"Till Deaf Do Us Part" was Slades 9th studio U.K. album, it was released and produced by the band themselves via RCA record label on 13th November 1981.
This album reached number 68 on the U.K. chart, although not as successful as early 1981's "We'll Bring The House Down", this album sold well. The album itself shown Slade with their heaviest sound, appealing to the new wave of heavy metal fans that Slade gained after their performance at the 1980 Reading Festival.
Following Slade's post Reading '80 resurgence, no one was happier to see Slade back in the charts and filling venues than manager Chas Chandler. However, by this time the band and manager had not seen eye to eye for a while. Having already been relieved of his record producing duties in 1979 and with the band making their own decisions and a massive argument with bassist Jim Lea and his brother Frank about the organisation of their co owned Cheapskate record label, Chas Chandler knew his days with the band were numbered. The final straw was the debacle surrounding their May 1981 single "Knuckle Sandwich Nancy". The band were confident that the high speed, drum heavy record was a fitting follow on from the similarly toned January 1981 hit "We'll Bring The House Down", though Chas Chandler and RCA record label disagreed. The single was half heartedly released and flopped. The band blamed Chas Chandler and split from him completely. Apparently bearing little ill will, Chas Chandler negotiated Slade's new deal with RCA record label on very favourable terms, selling his share of Cheapskate record label.
Now producing and managing themselves, Slade released "Lock Up Your Daughters" which peaked at number 29 in the U.K. and entered the top 3 in Europe. December 1981 saw Slade's RCA record label debut and first album of all new material since 1979's "Return To Base". Regardless of only peaking at number 68, a few new songs became part of Slade's live set. This included the perfect opener "Rock And Roll Preacher" which took place of Slade's long time opener "Hear Me Calling".
"Till Deaf Do Us Part" was released via RCA record label on 13th November 1981.
Upon release, Kerrang! magazine reviewed the "Till Deaf Do Us Part" album and stated "The title track though, forms the album's anthem, a roistering nearly messy piece of bawdy class, where they sound like the Brit equivalent of AC / DC. Funny that, have you noticed how Brian Johnson and Noddy Holder both have the same often awesome nasal tone?"
"Till Deaf Do Us Part" was originally released on 12" vinyl and cassette.
In an interview with Noddy Holder for the Slade Supporters Club's December 1981 newsletter, Noddy Holder was asked how the title came about. "It came about because everyone always says how loud we are. We based the album around volume, all the tracks are rock and it is a loud album. The track "Till Deaf Do Us Part" is all about bending your ear and being deafened".
For the same interview, Noddy Holder explained the new features of the album when compared to the band's previous work, "We've used a lot of organ on the album, which is used on the single as well. That's basically the only difference. We think that it's a much better sound than we've ever had before. It's a solid rock album from start to finish, except for the instrumental piece which is a slowish theme, but all the others are fast and solid rock. There's no acoustic rock on the album like songs such as "Don't Waste Your Time" and "Sign Of The Times", which we have had on previous LPs." The album was the only to feature organs recurring throughout.
Upon release of the album, NME stated Slade were facing trouble for the album as dealers were refusing to stock the album, because of an 'offensive' picture of a nail piercing an ear drum. The album cover was later changed on the first CD reissue, featuring a picture of the band in flames.
The main form of promotion for the album was Slade's live performances although with the band's revival, Slade were able to appear on TV to promote the singles.
The album reached number 68 on the U.K. chart.
Track Listing - 12" LP U.K.
A1. Rock And Roll Preacher (Hallelujah I'm On Fire)
A2. Lock Up Your Daughters (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:23
A3. Till Deaf Do Us Part (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:22
A4. Ruby Red (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:49
A5. She Brings Out The Devil In Me (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:22
B1. A Night To Remember (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:36
B2. M'Hat M'Coat (Dave Hill) - 1:53
B3. It's Your Body Not Your Mind (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:00
B4. Let The Rock Roll Out Of Control (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:55
B5. That Was No Lady That Was My Wife (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 2:31
B6. Knuckle Sandwich Nancy (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 3:09
B7. Till Deaf Resurrected (Noddy Holder, Jim Lea) - 1:01
Rock And Roll Preacher (Hallelujah I'm On Fire)
"Rock And Roll Preacher" written by Holder and Lea, was an ideal show opener which replaced "Dizzy Mama" as an opener for each live concert. The organ riff recurs elsewhere on the album as do other musical motifs and lyrical themes, creating a thread of continuity. The intro to the track (complete with horror sound effects) was a variation on The Sunday Service, something Slade used to perform in the mid 1960s when they were The 'N Betweens. Then, Holder wore a dog collar and told dirty jokes. Here, he intones a mock ceremony of the communion of rock and roll and encourages call and response participation from the band. Holder spoke about the song in a 1981 interview "it features some of the gimmick things that we do onstage already, with lots of hallelujahs."
