, energetic and enthusiastic stage show was successfully translated into a string of raucous singles that celebrated the mythical rock 'n' roll
spirit with a vengeance. Smash hit songs like "Mama Weer All Crazee Now", "Cum On Feel The Noize", "Take Me Bak 'Ome", "Gudbuy T'Jane" and the others contained on this 20 track summary of the time when Slade and the record buying public connected are the best reminders of the power some felt and others ignored.
Those who have realised the power of Slade will already have the majority of the songs on this collection. Those who have only recently caught up with the fact that Slade have remained constant and those that have reconnected with a fundamental lynch pin of that mess we call rock 'n' roll will find this set a useful but ultimately unsatisfying reminder of the joy and exuberance of the Birmingham quartet of Dave Hill, Noddy Holder, Jim Lea & Don Powell.
Those who have yet to find out had better start here and then grasp the opportunity to 'feel the noize' at the first chance."
The main form of promotion was via Slade's live performances.
The album reached number 21 on the U.K. chart.
Track Listing - 12" LP U.K.
A1. Cum On Feel The Noize (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 4.25
A2. My Friend Stan (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:38
A3. Far Far Away (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:34
A4. Coz I Luv You (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:31
A5. Everyday (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:07
A6. Gypsy Roadhog (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:23
A7. Thanks For The Memory (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 4:32
A8. Bangin' Man (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 4:09
A9. In For A Penny (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:35
A10. Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 4:34
B1. Mama Weer All Crazee Now (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:41
B2. Look Wot You Dun (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Don Powell) - 2:54
B3. Take Me Bak 'Ome (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:12
B4. Let's Call It Quits (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:30
B5. Give Us A Goal (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:49
B6. Merry Xmas Everybody (Holder, Lea) - 3:42
B7. How Does It Feel (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 5:53
B8. My Baby Left Me / That's Alright Mama (Arthur Crudup) - 2:24
B9. Get Down With It (Bobby Marchan) - 3:50
B10. Gudbuy T'Jane (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:30
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 number1 on the U.K. chart.
This was the band'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.
My Friend Stan
"My Friend Stan" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 28th September 1973 and reached number 2 on the U.K. chart.
The song itself has a novelty feel with piano as the leading instrument. The song peaked at number 2 on the U.K. chart.
At the time, Lea was persuaded to complete this song by manager Chas Chandler who'd heard him playing the melody on the piano at his home. During recording, drummer Powell was walking with the aid of a stick and had to be lifted on to his drum kit due to his near fatal car accident of the time.
Far Far Away
"Far Far Away" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 11th October 1974 and reached number 2 on the U.K. chart.
A swaying acoustic track featuring the musings of a man who has seen the world but still feels the pull of his roots, it was a personal song written largely by Holder.
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 Leas 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 Lea and Holder 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.
"Everyday" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 29th March 1973 and reached number 3 on the U.K. chart.
Is a piano based ballad which was released as the 2nd and final single, peaking at number 3 on the UK. chart.
Upon its release, the band knew they were taking a risk but "Everyday" had become a firm favourite on stage when the crowd would sing along which they never expected. The song was born out of an evening at Leas house when his friends asked how he wrote songs. Leas wife promptly sang the opening of the verse which Lea later completed. This was a recording that guitarist
Hill didn't actually play on, as he was away on honeymoon and so he missed the recording sessions. Lea did all the guitar parts.
"Gypsy Roadhog" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Barn record label on 21st January 1977 and reached number 48 on the U.K. chart.
This was the only single from the album "Whatever Happened To Slade", a tale of the exploits of an American cocaine dealer, the track was banned by the BBC. Regardless, the track remained popular with the fan base,
featuring a more country rock influence, no doubt taken from Slade's touring in America.
Thanks For The Memory
"Thanks For The Memory" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 9th May 1975 and reached number 7 on the U.K. chart.
