September 1971

The Slade Papers
are a very interesting source of Slade research. It's a collection of the group's fanclub newsletters from May 1971 to April 1976 but you have to bear in mind that it's full of 'what they want the fans to think' and also, the fans are young. The whole point of the fanclub newsletters was to focus their fans thinking and mold them into what the management wanted 'Slade Fans' to be. Unfortunately, the letters start from July/August 1971 but I think it's very telling that September 1971 is missing.

The general party line back in 1971 was one of "Chas is encouraging Nod & Jim to write their own material. We have no idea what songs will go on the new album coz the lads are still trying to write them." but to my mind the Fan Club Newsletter is not the place to 'brainstorm' and show your general disarray?

July/August 1971 is full of Get Down And Get With It and how well it seems to be doing (it hasn't hit the Top 20 yet mind?) and the band are so busy they don't have time for a holiday. A competition announces the winner will receive a new Slade album. You have until 15th August 1971... To win a new copy of Play It Loud that was almost a year old. Surely that would read 'will receive a copy of Slade's album' as they did not have another? But then the only people that bought Play It Loud before 1972 were probably the members of this fan club?

Throughout July, Get Down And Get With It slowly crept into the Top 40 (an awesome event in the early life of a breaking band) and in August it had climbed through the Twenties and into the Teens. Surprisingly, the beginning of September is when it started to fall from it's Top 20 peak of number 16.

Bearing in mind that the newsletter went out earlier than the months it addressed, I would guess that July/August probably got written up in early June. Get Down And Get With It was released 21/05/1971 and then re-released 08/06/1971 as Get Down With It. I would have expected the Sept/Oct newsletter to be a fervid bundle of excitement, busting at the seams with hyperbole.

Instead, it gets cancelled. The next issue is dated Oct/Nov 1971 with a lame excuse of...
"the stickers were not ready and we thought it would be nicer to have a Xmas letter."
Now, fair enough, the stickers were an important part of the awareness campaign but the more important reasons are hinted at in the paragraph written by Chas.

"...the delay in releasing the new single which was due to the success of Get Down And Get With It. They were so busy they were unable to go to the studio to finish it off."
Another line states
"...we did not know the exact date of the boys studio times..."
The December issue is ambiguous in its address of the Slade Alive album. In the part supposedly written by 'The Boys', it says
"...look out for our LP 'Slade Alive'."
and yet in the 'other news' under the heading ALBUM we are told
"The boys new album has still not been released, or even given a release date..."
Almost as if we have been waiting forever. Slade Alive would not get a release until 24/03/1972.

I would expect the hyperbole key word to be used at every opportunity in THAT newsletter?


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