Old New Borrowed & Blue

February/March, 1974

It's worth pointing out that a week or so before the albums release, 'Slade Talk To 19 Readers' hit the news stands.  Therefore, much of the 'eyebrow' below was probably 'raised' on hearing the previews there.  On purchase, I think the album held just two unheard tracks.

Polydor Records 2383 - 261

At the time, I recall wondering what the silk white scarves were about but the unusual 'wallet style' album sleeve was way cool with its reversed letters, cool Gered Mankowitz portraits and, hey, the lyrics were all in there.  A shame it wasn't given a gloss coat to protect it from fingers, etc.

Just Want A Little Bit was absolutely awesome, those power chords and Don beating time in between.  Noddy's voice coming through like a battering ram, the soft breakdown demonstrating his skill and mastery as a serious vocalist.  I was oblivious to The Undertakers and, on first listen, couldn't give a damn about them either.  It would be a long time before I actually found out HOW radical the groups reworking was compared to the original but I certainly appreciated how good the intricacies of their arrangement were.  I'm not a musician and I'm sure many of you clever buggers out there 'could' tell me that it ain't so clever, etc. but I don't care....It Rocks!

When The Lights Are Out....where's Noddy, who's singing?

"There's nothing like a good sing-ger and Jimmy's nothing like a good sing-ger."
A good song but the first surprise for me. Me Mam liked it on first listen, she was used to me playing noisy unsociable stuff but this was a new experience for her.

My Town was back to my proper Slade with everything as expected but hell, we already had this on a 7" B-side.

Find Yourself A Rainbow. My Dad was whistling away with that one. A genuine pub style piano, is that Jim.... No, this is Tommy 'A Triumph' Burton. Who? Of course, I think the fan club had already told us about this stuff and Kill 'em At THe Hot Club had prepared us mentally.

Miles Out To Sea was the second blow of 'When The Lights Are Out' hammer.
"Are you getting this?" Yes, Slade can do melodic songs with all round appeal. These are Pop/Rock songs with all the sugar sweet ingredients of an Archies song although Nod's vocals are still at full stretch.

We're Really Gonna Raise The Roof arrives at full blast with the ear-shredding vocal and I'm jumping on the furniture, air guitar in hand. I love the bass punctuation before moving into verse two. The piano is a lovely touch, echoing 50's R'n'R wihich fits with the Little Richard mention in the lyrics. I think this is a progression of what they were trying to do with The Whole Worlds Goin' Crazee and here, for me, it works. It's not one of the bands greatest moments but I do think it represents what they were about.

And then, all too soon, it's over! Oh God, I need more. Quick, flip that record over.....

BOOM! Now that's what I'm talking about.

Do We Still Do It was the stuff of legend, the chant backing vocals and the build on that wall of chord. The echo crack on the drumbeat when the song moves into the second half and the superb climactic finale. TT

How Can It Be
You know what, when you don't get it, you listen. The lyrics made me think and I learned to like it along the way, not that I ever disliked it.

Don't Blame Me was always a fav from the song on the jukebox that would piss everybody off to the great little guitar riff to the awesome finishing vocal note. Anybody that can't appreciate this performance, what the f*ck are you listening to Noddy Holder for?
The let down for me was the fact that I'd been playing the arse off of it since MXE was released. It was another prized B-side that had now been given an album slot? :(

My Friend Stan sucks! OK, it's catchy and a great little singalong song but then that's what God gave us David Essex for. To add insult to injury, we've had this for months and it's inclusion on the album was unnecessary except, it does set the listener up perfectly for Everyday. The little piano roll, silence, and then Everyday drops. It works, the beautifully melodic refrain with it's guitar harmony last verse makes a lovely moment although, for me personally, it was never a favourite. Any chance it had of becoming a favourite was lost when they released it as a single.

The echo of the last note once again, sets the scene for Don's cowbell shuffle intro on Good Time Gals. Great power chords and Noddy's filthy vocal back on form. "I wanted to SUCK your candy" lovely... "I wanted to smell your barn." are you sure.... ahh, I think I get it?

Including Good Time Gals as the B-side of the Everyday 7", making 50% of the album available on singles, left me thoroughly disappointed but it wasn't the album. The album stood proud as a grand offering of Slade demonstrating their versatility and addressing many criticisms that had been aimed at them. In one fell swoop this album took a stroll through the the great variety of potential Slade had to offer. I'm listening to the vinyl as I write and it still sounds as good now as it did then. I can understand why Matt was disappointed but in the UK we already knew how Slade could come at you from all sides. This album showed how they could do it all at the same time and still make it work.

Pre-pubescent paradise, I loved it. Start to finish, all the oddities and surprises, even the below par and unnecessary My Friend Stan, right up to the fading last chord at the end of side two.

Old, New, Borrowed & Blue was also the first of three consecutive studio albums in a row to get its very own Music Book released!

UK, 2006 - CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered

The 2006 Salvo Remastered CD Reissue included Bonus Tracks:-

In the USA, the album was released, titled "Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet", (Minus the two tracks "My Town" and "My Friend Stan".)

The two singles released from the USA release were Good Time Gals and When The Lights Are Out.

1 comment:

John Pitt said...

Can't say that I agree with you about "Stan", Mickey, as it's one of my all-time favourite tracks! But, each to their own and all that.
O,N,B&B is my favourite Slade album, I absolutely love it all!