Cat. No.:SALVOCD002
Playing Time:53:43

Slade's first chart-topping album, Slayed?, is a certified classic, a riotous non-stop party, bulging with anthemic original compositions and augmented by stirring cover versions. Crank up the volume and go crazee!

Track List
1 How D'you Ride
2 The Whole World's Goin' Crazee
3 Look At Last Nite
4 I Won't Let It 'Appen Agen
5 Move Over
6 Gudbuy T'Jane
7 Gudbuy Gudbuy
8 Mama Weer All Crazee Now
9 I Don' Mind
10 Let The Good Times Roll / Feel So Fine

Bonus Tracks
11 My Life Is Natural
12 Candidate
13 Wonderin' Y
14 Man Who Speeks Evil
15 Slade talk to 'Melanie' readers


Let's be straight about this, 'Slayed?' is my personal favourite Slade album. This CD is going to have to be RIGHT.

For me, Chas Chandler was at his production peak on this album and on the two following two studio sets (Old New Borrowed and Blue and the Flame soundtrack). The sound had a depth and warmth that Slade would never recapture again - an 'in the room' sound that the 'Slade Alive!' album helped shape. Their albums had to sound like that one.

Whoever originally engineered these albums understood exactly how to put microphones on amplifiers and the drum kit. In addition, Chas knew exactly how to set up a great mix. The group were at an early height of their inventiveness and the studio performance on 'Slayed?' has always reflected this.
On listening to the remastered CD and comparing to the previous issue, the disc is again quite a lot louder and clearer. There's a good warmth to the sound, as hoped. The treble bites, whereas before it didn't.The bass depth isn't noticeably increased, as the album was quite bassy enough anyway, but combined with the increased treble, the overall sound is far more punchy and again, the separation is tremendous.
Tracks like 'The Whole World's Goin' Crazee' benefit greatly from this enhacement, as slightly subdued intros are now more immediate. The guitar intro on 'Look at last nite' has an ocatve-up guitar part on the last progression and at last it's quite clear. It's not that much of an exaggeration to say that some sounds on the classic tracks are being heard properly for the first time.
My favourite Slade cover was always 'Move Over' and Jim's bass features prominently throughout. The bass sound benefits from a more 'fruity' (that's what they used to call it back then) and rounded sound. Don's snare cracks away nicely and his cymbals wash quite effectively, without everything else being obscured. Again, it's like being in the room with the band.
Sandwiched between the two big hits from the album is the slow, grinding 'Gudbuy Gudbuy'. on this edition, the bass throbs away quite purposefully and the good work of whoever is wielding the shaker fits in nicely. Nod's voice cuts through the instruments like a knife through butter, crystal clear.
'I Don' Mind' sounds like the band are in the room with the listener. Listen for Don's timekeeping with clicked drumsticks. Nod's voice really does the business on this song and hearing the way he sang here (subtly double-tracked in parts), it's a wonder his voice lasted for al the years that it did.
Let The Good Times Roll's bass and drum passages sound sweet and clear. Nod's voice again just sits in the middle of all that's going on, clear as a bell.

As for the five bonus tracks added on the remaster...

'My life is natural'
I'm used to hearing this with the crackle from the vinyl and it's not there. It's great to hear this song sounding much more like it would have done in the studio, when it was just mixed. The acoustic guitar comes over nicely.

Always a slightly murky production, this is now much cleaner and the guitars are emphasised by some very effective separation. Again, it sounds a little strange to hear a totally clean version without the crackle that generally stopped me getting out the vinyl copies!!! I guess I'll get used to it.

'Wonderin' Y'
Nice to hear this sounding so clean, clear and with such a lovely warm room sound. The backing vocal harmonies come across very well. No wonder this obscure little song is such a favourite among Slade fans.

'Man Who Speeks Evil'
Out come the maracas again. This track sounds like it has really benefitted from Tim Turan's remastering. The guitar parts absolutely shine and the bass is inventive and it's far easier to make out the lyrics at last. The short guitar freak out at the end of the song shows how good Dave Hill was, even back then.

'Slade talk to Melanie Readers'
A nice addition to finish off the disc is this interview disc. It seems to be taken from the cleanest copy of the flexi disc that was available. This will be an especially nice touch for those people who had the disc back in 1972 and would be tempted to buy this album again, so many years later. 

In 1971, Slade went mega with Coz I Luv You, subsequently releasing a live album to consolidate on the hobnailed hooligan Spectorisms of that first No. 1. Their next prolonged studio activity resulted in 1972's Slayed?, with its - at the time - iconic tattooed knuckles cover shot. By now, Noddy Holder had perfected the rasp that would make his fortune and help deliver the group a brutish, masculine audience, arguably less enamoured with the girliness of Bolan or Bowie, and keen to try out those thumbs-in-belt-loops moves that always seemed more fun than proper dancing. The album's singles (Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Gudbuy T'Jane) are clearly the powerhouses, but the likes of Move Over and How D'you Ride are crunchily anthemic in their own right. 
* * *

While David Bowie's 1972 album Ziggy Stardust documents the rise and fall of an imaginary rock star, Slade's chart-topper from the same year captures real life under the spotlight. As the Black Country blokes steamroller to household-name status, Slade's anthems celebrate what Noddy Holder bellows is the "the feelin' when you give it all you've got, and people want to shake you by the hand". Reissued with extra tracks alongside other 1970s material, Gudbuy T'Jane, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and the rest are deservedly party riff monsters. However, Slayed?'s majesty lies in the melancholy ballads. Look At last Nite's haunting refrain fingers both empty celebrity and fame's creeping downside: "Maybe they'll care today, but not tomorrow." Years later, with Oasis among others owing so much to Slade's templates, it's clear they got that bit wrong.
* * * * *

In many ways you have to feel sorry for Slade. Read a history of rock and they might get a short paragraph as part of the glam rock scene in the early 70s. But at the time Slade were much more than a footnote.