The single is notable for the use of keyboard at the time new to a Slade single although piano and organ had been used in previous material.
The song was originally titled 'Here's to Your Health, Here's to Your Wealth'. This version was later recorded by the band using a similar melody to "Thanks For The Memory" for the b-side of the 1984 hit single "All Join Hands". The b side was titled either "Here's To... or Here's To (The New Year)".
"Thanks For The Memory" was censored upon release because the BBC took offence at the line "have a love smell on your sheet". Holder soon re recorded the vocal as "have some honey with your meat" to allow play on Top of The Pops.
"Bangin' Man" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 28th June 1974 and reached number 3 on the U.K. chart.
The track was written while on tour in Australia and once again innuendo was rampant in the lyrics. The song was about being woken up by room maids after partying while on tour. Commonly mistaken, many fans thought the song's lyrics related to the band's drummer Powell but the song actually spoke of Graham "Swinn" Swinnerton, Slade's long time tour manager.
In For A Penny
"In For A Penny" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 14th November 1975 and reached number 11 on the U.K. chart.
It is a ballad and features the accordion which is the only Slade track to do so.
Chris Ingham wrote ""In For A Penny" is an atmospheric, reflective piece fully of Beatlesesque harmonic traits and featuring the longest Hill guitar solo used on a Slade single. It may come as a surprise to listeners seduced by the melancholy air of the record to discover that the lyrics content is full of risqué."
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 number 1 on the U.K. chart.
This was the band's 5th number 1 single in the U.K. and their 2nd to enter straight at number 1.
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'.
The single sold 300,000 copies in the 1st week of release and was certified U.K. Silver by BPI in July 1973.
Reportedly, the band only recorded the song as a joke, not intending for it to be released at all. After promoting the song upon release, the band soon disowned the song, never performing it live again after 1973.
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
"Mama Weer All Crazee Now" 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.
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. This 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. The single fared less well in the U.S.A. where it peaked at number 76.
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.
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.
Originally, manager / producer Chas Chandler had put the band under pressure to write their own song for a follow up single to their first hit "Get Down And Get With It". Lea turned up at Holder's home unexpectedly with his guitar
and violin with an idea for a song with a Django Reinhardt / Stephan Grapelli hot club sound. 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 furor among teachers up and down the country.
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 the band's 2nd number 1 single in the U.K. 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.
During the recording of the track, Holder ad libbed over the riff in the middle of the song. Lea asked him to change the ad lib because it had given him the idea for their next single "Mama Weer All Crazee Now".
Let's Call It Quits
"Let's Call It Quits" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 30th January 1976 and reached number 11 on the U.K. chart.
Allmusic described the track as "a real screamer where Holder coughs up a great vocal." Chris Ingham wrote ""Let's Call It Quits" pursued the usual ribald lyrical theme but otherwise was entirely dissimilar to anything Slade
had yet recorded. Preceded by a fanfare of overdriven jazzy chords on the guitar and bowing out on a superbly bluesy pay off, a slinky rock groove with offbeat rhythm guitar and inspired call and response between Holders vocals and Hills lead guitar."
In the Slade Fan Club Newsletter of February and March 1976, the track was described by the editor. "Another American influenced piece of work by Holder and Lea, who wrote all the material on the album. A fascinating track with a deeper voiced Holder reproducing
a 1976 cowboy, but instead of an acoustic guitar on his knee there is a strong sound of electric guitar, making it sound totally modern. From Holder, as he sings a rather plaintive song love song to end an affair, there comes too almost a hint of a yodel near the end.
They used to sing things like this in Cowboy films, well not quite like this, but I think you'll know what I mean when you hear it."
Give Us A Goal
"Give Us A Goal" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Barn record label 3rd March 1978 and failed to chart in the U.K.
At the time Slade were still unpopular and were not having any commercial success, largely due to the new craze for punk music.
