By the time I got into music Slade’s heyday was long gone and I would just know them when their Christmas hit Merry Christmas Everybody was annually played.
Based on sales they were the UK’s biggest band of the 70’s with six UK number ones so there was a lot more to them than a Christmas classic.
If you were a successful band, you made a film, but Slade shocked everyone by making a gritty film about the struggles of bands instead of a happy go lucky movie. It was not a raging success but is now considered a classic.
The band recorded a soundtrack album but as the film was set in the sixties the album did not sell and it was the start of their decline.
After the first listen I recognised Far Far Away, this is not the usual Slade all big beat and shouty vocals, Holder’s vocals suit the slower pace, and the chorus was lodged in my head for days.
The album opens with How Does it Feel just piano and Noddy’s voice before the band come in over a minute later. It’s a good opener but you can imagine the fans would not expect this, Slade were moving on.
Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing is what I would expect from Slade great guitars and Noddy’s growl, it’s just enjoyable.
Next up is So Far So Good which is exactly what I am thinking and it’s a great fast paced song. Wishing You Were Here is singalong a Slade which trust me is a good thing and OK Yesterday Noddy lets rip.
This Girl is hammer horror and Lay It Down has a rough and dirty riff. Heaven Knows does not really grab me but Standin’ On The Corner takes us out with the band employing a brass section.
The joy of doing these reviews is someone recommends an album that you would never have listened to and would not expect to like.
What a pleasure.
GIVE IT A STREAM: Far Far Away (BTW the film is on YouTube I watched it worth an hour and a half of your time).