Food For Thought?

Does anybody know the full set list of the three sessions at Command Theatre Studios, I would be very interested to know what else was recorded over those 3 nights. Somewhere out there, there's a few hours worth of Slade Alive! excess recording. It could even contain the mysterious Louisiana Rag Blues?

On the other hand, we know Hear Me Calling exists as a studio recording so why not In Like A Shot From My Gun and the rest of the Slade Alive tracks. I would suggest Chas got them to record their "live" act for a studio release but for some reason decided to go with the Live album instead.

We know Slade Alive didn't contain all the tracks that were recorded so why shouldn't other studio versions exist. Don Powell is actually quite sure that they made a studio recording of In Like A Shot along with other things of the time but he believes that the tapes were probably wiped.

Listening to the Hear Me Calling studio take, it is quite apparent what Chas was struggling with, it lacks guts. Assuming In Like A Shot sounded similar then you can see the choice facing the big man. Coz I Luv You was meant to sound a bit limp before it builds and if you listen to the difference between Look What You Dun studio and live recordings.

Hear Me Calling (the live version) did actually get released as a Promo single though, with the live version of Get Down (And Get) With It  on the B-side.  Both tracks were taken from Slade Alive!

I suspect Chas was reluctant to put out a studio album that did not represent what he wanted the group to become and instead went with the live album in an attempt to get the group across as a strong act. In doing so he showed them to be a tour de force but while that was happening..... whoops, they became Top Of The Pops darlings.

Next thing you know, they're a teeny bopper group!

Meanwhile back in the studio.... Chas perfects his mock live recording technique and gets a tough sound but now the old set is not appropriate so its out with the old and in with the new.



Slade Alive! 1972

Polydor Records - 2383-101

Slade Papers:
Oct/Nov 1971 Newsletter
Good News
On October 19th, 20th and 21st. there will be a free showing of Slade while they record an album at the COMMAND STUDIOS, PICCADILLY, W.1. All members of the fan club are invited along to any date, or all, if possible. To be admitted free, all you have to do is show your membership card. I will be going, and I hope to see lots of you there.

"Exploding into an introspective era of drab, post-Woodstock Beatles mourning, Slade Alive! (with its roar-a-long r'n'b and on-mike Black Country belching) kick started the 1970's. A terrace chanting, scarves-on-wrists, lad's rock exemplar, it served to depoliticise a rock scene that had forgotten how to have fun. Slade may not have been cool, but they were an exciting live band who'd built their reputation on the power of their live shows. Manager Chas Chandler decided that the best way to end a career-long album chart drought was by capturing their intrinsic appeal on a warts'n'all live LP. And it worked. Recorded at a cost of £600, Slade Alive! not only broke the band in the UK, it went on to be the biggest selling album in Australia since Sgt.Pepper. Hence AC/DC..."
Ian Fortnam: Classic Rock
Released on the 24th March 1972, the group's critically acclaimed and most loved live album, instantly recognisable in it's bright red 'negative image', gatefold sleeve. This album became a Rock Icon almost overnight and even the following years of teeny-bopper mania could not erase the impact made.

In October 1971, Slade played at the Command Theatre Studio in London, to an audience of a hundred or so, mostly fan club members. Of the three nights recording, most of the album comes from the second nights recording. The set-list would have been the same as their touring set, kicking off, as always, with Hear Me Calling. It included Coz I Love You, Coming Home, Good Golly Miss Molly & Nights In White Satin (none of which made the release) before culminating in eight minutes of unbridled mayhem. Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf's best known song is given the Slade treatment (complete with air raid siren hand-cranked by one of the roadies) and is far better for it. The result, coarse, raw and gritty... just how you like 'em!

"Nights In White Satin was played during the recording but omitted from Slade Alive due to contractual stuff with the Moodies record company, Chandler was toying with idea of making it a double LP. The rumours about those master tapes persisted for decades, they dont exist, nothing was kept."
Dave Graham: Attendee

"Chas Chandler come up with the idea of us doing a live album because he'd been Jimi Hendrix's manager, and he'd seen how some of Hendrix's live performances had been turning points in his career. So we booked a little studio-cum-theatre down on Piccadilly for three nights- the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 
''The bulk of the album was from the Wednesday night, which was mayhem. Coz I Luv U was Number 1, and we'd come straight from doing Top Of The Pops. We were still wearing our clobber from the telly, and we went pretty much straight onstage. There was only about 100-odd people in there. A lot of them were fan club members but some of them had walked in off the streets as well. 
''Our aim onstage was to hit the crowds between the eyes and grab them by the balls. Make a show that people would remember forever. Most bands thought it was uncool to have audience particpiation, so back then it was only us doing that. We've never been cool. But when people saw the reaction we were getting, they started nicking our ideas. 
''One thing I do remember about those shows is that we'd been on the road for a week or two before that, and Dave had got some of his old stage clobber in a suitcase in the dressing room, and it stank to high heaven. The whole dressing room stank of his sweat. Chas said, 'I'm gonna turn that fucking case into a bonfire outside ! You can't have record company people coming in here with that stink.' So there's Dave, trying to guard his precious clothes before we covered them in lighter fuel to stop them stinking the place out.."
Noddy Holder: Classic Rock 2011
Despite Noddy's recollections, it's unlikely that they came direct from TOTP's when Cos I Love You was #1 because on the 20th October it was at #26. Of course, they could still have performed on TOTP's because Cos I Love You had been released.
"The 1st Coz I Love You performance on TOTP is listed tx date 21.10.71 the next week it was audio only that the audience grooved to, as the record slowly climbed the chart to the top subsequent performances would later be reshown. 
I can remember reading somewhere that they rushed from TVC to the recording session."
Gary Jordan: TV researcher

