After several albums featuring few original compositions from the quartet came and went (1969's Beginnings, 1970's Play It Loud), the group began to write their own tunes, grew their hair long, and assumed the look of the then-burgeoning glam movement, joining the same cause championed by such fellow Brits as David Bowie
and T. Rex
. This new direction paid off in 1971 with the number 16 U.K. single "Get Down and Get With It," which soon touched off a string of classic singles and led to Slade becoming one of the most beloved party bands back home. Slade also utilized another gimmick, humorously misspelled song titles, as evidenced by such singles 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," "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me," and "Merry Xmas Everybody" (the latter of which re-entered the charts every holiday season for years afterward). Several attempts at cracking the U.S. market came up empty (with track listings between their U.K. and U.S. full-lengths differing), although such albums as Slade Alive! and Slayed? are considered to be some of the finest albums of the glam era.
Slade continued to score further hit singles back home, including such correctly spelled tracks as "My Friend Stan," "Everyday," "Bangin' Man," "Far Far Away," "How Does it Feel," and "In for a Penny," but with glam rock's dissolution 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, as the title to their 1977 album, Whatever Happened to Slade?, proved that the group's humor remained intact despite their fall from the top of the charts. A large, dedicated following still supported the group as they offered a performance at the 1980 Reading Festival that was considered one of the day's best, resulting in sudden renewed interest in the group back home and Slade scored their first true hit singles in six years with 1981's "We'll Bring the House Down" and "Lock up Your Daughters."
Slade received a boost stateside around this time as well, courtesy of the U.S. pop-metal outfit Quiet Riot
, who made a smash hit out of "Cum on Feel the Noize" in 1983 that resulted in a strong chart showing for Slade's 1984 release Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply (issued as The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome in the U.K. a year earlier). Slade then enjoyed a pair of U.S. MTV/radio hits, "Run Runaway" and "My Oh My." Holder and Lea
also tried their hand at producing another artist around this time as well, as they manned the boards for Girlschool
's 1983 release Play Dirty. Despite another all-new studio release, Rogues Gallery, and Quiet Riot
covering another classic Slade tune ("Mama Weer All Crazee Now"), Slade was unable to retain their newfound American audience or rekindled British following and they eventually faded from sight once more, this time without a comeback waiting around the corner. During the '90s, a truncated version of the group dubbed Slade II was formed (without Holder or Lea
in attendance), while Holder became a popular U.K. television personality as well as the host of his own '70s rock radio show. A 21-track singles compilation, Feel the Noize: The Very Best of Slade, was issued in 1997 (re-released under the simple title of Greatest Hits a couple of years later), which proved to be a popular release in England. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi