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
Slade Alive! sticker large
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


Chris Walter Photography Web
Tel: 818-364-8372    Box 922812, Sylmar, CA 91392-2812

1 comment:

monsterpop said...

my favourite live album of all time. though im generally not a fan at all of live records.
i really only rate this one,,
"Its Alive"and,,erm,,well,,that it!

i cant tell you how many times i sat and read all the cover text and stuff;-)

i also always wondered about the big cartoon pics,,so now i know! cheers!