Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We'll Bring the House Down

Starting in 1971 with the single "Get Down Get With it," Slade touched off a string of classic singles and proceeded to become one of the most beloved party bands in the UK. Some with humorously misspelled song titles, such as "Coz I Luv You," "Look Wot You Dun," "Take Me Bak 'Ome," "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," "Gudbuy t'Jane," "Cum on Feel the Noize," and "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me." They never truly caught on with North American audiences and that has always puzzled me. With glam rock's demise and punk's emergence by the mid-'70s, the hits eventually dried up for the quartet. Despite the change in musical climate, Slade stuck to their guns and kept touring and releasing albums.

In October of 1979 Slade released the album "Return to Base" which quickly went exactly nowhere. It is said that the band were so low on money at the time, they didn't even have the funds to hire a photographer, so all the album got was a very plain red cover with the title stamped on it, which probably didn't help. At the time of this album's release, the band were receiving next to no money. Forced to play at small halls and clubs around the UK, the only income they were reliant on was Noddy Holder and Jim Lea's songwriting royalties. Their singles weren't selling, and they were no longer drawing in huge crowds. "We had to pay to park in the public area," recalls Jim Lea incredulously. "With no roadies we had to carry our own gear and there was even trouble getting into the backstage area!"

One year later in 1980, Slade stood in for Ozzy Osbourne at the Reading Festival and it was just the shot in the arm the boyz needed. They received a huge amount of notoriety from the concert and bingo, all of a sudden, they were now suddenly 'cool' again. Their record company didn't take long to jump on their success either and early in 1981 Slade released We'll Bring The House Down. There was little time to record new tracks, so some of the tracks were recycled from their failed Return to Base album of the previous year. It did well entering the UK charts at number 25, and marked the beginning of a four-album resurgence for Slade. Slade made a powerful statement with We'll Bring the House Down: "We're back and we're gonna rock your ass off." Then a couple years later North America would finally jump on the Slade bandwagon as I will discuss in a later post.

When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'
My Baby's Got It
Buy It

Funny Toon