SLADE LIVE @BBC
SLADE ‘LIVE AT THE BBC’ 1969-1972
2 CD SET RELEASED OCTOBER 26TH 2009
Think of BBC1’s Top of the Pops at its 15 million viewing peak during the early 70s and a mental image of Slade – stomping, smiling, shining Bacofoil bright – is rarely very far away.
But the band’s relationship with BBC Radio was not always as joyous or as uncomplicated. “Jimmy Young said he’d never heard such a row in all his life,” remembers Jim Lea, the group’s bassist and musical powerhouse. “Tony Blackburn machine-gunned our first hit live on air. Ed Stewart said we’d never make it. Tommy Vance hated our guts to begin with. John Peel was always suspicious of us. And Noel Edmonds used to call us ‘Never’, as in ‘Slade’ ‘Never!’”
All were leading DJs on the Beeb’s new flagship station Radio 1 and all would be won over in the end. “We were a fantastic band,” Jim says, “and I had no doubt that we would make it. The Spencer Davis Group had made it. The Moody Blues had made it. The Move had made it.” The Midlands had a great track record. “Besides,” adds Jim with no hint of a raised eyebrow, “we were just so much better than anybody else on the local circuit at the time.”
The era documented here, 1969 to 1972, witnessed Slade’s transformation from a self-confessed travelling rock ‘n’ soul jukebox into the nation’s favourite glam rock combo. And just as it had helped to break The Beatles and many other bands, the BBC played a vital supporting role in Slade’s rise to the top.
Such is the enduring power of Slade’s magnificently successful wall of sound and riotous anthems, which earned them 17 Top 20 hits between 1971 and ‘76 and rave endorsements from the Sex Pistols, Oasis and virtually every other rock notable since, that the world is often only aware of a single, one-dimensional Slade.
Compiled and produced with the help of the group, this fantastic collection of previously unissued material presents not only the studio Slade and the in-concert Slade, but the pre-fame Slade; a tight, hard-hitting combo that cut its teeth on a range of soul, psychedelic, pop and rock covers, while making tentative and highly successful inroads into writing their own material. ‘Slade Live At The BBC’ hits the streets almost exactly 40 years to the day after they shortened their name (at manager Chas Chandler’s suggestion) to Slade from Ambrose Slade, the moniker used on their early singles and debut album.
Slade ‘Live At The BBC’ CD1 is compiled from sessions with former Radio 1 DJs John Peel, Pete Murray, Stuart Henry and Jimmy Young. It features both originals & some startling cover versions, among them The Moody Blues’ ‘Nights In White Satin, Alvin Lee’s ‘Hear Me Calling’, the John Sebastian/Lovin’ Spoonful ballad ‘Darling Be Home Soon’, Traffic’s ‘Coloured Rain’ (from their debut album Mr Fantasy), the Beatles ‘Getting Better’ and most significantly their bludgeoning take on Little Richard’s ‘Get Down And Get With It’. Enthusiastically plugged by Radio 1 DJs John Peel and Johnny Walker, ‘Get Down And Get With It’ would give Slade their very first Top 20 hit a few weeks after the BBC session was aired in May 1971.
CD2 is Slade Live at the Paris Theatre, London. Recorded in August 1972 for a Radio 1 Live In Concert broadcast as part of a Slade two part special, it’s Slade in all their rollicking glory, tearing up the stage with a mixture of singles & covers including Janis Joplin’s ‘Move Over’. However, the gig wasn’t without its problems. Older audience members, “the Jimmy Young crowd, who came in from shopping,” as Jim Lea remembers, had a hard time dealing with the ear-shattering volume. There were also problems with the equipment and MC Mike Harding’s constant interjections. Their performance is further notable for the fact that it witnessed the premier of ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, which would net them their third Number One single a month later.
The detailed sleeve notes are penned by journalist Mark Paytress who conducted brand new interviews with each member of the band.
SLADE ‘LIVE AT THE BBC’ 1969-1972
CD1 – Studio sessions 1969-72
1. Coming Home
2. The Shape Of Things To Come
3. See Us Here
4. Know Who You Are
5. My Life Is Natural
6. Coloured Rain
7. Man Who Speeks Evil
8. Move Over
10. Sweet Box
11. Nights In White Satin
12. It’s Alright Ma, It’s Only Witchcraft
14. Gudbuy Gudbuy
15. Getting Better
16. Darling Be Home Soon
17. Let The Good Times Roll
18. Dirty Joker
19. Get Down And Get With It
20. Wild Winds Are Blowing
Radio 1 jingles
21. “Radio 1 where the best music’s on”
22. “Everyday the sounds we play on Radio 1”
23. ”This is Radio 1, we’re all having fun”
24. “We’re Slade!”
CD2 – Live at the Paris Theatre, London, August 17, 1972
2. Hear Me Calling
3. In Like A Shot (From My Gun)
4. Look Wot You Dun
5. Keep On Rocking
6. Move Over Baby
7. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
8. Lady Be Good
9. Coz I Luv You
10. Take Me Back ‘Ome
11. Get Down And Get With It
12. Good Golly Miss Molly