One of the UK’s most successful, and often vastly underrated , rock bands lay out their finest moments on new compilation that covers just over 20 years. Donnie slides into Slade.
Normally Maximum Volume Music would shy away from reviewing Greatest Hits compilations, especially if it’s from a band or artists that already has several such releases to their name. However, with Slade, there is always a feeling that no matter how successful they have been, and they have been successful beyond the imagine of 99% of bands that pick up instruments, there is always a lack of appreciation and understanding of how great and influential the band actually are.
For a band that has provided inspiration and adoration from artists like Kiss, Alice Cooper, Nirvana, The Clash, The Ramones, Ozzy Osbourne and Oasis to name but a very select few, you would think they would be some sort of monument to them in the UK on a par with some of the island’s most celebrated exports. As yet no statue exists but it doesn’t mean they are not worthy.
A good number of tracks on offer here require no real introduction or analysis as if you have never heard the likes of “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”, “Gudbuy T’Jane” or “Cum On Feel The Noize” then I would imagine you have bigger issues to address in your life. Of course, you could well be of the younger generation (millenials I believe they are called) who only hear the sounds of the Wolverhampton’s finest at a certain festive time of the year. If you are one of the modern youth then this will be a very good musical synopsis into what you have missed so far.
From Noddy Holder’s opening “Baby, Baby, Baby!!” refrain on track one to the final “It’s CHHRIISSSTTMMMAASSS” vocal screams forty-three tracks, and some 2 hours 30 minutes, later it is a thrilling ride that covers 21 years in the often weird and wonderful world of Slade.
Apart from the most obvious tracks, some of the gems on this compilation include the easy rolling “7 Year Bitch” which for some unknown reason charted at number 60 when released in 1985. That said, it’s not the only head-scratching moment on the release either as similarly brilliant tracks like “Wheels Ain’t Coming Down”, “Gypsy Roadhog” or “Nobody’s Fool” which all charted the wrong side of the Top 40.
Some of the tracks on offer here also failed to chart, “Ginny, Ginny” and “Sign Of The Times”, but that is a reflection perhaps on the time’s rather than the quality of band’s output at that stage in their career in the late 1970’s. So whilst a handful of these tracks may not have been hitz in the conventional sense to the Slade aficionado they are stonewall classics.
The band is now synonymous with exciting and energetic glam-fuelled hard rock straight out of the top drawer and this compilation shows exactly why the majority of bands and artists that you love…love Slade.
Donnie’s Rating: 9/10
Cum On Feel The Hitz will be released on the 25th September via BMG.