Rogues Gallery

UK / Europe, 29th March, 1985
RCA - PL 70604

This album was originally going to have been called "Partners In Crime" at first, but the band's twelfth Studio Album's title was then changed to "Rogues Gallery".  It reached Number 60 in the UK Album Charts.






Having decided to take a break from touring, Slade's penultimate studio album (discounting Crackers), Rogues Gallery, would be the first as a studio-only band. Following the smash hits "My Oh My" and "Run Runaway", which also gave Slade their long-awaited American breakthrough, it's unsurprising that Rogues Gallery presented particularly commercial material, leaning more towards pop-rock. Not only did John Punter return to produce the majority of the album, it also saw Slade adopting synthesisers as a dominant instrument. As such, this is an album that presents a highly polished Slade, with Noddy Holder and Jim Lea attempting to write an album's worth of material that all had single potential.

The band wear a 1980s, synthesiser-led sound and glossy production very well, though the songs themselves are typical Slade regardless. "Hey Ho Wish You Well" recalls the energy of "Run Runaway" and opens the album in a notably jaunty mood. Songs like "Little Sheila", "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" and "I'll Be There" are all enthusiastic, spirited anthems with strong hooks, memorable lyrics and stirring choruses. Of the slower tracks, "Harmony" is a nice song of its ilk; more profound and earnest in its nature, but not without retaining an irresistible hook. As with other songs on the album, including "Walking on Water, Running on Alcohol" and "I Win, You Lose", the song's lyrics suggest an autobiographical account on Holder's part, who had been through a divorce in 1984. Equally, "7 Year Bitch" features some rather attentive lyrics, alongside another catchy refrain.

Tim Turan has done an excellent job of remastering the album for the 2007 Salvo re-issue, which includes nine bonus tracks. Of them, "Leave Them Girls Alone" is another lively number with a killer chorus, and Holder and Lea exchanging lines in the verses. "Do You Believe in Miracles", which was released as a charity single later in 1985, bears many similarities to the material on Rogues Gallery as an infectious, radio friendly number. Complete with another singalong, anthemic chorus, the song was inspired by Bob Geldof and Live Aid.

Whether Rogues Gallery can be considered to rank alongside the band's 1970s classics such as Slayed? and Slade in Flame is arguable. However, as an album of its time, it stands as a strong effort in the Slade canon; ten numbers with an emphasis on catchy hooks and singalong choruses. Holder's vocals too, as ever, are on top form, albeit perhaps smoother and more polished than before. One of the band's biggest advantages is that all of their albums are so obviously Slade, yet they each have their own identity; a slightly different variation of the Slade sound with Rogues Gallery being no exception.
( Review courtesy of  A.J. Smith )

To see the band performing Hey Ho Wish You Well on BBC's Saturday Superstore, in 1985, click on this link here.

Australia, 29th March, 1985
Starcall / Victor - SFL1-0127 / ( PL 70604 )






UK / Europe, 2007 - CD, Album
Salvo - SALVOCD010

The 2007 Salvo Remastered CD Reissue contained a whole bunch of Bonus Tracks.






My thanks to Chris 'The Historian' Selby for his relentless research. It is said, in certain circles, that Walsall Archives have a seat reserved specifically for him and that Wolverhampton archives consult him when searching the Express & Star


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Hey Ho Wish You Well
(Noddy Holder & James Lea)

Hey ho wish you well.
Hey ho wish you well
Hey ho wish you well,
Everybody wanna yell
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon
Here there and everywhere,
Any grumble goin' spare?
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon,
Over the moon

Mad dogs and Englishmen
Going out in the mid-day sun
Come on and join the fun,
Do you know what I mean?
Are you a ladies man?
Gypsies kiss in a caravan
Drinking the black and tan,
Do you know what I mean?

Hey ho wish you well,
Everybody wanna yell
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon
Here there and everywhere,
Any grumble going spare?
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon,
Over the moon

Turn on your Dictaphone,
Take your secretary home
Break down in a parking zone,
Do you know what I mean?
Riff raff, I need a bath,
Try and look good on a photograph
I'm on a crazy path,
Do you know what I mean?

Hey ho wish you well,
Everybody wanna yell
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon
Here there and everywhere,
Any grumble going spare?
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon,
Over the moon

Mad dogs and Englishmen,
Going out in the mid-day sun
Too hot to jump the gun,
Do you know what I mean?
Are you a ladies man?
Gypsies kiss in a caravan
Drinking the black and tan,
Do you know what I mean?