The sleeve art was designed by a fan. Chas decided to run a competition, held by The Sun newspaper and the band chose the winner from thousands of entries. Thankfully, it was used on the inside coz only God knows what the Teddy Bears have to do with Slade but surprisingly, the 1971 artwork by M. Webb has become as much a part of Slade as Noddy's topper?

"I have always thought the release of Slade Alive was both, a brave and strange choice for Chas Chandler and the group to have made. Considering at that stage in their career Slade had a few 45s, one of which had just managed to make the Top 20 and a studio LP which did nothing.

To build on the modest success of Get Down With It, the accepted step would be another single and another studio album. The 45 would be Coz I Love You but they then release a Live album. I can't think of any other group who have done that.

In the meantime, following the accepted path of a studio album and the lack of original material the group had (as we are led to believe), I would suggest Chas got them to record their 'live' act as a studio album but for some reason the decision was made to go with a live album."
Chris Selby

It is also strange in the fact that it was a single album. Most live albums, especially during the seventies, were double or sometimes even triple albums. It would have made perfect sense to include another disc which could have included Coz I Love You, as that was the groups #1 single at the time and Coming Home which Noddy referred to as "on our new album" on French TV. It's certainly food for thought?

  • Hear Me Calling
  • In Like A Shot From My Gun
  • Darling Be Home Soon
  • Know Who You Are
  • Keep On Rockin'
  • Get Down With It
  • Born To Be Wild

The album cover has become an icon in Slade history. Instantly recognisable though not immediately obvious that it is in fact a posterized image of the band at a live performance. The photo was part of a shoot taken by Chris Walter at The Marquee Club in London's Wardour Street.
"The Slade Alive cover was a composite from the Marquee show."
Chris Walter
The original 1972 release Cover Art is here 28.78 MB

Swansea Arts Festival

New Musical Express, March 18th, 1972

Hairies turn out for Slade

ALTHOUGH WELSH concertgoers haven't exactly been spoilt for choice this week, the last seven days have had their high-spots.

One of these high-spots was Friday's Slade gig at Cardiff University, which attracted a vast number of people of varying tastes and proved to many that Slade are as good as. if not better than, their reputation.

The fact that Slade broke through as a bovver band didn't dissuade a large number of hairies from descending upon the University. Neither did the fact that the outfit's music runs deeper than that of the average bop band persuade the less hirsute and the younger faction to stay away.

In short, the whole thing was an unqualified success.

On the whole, Friday wasn't a bad day for those living around the capital. As well as Slade in the town itself, Fluff, when have now visited two or three Welsh venues, could be seen at Swansea University and, although the visuals weren't quite as powerful as at the Slade concert, the outfit made quite an impact. Competition for both concerts took the form of a gig by Gypsy at Glamorgan College of Art.

On Sunday, the focal-point switched to the North, where Bangor University's month long Arts Festival drew up to a climax with a nine-hour free rock concert.

The music was more varied than the word rock would lead you to believe but when you have nine bands together, you can hardly expect to hear rock and nothing but rock.

Appearing were Acrobat. Astrigang, Euphoria, Harflett and Perkins, Headstand, Hobo, Judas Priest, Mother's Dog and Z. Among the harrdest workers - and there were quite a few - were members of the chroma Light Show team, who kept up the good work for the duration of the mini-festival.

Another of those high spots I mentioned earlier was Mott The Hoople's first (or so I believe) visit to Wales. That was on Tuesday at Aberystwyth University, which was besieged by rockers from miles around and sold out well in advance. It would be interesting to hear what Mott thought of their audience at that gig.

The coming week sees the end of the Swansea Arts Festival, on Saturday, and very few big-name dates again.

You can look forward to Heads, Hands and Feet at Bristol Old Granary next Monday, however, and a rare visit by Captain Beefheart, who plays at Bristol Colston Hall on the following Friday. That, of course, is if you happen to be living near the border.

DATES: Saturday: Swansea Arts Festival ends. Sunday Cardiff Ocean Club Vince Hill; Bristol Colston Hall Saacha Distel. Monday: Bristol Old Granary Heads, Hands and Feet. Tuesday: Bristol and Cardiff Top Ranks Ben E. King; Bristol Colston Hall Jaccques Loussier Trio.