The track was released as a single in Germany, peaking at number 49 in the chart and has been covered by Sapo and The Sirens.
In the September - December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, the poll results were announced for the 1986 opinion poll based on Slade’s material. For the best album track, Rock And Roll Preacher (Hallelujah I’m On Fire) placed at number 1.
Lock Up Your Daughters
"Lock Up Your Daughters" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Polydor record label on 4th September 1981 and reached number 29 on the U.K. chart.
This is an up tempo track with the groove and high backing vocals recalling "Sweet Box" from their 1970's album "Play It Loud'" Chris Ingham who wrote the album notes for the Salvo remasters stated "with kick heavy production pitching the track firmly in early '80s rock pop territory becoming a hit in Europe."
Till Deaf Do Us Part
"Till Deaf Do Us Part" written by Holder and Lea, is described by Chris Ingham as "no less monolithic, but features a few bass note choices which sweeten the crunching guitar power chords into slightly more refined inversions. Jim Lea's overt musicality is present even when at the service of heavy rock." Holder spoke about the track in a 1981 interview "the track is all about concerts and what the crowds get up to, there’s lines in it like hanging from the ceiling, the balconies are gonna break and other lines that depict what the crowds do at gigs".
"Ruby Red" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via RCA record label on 12th March 1982 and reached number 51 on the U.K. chart.
This is a track which Slade had written in the late 70s, according to Holder. Chris Ingham stated ""Ruby Red" salutes a fun loving girl who likes her food. Despite being a neatly constructed melodic rocker, it didn't quite make the top U.K. 50 as a single."
She Brings Out The Devil In Me
"She Brings Out The Devil In Me" written by Holder and Lea, is further proof that when it came to medium tempo groove rockers, Slade had learned a lot from U.S.A. boogie bands they encountered during their time in America. Holder mentioned that the track is "all dead filth! It's a song about a block and a chick…. And that's the end of the first side". In a 1981 fan club interview, Holder explained the creation of the track "the song just came out of a lick that we used to jam at sound checks. I put a melody and words to it, and we had a song."
A Night To Remember
"A Night To Remember" written by Holder and Lea, is a fast and frantic track. The track fit with Slade's live set, allowing a drum, bass and violin solo. Holder told the fan club in 1981 ""A Night To Remember" is an out and out rock track, in the "Dizzy Mama" vein. It’s all solid rock riffs and a bit of a boogie number. We’ll be doing this one onstage for sure. It’s a number about a guy waiting to see his chick again there’s no real story to it, it’s basically a quickly knocked off thing with rock riffs and a good beat to it."
"M'Hat M'Coat" written by Hill, is an uncommon instance of a Hill composition on a Slade record. Holder described the track as "an eerie number with all guitars and synthesisers on it, which is dedicated to his guru!" When Hill was asked by Record Collector if he regretted not writing more for the group Hill admitted he did, but was reluctant to upset the commercially winning Holder, Lea formula. Hill told Ken Sharpe; "I think I fell into the George Harrison trap of backing off".
It's Your Body Not Your Mind
"It's Your Body Not Your Mind" written by Holder and Lea, is an up tempo track. Chris Ingham stated "the track is a smirking, smutty appreciation of a super smart schoolgirl." Holder stated "it’s got all double meanings about things at school".
Let The Rock Roll Out Of Control
"Let The Rock Roll Out Of Control" written by Holder and Lea, is described by Chris Ingham as "a track that pays tribute to Slade's new audience of heavy metal fans, with Slade's own brand of metal muscle." Holder explained that the track "is all about audiences, the punters who come to the gigs and the stageshow type gigs".
That Was No Lady That Was My Wife
"That Was No Lady That Was My Wife" written by Holder and Lea, attempts to make a song from an old music hall joke. Holder commented on the track in 1981 "it's about all the Flash Harrys that go down the discos a type of 'oldest swinger in town' thing. This one is especially based around Haden Donovan!"
Knuckle Sandwich Nancy
"Knuckle Sandwich Nancy" written by Holder and Lea, this was originally released as a single by Slade via Cheapskate record label (Slade's own label) on 15th May 1981 and failed to chart in the U.K.
This tells about a beating Holder suffered in 1978 at the hands of a Welsh bouncer he had chastised from the stage for being too rough with the audience. The track was released as a single which failed to chart which led to the band departing from long term manager Chas Chandler.
Till Deaf Resurrected
"Till Deaf Resurrected" written by Holder and Lea, lets the album come to a fitting finale. Chris Ingham wrote "a 'Sgt Pepper' like reprise of "Till Deaf Do Us Part" with large vocal harmonies and Holder telling listeners to 'rest in peace'."
Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals
Noddy Holder - lead vocals, guitar
Jim Lea - bass guitar, organs, backing vocals
Don Powell - drums
Andy Miller - co producer, assistant producer, engineer
George "Porky" Peckham - cutting engineer
Mark O'Donoughue - tape operator technician