Shape Of Things To Come 1970

Fontana Records TF 1079
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On Saturday 21st March 1970, the band appeared on BBC2's Disco 2 (the forerunner to the Old Grey Whistle Test) introduced by a young Tommy Vance.
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Express & Star: March 19th 1970

They performed Shape Of Things To Come for the first time on television although at this time of night it's not surprising nobody saw it.

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Daily Mirror Sat. 21st March 1970

Slade's first appearance on Top Of The Pops was in full skinhead regalia. Shape Of Things To Come had not charted but that wasn't necessary then. What was a problem though, was the fact that the producers son had been 'beaten up' by a group of skinheads recently. After some discussion, they were reluctantly allowed to appear on the Thursday 2nd April show (which was recorded the day before at Wood Lane).

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They would soon become regulars on the show but right now they were actually feeling small and intimidated by Elton John. In my humble opinion, their tale of teen angst and revolution is far more memorable than Border Song.

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Shape Of Things To Come was released on the 6th March 1970. This powerful song, originally by Max Frost & The Troopers, featured in the 1968 cult classic movie *Wild In The Streets, that same year. Written by Barry Mann and his wife Cynthia Weil (Dyad Music), who would later become a Grammy Award winning songwriting team.

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New Musical Express 23rd March 1970
SLADE: Shape Of Things To Come (Philips).
The Midlands group whose main claim to fame is their skinheads. But in this rip-roaring rocker, the quartet also displays abundant musical ability. The fervently shouted solo vocal rides above the thundering beat and racous guitar sounds, to create a dynamism and a fiery attack reminiscent of the early days of the Who.
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The importance of this release is the B-side of course. C'mon C'mon is credited on my 7" as Holder/Lea but I know the original release credits just Holder. See Dave Graham's original below and Chris Selby's copy concurs.
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The song shows their potential well, opening on a powerful riff and incorporating intricate harmonies and a vocal push that leave the listener somewhat gobsmacked. It's far from the stomp and clap style that they would soon develop but it does bear all the gutsy hallmarks, a 'seriously in-your-face' (bordering on overbearing) bass line, ferocious chorus harmonies and an incessant melody with gorgeous Dave Hill lead fills to die for.
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I searched for many years, trying to get hold of this B-side and I'm pleased to say that it was, very much, worth the wait. My copy is a much later repress but oddly enough, the B-Sides collection also credits Holder & Lea but continues to describe the song as a "Noddy Holder original"?
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  • Shape Of Things To Come
  • C'mon C'mon
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Shape Of Things To Come
(Mann & Weil)

There's a new sun
Rising up in the sky
There's a new voice
Crying we're not afraid to die

Let the old world, make believe
It's blind and deaf and dumb
But nothing can change the shape of things to come

There are changes
Lying ahead on every road
There are new thoughts
Ready and waiting to explode
When tomorrow is today
The bells made all fuzz up
But nothing can change the shape of things to come

The future's coming on now sweet and strong
And no-one gonna hold it back for long

There are young dreams
Crowding out old realities
Revolutions
Sweeping in like a fresh new breeze

Let the old world
Make believe it's blind and deaf and dumb
Nothing can change the shape of things,
Nothing can change the shape of things,
Nothing can change the shape of things,
Nothing can change the shape of things,
Nothing can change the shape of things to come
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C'mon C'mon
(Holder)

You can take up the lead, if you're feelin' the need, de-la-lee-li
There's a thousand behind with peculiar minds, de-la-lee-li
We got no need to worry, got no need to hurry
Certain to win, certain to win
If you feed for the speed, you can keep up the lead, de-la-lee-li

C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, take time for fun
C'mon, c'mon, take time for fun

We can go on an' on, 'til our energy's gone, de-la-lee-li
Don't go actin' the fool, just keep everythin' cool, de-la-lee-li
We got no need to worry, got no need to hurry
Certain to win, certain to win
If the end is in sight, it's the end of the fight, de-la-lee-li


C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, take time for fun
C'mon, c'mon, take time for fun


Now the feelin' has passed, it has all bin a gas, de-la-lee-li
It's-a always up hill for a natural thrill, de-la-lee-li
We got no need to worry, got no need to hurry
Certain to win, certain to win
When you reach a-the peak, there's a-no need to speak, de-la-lee-li


C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, take time for fun
C'mon, c'mon, take time for fun

C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon

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*Trivia: The movie features a young Richard Pryor playing the drums. My thanks to Chris Selby & Gary Jordan for info and media. A copy sold for £34:50 on Ebay in August 2010.

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