Hey ho wish you well,
Everybody wanna yell
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon
Here there and everywhere,
Any grumble going' spare?
High fly touch the sky,
Over the moon,
Over the moon
Here there and everywhere,
Any grumble going spare?
I fly nice and high,
Over the moon

Hey ho wish you well
Hey ho wish you well
Hey ho wish you well
Hey ho wish you well


Harmony
(Noddy Holder & James Lea)

Harmony in my life
There ain't nothing in this great big world
You care about
There ain't nothing in this world
That I can't do without.
Oh it's gotta be me
Oh it's gotta be me
I can change you
Rearrange you wait and see
I believe in everything you say and do
Is there anything you say that may be true
No more second chance your choice is overdue
Oh it's gotta be me
Oh it's gotta be me
I can change you
Rearrange you
Wait and see
Harmony in my life
There ain't nothing in this great big world
You care about
There ain't nothing in this world
That I can't do without.
The attention you receive goes to your head
You'd be better off believing me instead
If you leave me is it something that I said
Oh it's gotta be me
Oh it's gotta be me
I can change you
Rearrange you
Wait and see
Harmony in my life
There ain't nothing in this great big world
You care about
There ain't nothing in this world


Walking On Water, Running On Alcohol
(Noddy Holder & James Lea)

Well I bin walkin' on water
I walk the water
I bin walkin' on water
I feel the beat
I bin running on alcohol
Oh now I'm rolling on home
Now I'm rolling on home again
Yeh I'm rolling on home again
Rolling, rolling along
I don't ever wanna go without it
You're bringing me to life
Gonna show you the funny side today
Hey hey hey hey
You gimme something
There's no doubt about it
To get me through the night
Keep on laughing when you see me walk this way
Hey hey hey hey
Well I bin walkin' on water
I walk the water
I bin walkin' on water
I feel the beat
I bin running on alcohol
Oh now I'm rolling on home
Now I'm rolling on home again
Yeh I'm rolling on home again
Rolling, rolling along
Is it time to go and face the music
I wanna stay in bed
Pardon me if I seem a little slow
Oh oh oh oh
Too much of everything
The night before
You know I'm easily led
Are my feet on the floor well I don't know
Oh oh oh oh
Well I bin walkin' on water
I walk the water
I bin walkin' on water
I feel the beat
I bin running on alcohol
Oh now I'm rolling on home
Now I'm rolling on home again
Yeh I'm rolling on home again
Rolling, rolling along
Well I bin walkin' on water
I walk the water
I bin walkin' on water
I feel the beat
I bin running on alcohol
I need a hair of the dog
Now I'm rolling on home again
Yeh I'm rolling on home again
Rolling, rolling along


I'll Be There
(Noddy Holder & James Lea)

If you say you need me
Then I'll be there
If you say you feel me
Then I'll be there
If you say you want me
Then I'll be there
If you say that you wanna love me
I'll be there
Just another day
And you wanna break away
Don't do anything I wouldn't do
Oh oh
Here we go again
Are you chasing after men
And playing hard to get when they chase you
If you say you need me
Then I'll be there
If you say you feel me
Then I'll be there
If you say you want me
Then I'll be there
If you say that you wanna love me
I'll be there
Staring at the walls
Only waiting for your calls
You sweet talker you there on the phone
Oh oh
Another pack of lies
You're a devil in disguise
You ain't spending all your nights alone
If you say you need me
Then I'll be there
If you say you feel me
Then I'll be there
If you say you want me
Then I'll be there
If you say that you wanna love me
I'll be there
The liberties you take
The excuses that you make
There's something in your eyes that don't ring true
Oh oh
Your ability
Heads to infidelity
While I'm saving myself just for you
Just for you, just for you
Just for you, just for you
If you say you need me
Then I'll be there
If you say you feel me
Then I'll be there
If you say you want me
Then I'll be there
If you say that you wanna love me
I'll be there


I Win, You Lose
(Noddy Holder & James Lea)

You can try
Taking me out of my home town
You can't take my home town out of me
Oh oh oh I win you lose
You can make
You can make fun of my background
When there's nobody else around
Oh oh oh I win you lose
I win you lose
We all walk the narrow line
And all get the seven year itch
We all think we're doing fine
Miles apart
It's getting harder to take the strain
I'm only human and I feel the pain
Oh oh oh I win you lose
Shame on me
Infidelity on the brain
Too many promise I'll go down the drain
I win you lose
I win you lose
Hey there ain't
Ain't no place like my home you see
Nobody's gonna make a monkey o' me
Oh oh oh I win you lose
I win you lose
I win you lose

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