Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply 1984

USA, 1984

CBS Records - FZ 39336

'Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply' is an alternate US release of The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome which was released in the UK the preceding year. The title was lifted from a B-side track that was also added to the album track listing, along with 'Can't Tame A Hurricane' (another B-side) replacing Cocky Rock Boys and Razzle Dazzle Man on the original release. They also felt the need to shuffle the tracks around.

"...the Americans liked neither the title or the sleeve... they hated it so they brought it out as 'Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply' and it had this cartoon guitar neck with a cartoon hand, which I could have drawn myself in five minutes flat! They said it was this new 'techno something' that was taking us into the new age.... Bugs Bunny?"
Noddy Holder: Radcliffe & Maconie, Radio 2, 2007
Interestingly, in addition to the lame cover art, it's worth noting that the hand on the front cover is a manicured and painted female, whilst the rear view on the reverse, the hand has clearly become male. Despite this, the album proved to be Slade's most successful American album over the group's more than 20 years of releases in the States. Both Run Runaway and My Oh My continue to receive consistent radio airplay in the United States and are considered Slade's most recognizable songs amongst Americans. Imagine, had the record company chosen something related to the Run Runaway video that the MTV audience recognised, what a difference it may have made. Of course, the same argument can be applied to the 'The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome' cover art?

The rock band Quiet Riot covered Slade's 1973 UK chart topper Cum On Feel The Noize. Although Slade's original had not been successful in the U.S., Quiet Riot's cover peaked at #5. The song helped Quiet Riot sell seven million copies of their album Metal Health. As a result of this success, Slade signed with CBS Records.

    Run Runaway
    My Oh My
    High And Dry
    Slam The Hammer Down
    In The Doghouse
    Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply
    Cheap N' Nasty Luv
    Can't Tame A Hurricane
    (And Now The Waltz) C'est La Vie
    Ready To Explode

    Produced by Jim Lea for Perseverance Ltd. except Run Runaway & My Oh My which were produced by John Punter. Manufactured and distributed by CBS Records Canada Ltd. Design by Jo Di Donato with artwork by Lou Brooks.
    © 1984 CBS Inc.
    ℗ 1982, 1983, 1984 CBS Inc.

    "Run Runaway", a celtic-flavoured rock-jig featuring some elliptical lyrics and the return of Jim Lea's fiddle. RCA saw the potential of the track and appointed John Punter to work on the track. The album version is extended to give more time for the Linn drum gallop. This track became the first hit in the US for Slade after years of trying to crack the American market, peaking at #20. The track is also a recommended track by allmusic.

    "My Oh My" came as Lea had always wanted to write a big, folksy ballad and when he presented his melody idea to Holder, the lyrics to My Oh My were created. The melody came from an idea that Lea had while listening to Hill and Holder tuning up in the dressing room before a gig at a University in Wales. This track became a huge hit in the UK, peaking at #2 and #37 in the US. The track is also a recommended track by allmusic.

    "High and Dry" was originally covered by female rock band Girlschool which was produced by both Holder and Lea. Chris Ingham stated "High and Dry is known for showing notable Holder vocal, once memorably described by Melody Maker's Jim Arundel as "a blistering yell that's akin to Little Richard undergoing throat surgery by blowtorch without an anaesthetic". High And Dry is also for its unapologetic commemoration of insensitive womanising; "you want equality", goes the lyric, "you won't get none of that from me". How that fits with Slade's declaration in My Oh My that they "believe in woman" is difficult to say, but a politically correct Slade wouldn't be Slade at all."

    "Slam the Hammer Down" opens the original album with a shouted soliloquy by Holder from a helicopter. Chris Ingham from Rock's Backpages stated "The track features an elaborately motor racing/sex metaphor." The track was issued as a promo in the US only.

    "In The Doghouse" featured brass instruments for the first time in a Slade track for years. Chris Ingham stated "In The Doghouse celebrates the carefree indiscretions of youth." Noddy Holder later recalled "there was plenty of good stuff on that album...we could have, theoretically, had another would have been a hit", Holder was probably talking about In The Doghouse.

    "Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply" appeared as a b-side to Slade's 1983 hit My Oh My. The title was used for the American version of The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome. The song also appeared on the American release. Chris Ingham wrote "the track is a song about a drunk driver strongly advising his amorous passenger not to grope him while he's being followed by the police. The chorus is as fast as anything Slade ever recorded while the production typifies Slade's sound in the mid-80s." The track is also a recommended track by allmusic.

    "Cheap 'n' Nasty Luv" is described by Chris Ingham as "another in the series of Slade songs which display an interest in the oldest profession (see also Standing On The Corner, When Fantasy Calls) though the usual lusty appreciation is set aside here and replaced with an empathetic view of a young lady unhappy in her situation." On the American release, Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, the song is shorter than the European version which adds an extra synthesizer section.

    "Can't Tame a Hurricane" was originally taken from the 12" version of My Oh My. The track featured on Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply but not The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome until the Salvo remaster in 2007. On the European release, the title was changed to "Don't Tame a Hurricane. Chris Ingham wrote "Don't Tame A Hurricane has a rocking terseness and directness that recalls Slade's '70s heyday while packing an '80s punch. The 'hurricane' of the song title refers to a larger than life character who won't be tied down and who's an "international cocktail who'll end up on the rocks".

