Slade was a uniquely British phenomenon, charting #1 hit after #1 hit in the U.K. from 1971 to 1973 while scarcely making a dent in the U.S. charts (they never cracked the U.S. top 40 in their prime). It’s Slade is a BBC documentary from 1999 that lovingly documents the phenomenal success of the biggest rock stars Wolverhampton ever produced.
The documentary has some slight resemblance to This Is Spinal Tap, particularly the early b/w Thamesmen-ish TV footage of short-haired Dave Hill and Noddy Holder giving McCartney’s “Martha My Dear” their finest effort—and later on, This Is Spinal Tap is referenced in the doc itself in connection with some early Australian dates Slade undertook.
Slade was renowned for intentionally misspelled song titles, mirrored hats, and insanely high platform boots. Their hits “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” and “Cum On Feel the Noize” were appropriated wholesale by Quiet Riot for the MTV generation, but in England they are probably most known for their undying holiday hit “Merry Xmas Everybody.”
Few bands were as much fun as Slade, as Suzi Quatro and Noel Gallagher are on hand to testify. Gallagher refers to them as a “proper geezer’s band,” which is certainly the ultimate compliment coming from him.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Female polka band does world’s best cover of Slade’s ‘Gudbuy T’Jane’