For kids growing up the question of whether you stood in the Slade / T-Rex or Sweet camp was as relevant as it would be for Oasis vs Blur a decade later.
And then there were the songs that went in straight at number one, at a time when such things didn't happen. Slade continually repeated the exercise.

So we have the first four albums in a reissue of Noddy and the boys back catalogue. For casual fans who thought everything was a variation on the Gudbuy T'Jane style there might be some surprises.

The first set - Beginnings / Play It Loud - combines their first two LPs, the first recorded at a time when they were still Ambrose Slade and toying with their skinhead phase.

It's a band still trying to find itself - psychedelic 60s meets the rock of Shape of Things to Come meets lyrics about a forgotten race horse (Dapple Rose). But how the music circle turns - tracks like If This World Were Mine and Pity the Mother could easily make it onto a new Paul Weller album.
By Slayed? they'd hit their stride. The rock template was in place. Unusually, Slade were a band that didn't put all their singles on their long players so you only get Gudbuy T'Jane and Mama Weer All Crazee Now here. Massive at the time, it doesn't have the variety of earlier or later albums.

Old, New, Borrowed and Blue was another mega-seller but wasn't critically well received because Slade dared to move the goalposts. Give it an open ear and you can see this was a band heading down the Queen road before Freddie Mercury had got there.

The rockers remain but there's pub rock / 20s pastiche on tracks like When the Lights Are Out and Find Yourself A Rainbow. And Slade proved they could do ballads with the marvellous Everyday.
The band's always been a live attraction and the fourth in this set takes us from the early 70s shows to their reinvention at Reading in 1980. You don't get to see Dave Hill's outfits but Noddy Holder's inspirational MC style is in full effect. Rock on.

Among the bonus tracks are messages to readers of teen magazines at the time - always good for a laugh. There are good liner notes detailing the history of the band but sadly no song lyrics.

Almost thirty five years on this re mastered version of the album now includes bonus tracks made up of B sides and an amusing interview for ‘Melanie’ readers which appeared on the popular flexi disc format.
The packaging as with all the Slade Re-masters series is excellent with the album housed in an attractive slip case and the booklet containing informative and amusing sleeve notes written by Classic Rock scribe Dave Ling.
Slayed was a snapshot of the band nearing the peak of their profession. A peak they would actually achieve with the release of their next album and the singles in the following twelve months. 

Thanks to rowdy singles such as Cum On Feel The Noize and Merry Xmas Everybody, we think of Slade simply as bad-spelling, yobbo purveyors of gonzo rock anthems. Their albums, however - four of which are re-released this week - weren't so one-tracked, allowing for more reflective lyrics from generously whiskered singer Noddy Holder, and a surprisingly artful take on 1960s pop - Wolverhampton's very own Beatles. Slayed?, their best album, from 1972, includes wistful numbers such as Look At Last Nite, alongside two of their lairiest hits, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and Gudbuy T'Jane.

Wolverhampton’s unimpeachable purveyors of melody-grounded lads’ rock grafted unpretentious pop sentiments to garish terrace stomping with such cavalier loutishness in the early 70s that resistance was useless. Yet Slade’s back catalogue has suffered inexplicable undervaluation and neglect in the CD age. Until now, that is. For this packed quartet of enhanced releases marks the opening salvo in a comprehensive reissue programme. And it really is about time. After all, a Noddy’s not just for Christmas.

The band’s first post stardom collection, Slayed?, is so evocative of the visceral innocence of the age in which it was created that you can almost smell the Brut and feel the slapping of phantom flares. Formerly the ultimate sonic backdrop of the adrenal rush of a genuine teenage rampage, a single bar of Mama Weer All Crazee Now will compel the listener to despatch their slippers into the nearest incinerator and embark upon an instinctive, though possibly unwise, thumb of the old belt-loops. It’s like HRT for former boot-boyse and it really ought to be on the National Heath.

There is arguably no compliment more hurtful in rock music than being described as “a great singles band”. Oh, you’d smile politely, of course, but the clear implication is that your albums, with the exception of Greatest Hits and Best Of, are about as engrossing as a filled-in Sudoku puzzle. Slade – perhaps Britain’s greatest singles band of the early 1970s – achieved dazzling success in the albums market for a while (unlike their rivals, Sweet), but are inevitably remembered for (Cum On Feel The Noize”, “Skweeze Me Pleeze Me” and all those raucous, spelt-by-a-fule, chart-topping 45s.

If Slade have an Electric Warrior – a ‘brochure’ LP; an enduring template – it’s Slayed?, a No1 smash from 1972, on which the sensational “Gudbuy T’Jane” and “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” are embedded alongside six lesser-known originals and a pair of choice rock ’n’ roll covers. All feature the classic Slade sound: bone-crunching guitars, a hop-and-a-skip backbeat, a show-off bassist, Noddy Holder’s Lennon-influenced bellowing, and a percussive hailstorm of maracas, handclaps and bootstomps. Terrific fun.

The original "Slade Talk To Melanie Readers" Flexi-Disc and the magazine that gave it away!

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