Thursday, September 21, 2017

SLADE: “Slade Alive”

Rating: RRRR
Label: BMG
Review by Martien Koolen

Slade Alive was originally released on 24 March 1972 and now 45 years later BMG brings out a Deluxe Edition of this spectacular album. Slade Alive was a very successful album for the band, staying in the UK Album Charts for 58 weeks and it was also their first LP which was in the English as well in the American charts. Slade Alive is definitely Slade’s best album as it has actually nothing to do with the commercial songs of Slade they later on released like e.g. Gudbuy t’Jane, Skweeze Me, Pleese Me or their utterly annoying Christmas hit Merry Xmas Everybody. Slade Alive features 7 tracks of which three are covers, namely Hear Me Calling (Ten Years After), Darling Be Home Soon (Lovin’ Spoonful) and Born To Be Wild, originally from Steppenwolf of course. The ballad Darlin’ Be Home Soon with excellent guitar work from Dave Hill, is mainly famous, probably even notorious, due to Noddy Holder’s belch during a quiet part of the song. Hear Me Calling was the opening song for a Slade concert since 1970 and Slade’s version is excellent with stunning guitar work and very weird noises by Holder. In Like A Shot From My Gun was never released as a studio recording by Slade so this hard rock track is a rather special song on this album. Know Who You Are was originally called Genesis and was released as a single from Slade’s album Beginnings. The song was an instrumental one and it flopped completely, then they wrote lyrics for that track and renamed it Know Who You Are. They released that new version again as a single and it flopped again…. But this live version of that song on Slade Alive is a good one as it is a decent straight forward hard rock song. Keep On Rocking is Slade’s rock and roll “tribute” to Chuck Berry and Little Richard and Holder is amazing on that one. Get Down And Get With It was the first success single for Slade and that one is in fact a really heavy remake of Bobby Marchan’s Get Down With It, a song from 1964! Nolder screams his lungs out in this Slade classic track and this live version is so much better than the studio one! Slade Alive ends with a heavy version, guitars galore, of Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild.
Slade Alive is their best album ever and Dave Hill said about this amazing album: “My memories of Slade Alive are based around the principle I hold dear to this day and the very reason I formed a band in the first place…live performance!! I believe Slade Alive is such a great album because it’s Slade ‘live on stage, at our very best! Our success was based on that album and the principle that we were a great live rock and roll band of our generation.”
Slade Alive DeLuxe Edition is available as CD with hardback cover and 28 page booklet or as 180g Vinyl LP with 6 page Booklet.

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