This single was the final to be produced by usual producer Chas Chandler, as the band and Lea in particular, felt that Chandler was no longer producing as well as he could. From this single, the band would continue to produce themselves whilst Chandler would remain their manager.
Merry Xmas Everybody
"Merry Xmas Everybody" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 7th December 1973 and reached number 1 on the U.K. chart.
This was the band's 6th and last number 1 in the U.K. and their 3rd to enter straight at number 1.
Before its release, "Merry Xmas Everybody" received about half a million advance orders whilst 350,000 copies were bought upon its release on 7th December 1973. On 15th December it became the 3rd song by Slade to enter the U.K. Singles Chart at number 1 (all in 1973)
and the 6th number 1 of their career, and became the fastest selling single in the U.K. Polydor record label were forced to use their French pressing plant to keep up with the demand, and the song eventually went on to sell over 1 million copies, becoming the Christmas number 1 of 1973. "Merry Xmas Everybody" remained number 1 until mid January, and stayed in the charts for a total of 9 weeks. As the single remained in the charts after Christmas, Holder stated he was confused, wondering why people continued to buy it after Christmas.
Holder also stated that the song was still number 1 in France during April 1974, as the public there had no idea what the song was about.
How Does It Feel
"How Does It Feel" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 7th February 1975 and reached number 15 on the U.K. chart.
The tune was originally written by Lea, back in 1970 on an old out of tune piano with half the keys missing. It was brought out of the cupboard to be the theme tune for their film "Slade In Flame". Chris Ingham of Rock Back pages stated "Leas simple piano part, Holders vocal intoning a lyric full of philosophical wonder,
ghostly backing vocals, organ and flute. These elements would be enough to mark "How Does It Feel" as a notable Slade recording but with addition of a huge horn section to, piping flutes and a running time of over 5 minutes."
My Baby Left Me / That's Alright Mama
"My Baby Left Me / That's Alright Mama" written by Arthur Crudup, Slade originally released their version via Polydor record label on 7th February 1975 and reached number 15 on the U.K. chart.
The single was released as a tribute to Elvis Presley who died a couple of months before. The Slade version of "My Baby Left Me" merged another Crudup track titled "That's All Right". "My Baby Left Me" originally gained more exposure via covers by Elvis Presley, Dave Berry and the Cruisers and later John Lennon. In 1977, when "My Baby Left Me" was recorded, guitarist Hill was busy doing interviews up in the North of England, thus he was unavailable to record the lead guitar
and backing vocals track for the single. Evidently Lea stood in for him, and appears in Hills place on the finished recording.
A short while before the single's release, 1 U.K. magazine had commented how Slade always had the same image. As a result, Hill decided to shave all his hair off, leading to a fall out with his wife and the gaining of the nickname 'Grasshopper', given by Holder.
Get Down With It
"Get Down 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.
The single was released two times during 1971. Firstly on 21st May 1971 as "Get Down And Get With It" with credit's stating the track was written by Hill, Holder, Lea, Powell and Penniman ('Little' Richard Penniman).
The story is that the group found the song as originally by Little Richard, when it was 1st released it was given the same title and credited to Slade and Little Richard, reflecting Slade's arrangement of the song. Before the song's 1st chart entry, publishers began to contact Polydor record label, with the band and label realising the song's correct title is "Get Down With It" written by Bobby Marchan. When the mistake was realised the song was hurriedly re released as "Get Down With It" written by Marchan on 8th June 1971.
The single wouldn't reach the top 20 until 7th August 1971. Some sources support the claim that the incorrect credit may have been a publicity stunt,
as Polydor record label would have likely realised the publishing mistake beforehand.
"Gudbuy T'Jane" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 17th November 1972 and reached number 2 on the U.K. chart.
The idea to this song 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.
Dave Hill – lead guitar
Noddy Holder – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Jim Lea – bass guitar
Don Powell – drums
Chas Chandler - producer
Stewart Winning & David Lindsay - sleeve design