Radio Wall Of Sound

October 7th. 1991
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
Polydor PO 180
Radio Wall of Sound became Slade's final UK hit, giving the band a hit within three whole decades, peaking at #21 in the UK. It was the band's 23rd top 30 hit but also their last with Universe failing to make a chart entry at all. Whilst becoming a solid UK hit, the song was also successful in Europe, peaking at #22 in The Netherlands, #30 in Ireland and #16 in Belgium.
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
The single was the band's first single of new material since 1987. After years of deciding what the new step for the band was, Polydor Records, who had the band during their 1970s heyday, decided it was time for a new Slade compilation. With hopes that Slade would promote it by releasing two brand new singles, the band happily agreed and on condition that the new singles were successful, a new studio album was due to be recorded.
"The track is about having a radio station in your head, music of the mind and this whole thing about the DJ all going on in your mind. You don't even need a radio, you can just imagine it."
Jim Lea: Ken Sharpe interview
Whilst there was probably many unreleased and unfinished Holder/Lea compositions, the band decided to use Radio Wall of Sound, a song solely written by Jim Lea, being his first solo credit since the b-side and Slayed? album track I Won't Let it 'Appen Agen, almost 20 years earlier. As the track was originally for a solo project of Lea, the recording of the track already existed, complete apart from lead vocals. As a result, the song was not in Holder's key and so his vocals were dubbed into the chorus, leaving Lea's lead vocal on the verses. - the first single to feature lead vocal from another Slade member rather than Holder. Lea had originally performed lead vocal on a small handful of Slade tracks such as 1974's When the Lights Are Out and 1987's Don't Talk to me About Love.

"I knew RWOS was more commercial, a good instant rock track."
Noddy Holder: Jan-March 1992 Fan Club Newsletter
"I had already done my demo of it and I was putting the band on top of my demo. During producing, Nod came to sing the verse and I said 'Nod, I feel really embarrassed to say this but I think my voice sounds better than yours, not because I'm a better singer, that's ludicrous, it's just that the key is ridiculously low for you.' And he said 'alright then...' cause Nod's very easy going."
Jim Lea: Ken Sharpe interview
Although there has never been an explanation of how the idea came about, the track also featured Radio One DJ Mike Read as 'the voice of radio'.

For years, Dave Hill had been forwarding his own demos to Lea, hoping that at least one track would make the album. It had never happened but this time, however, Hill was finally given the chance to record one of his own songs for the b-side of the new single. Lay Your Love on the Line was written by Hill and former Wizzard member Bill Hunt.

Whilst Radio Wall of Sound itself returned to a more rock-based sound and dropped the dominant synthesizers that appeared on the band's mid 80s material - it was the b-side that showed Slade were far from a spent force with a heavy guitar sound and blasting lead vocal.
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
It was released on 7" and as a cassette single (remember them?), the runout groove hand etched by the evergreen George 'Porky' Peckham with "A Porky Prime Cut - Fer the boys with the right noize." on Side A and "A Porky Prime Cut" on Side B. It was also released as a 3 track 12" single, Polydor PZ 180, and a 3 track CD single, Polydor PZCD180, with Cum On Feel The Noize added on.
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
A good promotional video (top) was created for the single which basically featured the band performing the song sporting long black coats and fedora hats.that gave them an element of 'cool' and even Dave Hill looked somewhat serious (for Dave Hill anyway).

"TOTP Radio Wall Of Sound
TX Date: 17-10-1991
Tap#: LLVQ469E

.....
Source: BBC Motion Gallery"
The track was mimed on UK TV including Motormouth (bottom), with Holder wearing 'Lennon style' glasses, and a live performance on Top of The Pops (above) - Slade's final appearance on the show. The band opened the show with their performance, the vocals were performed live where Lea used the opportunity to change the lyric. Instead of "So just play the radio loud", he sang "So just turn that T.V. up loud". (Trivia courtesy of Slade in England's fab and groovy archives.).

Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
The song's popularity was further proven when it appeared on the various artists compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 20, released November 30, 1991. The song was covered by Mick White and today, the single peaked at #440 for 1991 on rateyourmusic.com.
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
Noddy Holder described his feelings of the song in early 1992.
"I think that everybody did a good job, we did a lot of TV, radio and press work around that period. We had loads of radio play for RWOS so we can’t really complain about the exposure with that one."
Slade International Fan Club Newsletter: Jan-March 1992
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
On being asked of the sales of the single and promotion Holder replied:
"Not a clue, we won’t know that for at least six months. It wouldn’t have needed that many sales to have reached that position, not a vast amount. The initial shipping out to the shops was around 30,000 copies, I think, which is a good pre-order figure, good enough to go Top 40 first week out. The problem was sustaining the momentum after using up all the available TV’s there was nowhere else to go. We couldn’t get on Wogan, which would have helped, so really that was all the TV possible. We did more press than ever before, in recent times at least, but there just aren’t that many rock records making the charts these days unless they happen to come from a film soundtrack. The charts have been very dance orientated of late and I can’t really think of any big rock records of 1991. If you look at the rock album charts from last year there are not that many that were really outstanding and had any long chart success."
Slade International Fan Club Newsletter: Jan-March 1992
He was also asked about costs, was making the single expensive?
"No, they weren’t, not by today’s standards. Recording in the Midlands is much cheaper than in London and we’ve learnt by experience not to waste time in studios because of the costs that can be incurred. A lot of new bands make successful albums but at the end of the day they don’t make any money."
Slade International Fan Club Newsletter:
Jan-March 1992



"Children's Saturday morning magazine, variety and pop music programme. GB, TVS/TM-am - also billed as MOTORMOUTH 2, 3, etc, with the resuming of seasons.

MOTORMOUTH
TX Date: 19/10/91
.....
Music Performance: Slade Perform "Radio Wall Of Sound"
Channel: ITV"
The UK chart run for the single - a total of five weeks on the chart:


  • 19/10/1991 - #33
  • 26/10/1991 - #21
  • 02/11/1991 - #23
  • 09/11/1991 - #31
  • 16/11/1991 - #53
Slade,Radio Wall Of Sound,90's,Lea
Sadly, Mick's 45 came in a plain white bag with a boring silver label. It's etched in the runout groove with 'ANODSAZGUDAZAWINK' and 'GURLZGRABDABOYZ' accompanied by "A Porky Prime Cut" on both sides.

sexy divider
Many thanks to Stu Rutter for the scans and vinyl, also to Gary Jordan for tx info on the performance videos, both can be found on the Slade In Wales forum. Sorry AJ, I'll stop interfering in your posts. 
Radio Wall of Sound
(Jim Lea) 
This is rockin' radio, the wall of sound
This is your stereo so close to me
Citizen Kane rise again
Stay tuned to this frequency

This is rockin' radio, the wall of sound
The music that rocks, the music that shocks
The music that comes to you from everywhere
As listeners with music on the mind
I love that music, I love that sound
I love that record, I love that noise
You're tuned to radio WOS, the wall of sound

I'm in trouble, I'm in deep
I don't know why you can't sleep
I feel something in my brain
It's this sound that's keeping me sane
I love that music, I love that sound
I love this new channel I've found
I love that record, I love that noise
This frequencies my favourite toy

Radio wall of sound, coming up from my tower
Radio wall of sound, twenty four hours of power

My head's spinning around
An' if in stereo sound
It tells me just who I am
Who's that? Telegram Sam
I love that record, I love that noise
Now my girl rocks with the boys
I love that music, I love that sound
So just play the radio loud

Radio wall of sound, coming up from my tower
Radio wall of sound, WOS power
Radio wall of sound, coming up from my tower
Radio wall of sound, twenty four hours of power

This is rocking radio wall of sound
The music that rocks, the music that shocks
The music that comes to you from everywhere
'Cause this is the music of the mind
I love that record, I love that sound,
I love it, I love it, I love it
This is the big one
This is the wall of sound

I love that music, I love that sound

You're listening to radio loud
Wall to wall sound
The music comes to you from around your head
Look out!

I love that record, I love that noise

You think the music's here
It's not, it's inside your head
You are the wall of sound

Radio wall of sound, coming up from my tower
Radio wall of sound, twenty four hours of power
Radio wall of sound, coming up from my tower
Radio wall of sound, WOS power
Radio wall of sound

Stay tuned to this frequency
℗ 1991 Perseverance Ltd. (U.K)
© 1991 Polydore Ltd. (U.K)

Lay Your Love on the Line
(Dave Hill & Bill Hunt)


I hear the sound of rock'n'roll thunder
I think you know the spell that I'm under
I feel that something's playin' crazy with my heart

Up in the sky the heavens are fallin'
And all around the angels are callin'
You're movin' mountains slowly tearin' me apart

Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Say you're gonna be mine

If I could be a man for all seasons
Give me your answer give me your reasons
I'd like to be a king if only for a day

I've seen the world and I know what I'm after
One look from you and my heart's a disaster
And every dream I've dreamed would take your breath away

Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Say you're gonna be mine

Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Say you're gonna be mine

Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Lay your love on the line
Say you're gonna be mine

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