    "(And Now the Waltz) C'est La Vie", described by Chris Ingham as "a waltz-time anthem about the bittersweet feelings surrounding an end-of-affair tryst", was originally released in 1982 as a Christmas single. In November 2005 on one of his regular TV-reviewing slots on the Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 2 show, Holder was asked to choose a track from the recently released Best of Slade. To Radcliffe's surprise Holder chose this flop single. Holder reasoned the track showed off his voice really well.

    "Ready to Explode" is an eight-and-one-half-minute track that that opened side two of the original vinyl album. It is a multi-themed song suite about the excitement of motor racing, inspired in part by the Jim Steinman's work with Meat Loaf. Guitarist Dave Hill said "I seem to remember that he was hooked on the Bat Out of Hell album at the time, and he wanted to make a record about...being on the edge and all this type of thing". The track also featured Pete Drummond doing announcements on the track. The song was split into four different parts:
    • Part 1: The Warm Up
    • Part 2: The Grid
    • Part 3: The Race
    • Part 4: The Dream

    The album's chart run in America for a total of 18 weeks:
    • 05/05/1984 - #110
    • 12/05/1984 - #92
    • 19/05/1984 - #75
    • 26/05/1984 - #51
    • 02/06/1984 - #47
    • 09/06/1984 - #42
    • 16/06/1984 - #35
    • 23/06/1984 - #34
    • 30/06/1984 - #33
    • 07/07/1984 - #33
    • 14/07/1984 - #48
    • 21/07/1984 - #48
    • 28/07/1984 - #51
    • 04/08/1984 - #52
    • 11/08/1984 - #62
    • 18/08/1984 - #77
    • 08/09/1984 - #98
    • 15/09/1984 - #111

    Canada's CD release is manafactured in Japan?

    The album's chart run in Canada totalled 30 weeks:
    • 21/04/1984 - #93
    • 28/04/1984 - #77
    • 05/05/1984 - #69
    • 12/05/1984 - #54
    • 19/05/1984 - #42
    • 26/05/1984 - #32
    • 02/06/1984 - #28
    • 09/06/1984 - #27
    • 16/06/1984 - #26
    • 23/06/1984 - #26
    • 30/06/1984 - #27
    • 07/07/1984 - #26
    • 15/07/1984 - #26
    • 21/07/1984 - #26
    • 28/07/1984 - #27
    • 04/08/1984 - #36
    • 11/08/1984 - #36
    • 18/08/1984 - #36
    • 25/08/1984 - #36
    • 01/09/1984 - #36
    • 08/09/1984 - #39
    • 15/09/1984 - #40
    • 22/09/1984 - #43
    • 29/09/1984 - #54
    • 06/10/1984 - #54
    • 13/10/1984 - #54
    • 20/10/1984 - #54
    • 27/10/1984 - #61
    • 03/11/1984 - #68
    • 10/11/1984 - #84
    A fourth (Promo) single was released from the album in the USA, Slam The Hammer Down (Hot) / Slam The Hammer Down (Hotter) Mixes.

    Many thanks to Gordon 'Rasputin' Kerr for supplying the Canadian cover art for this release, he may find his vinyl one day and then I'll get a decent scan of the rear cover. If you look carefully at the illegible credits on the vinyl rear cover, they don't seem to match the CD release? :-/

    Slam The Hammer Down
    (Noddy Holder & Jim Lea)

    [NODDY (scream) from helicopter:]
    Hey you - you up there
    Yeh you - can you hear me
    I said, I said - can you hear me
    Don't you listen to me, when I'm talking to you?
    If you can't go for it - you can't go for it - good!
    And that means you walk a new way - for what new's gonna comin'!

    She's a cool kinda mama
    Sure gonna slam the hammer  down
    When your pistons are pumping
    Sure gonna slam the hammer down
    Oh when your body starts to shake
    It's time to loosen off the brake
    And ram it down

    Push the pedal to the metal
    Sure gonna slam the hammer down
    Gonna burn up the rubber
    Sure gonna slam the hammer down
    The checkered flag won't make you stop
    You keep on going 'til you drop
    And ramming it down

    Keep a moving and motor racing
    And the wheels go round and round
    Oh when you win you'll be celebrating
    Ready to slam the hammer on down

    Got a flash little chassis
    Screams when you slam the hammer down
    First, second, third and fourth
    Into top and ram the hammer down
    You know it's getting all too much
    When you're letting out the clutch
    And ramming it down

    Keep a moving, accelerating
    And you're ready to face the crowd
    Now you're opening up a wide gap
    Ready to slam the hammer on down

    Yeah - yeah - yeah - yeh,yeh yeh!
    You dun alright - you dun alright!
    You dun alright - you dun alright!

    Oh she's a cool kinda mama
    Sure gonna slam the hammer on down
    Get it up and ram it up
    And baby gonna ram the hammer down
    When you loosen off the brake
    Oh when your body starts to shake
    Fill her up with juice then baby
    Gonna slam the hammer down

    Yeah, oh ah!

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