Review of "The Slade Collection Vol. 2 - Slade"

published 21/05/2012 | 80smusicreviewer
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Excellent
Pro Covers the band's 80s recording career nicely, unique vocals, high quality material, very melodic
Cons As a compilation, now out of date
exceptional
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87"

The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87

The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87

Introduction


After Slade’s split at the beginning of 1992, an expected swarm of compilations were released, including the German, Japanese and European compilation The Slade Collection 81-87, which nicely combined some of the band’s best tracks from 1981 to 1987. After the album’s release, a follow-up was issued in 1993, titled The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87. This compilation continued the theme of choosing the best tracks from the 1979-1987 period, where it was released in Germany only. Featuring a total of seventeen tracks, the album picked a strong mix of the band’s latter material.

Tracks


The compilation’s opening track is Sing Shout (Knock Yourself Out) which proves itself as one of the most catchiest and infectious tracks from the band’s final 1987 album You Boyz Make Big Noize. The song bases itself around a bouncy and infectious synthesizer riff with some fun and memorable guitar work. A great sing-a-long chorus can be found which is fantastically infectious and after the section follows a very catchy chant. Noddy Holder’s lyrics follow the usual pattern of likeable and memorable lines whilst displaying a jolly message. The track’s energy is frantically fun here whilst this track shows Slade’s gift of creating such quality party-like songs. Extreme fun. “Oh, ain't you got no home to go to?A-we'll be playing all night if we leave it to you. Woah, I'm going down slow and I'm gonna go get her, when she's good she's so good, and when she's bad she's much better, cause she's a mover, and she's a mover…”

Another unexpected and very underrated track comes in the form of The Roaring Silence which is from the You Boyz Make Big Noize album. The track features the band singing along together via group vocal throughout and very professionally, showcasing the band’s ability to perform such a sound. Another track built using memorable synthesizers and fitting guitar, the lyrics remain interesting throughout and thoughtful. The track was originally intended to remain a b-side but ended up being included on the album as the band realised it sounded too good for a b-side. “I hear the silence roar, we ain't above the law, she moves across a crowd, the roaring silence is loud. There's a never ending stream, of never ending dreams, you bring out the savage in me, fancy-free and no guarantee, yeah…”

The following track is titled That Was No Lady That Was My Wife, taken from the 1981 album Till Deaf Do Us Part. The track is a lyrically humorous song, built around an old music hall joke. This mid tempo rock track features a fantastically catchy guitar riff and some fitting vocals from Holder. The verses flow perfectly but the chorus remains the highlight which mixes strong percussion, weaving organ and more great guitar. The chorus makes the most of the lyrical humour with the lines “Who was the lady I saw you with last night? That was no lady, you're talking bout my wife…” An interesting solo section is also included which leads into the final chorus. “Harry Rash with his fancy foot work, showing off at the local dance. Giving all the girls the glad eye, ain't their type, he don't stand a chance…”

The next track is We Won’t Give In, a guitar-driven ballad with some very sorrow-sounding guitar, taken from the 1987 album You Boyz Make Big Noize, where it was also released as a single which peaked at #121 in the UK. The verses flow nicely in the track and the chorus builds up to a strong anthemic sing-a-long hook. The chorus itself is one of the band’s best latter choruses and has the typical Slade sound. The lyrics show determination not to give in as other people try to shoot you down and the chorus is therefore lyrically optimistic, showcasing the message nicely. “What’d ya do when it don't go too easy? Nothing is easy in a crazy town, nobody nowhere has got all the answers, they tried to shoot you down. I'm never gonna give, no, I don't give in, I'm never gonna give cause I gotta win…”

Razzle Dazzle Man is taken from the 1983 album The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, a track that interestingly merges two tracks nicely into one. Beginning with a driving guitar melody and some fast, frantic and fun vocals from Holder, the song’s pace is energetic and infectious. There’s some nice synthesizer effects added in with some big elements of the new wave sound from the time. After the second chorus, Dave Hill’s guitar solo is exciting whilst the synthesizer weaves throughout, and Don’s drumming is also exceptional. Fittingly, the song changes by winding down in tempo in a grand way. For this slower part, the real stand out is Holder’s vocals which send shivers throughout the listener with lines such as “It's good to see you don't you know?…” The slow ending wouldn’t be Slade without a glorious build up towards the end where the drumming picks back up with the guitar whilst a huge choir of backing vocalists join in with Holder. A truly memorizing part to wind the song down to a close. “Wanna be a smooth operator with a groove, oh, I'm a man of means. Wanna be like a sheik, a harem makes you weak, break far into my dreams. I'm your man, I'm your oh go, Razzle Man, yay-hey…”

Rock and Roll Preacher was originally the opening track for the Till Deaf Do Us Part album, which is a fantastic track on many different levels. The song was released as a German only single too, where it peaked at #49. The introduction features Holder delivering a mock ceremony of the communion of rock and roll which is complete with horror sound effects and organ backing. “Dearly beloved, brothers and sisters. We are gathered here tonight to join together this rock and this roll, in earholing catastrophe…” Following is a loud call and response section between Holder and the rest of the band, immediately capturing plenty of energy. This naturally leads into a strong and memorable riff, followed by the verse. The verses have some fun lyrics, more call and response and blasting vocals from Holder, whilst the chorus follows nicely and continues the energetic musical theme. More call and response follows towards the end of the track which also features a fantastic guitar solo. A song that doesn’t let up once throughout. This track became the band’s new show opener, working nicely with the band’s high level of audience participation at concerts. “All that ferocity, people come and see it for miles (I’m on fire, I’m on fire). High speed velocity, see them rocking in the aisle (I’m on fire, I’m on fire). My, my, my, you're leading me astray, every other day, every other day, every other day…”

I’ll Be There takes the listener through a highly infectious, sing-a-long track, originally from the 1985 album Rogues Gallery. The lyrics are from the heart like a lot of the tracks from the album, speaking of the devotion to a certain wild female character. A very up-tempo song which features another catchy chant for the listener to join in with. The verses flow nicely with some strong vocals, the lyrics working perfectly, whilst the chorus is hugely anthemic and infectious. A great backing synthesizer weaves a nice melody in the background. Percussion and guitar is another strong point in this song, given a driving sound, helped again by the glossy production. No doubt this song would have been a great asset for a live performance, but sadly the band had stopped touring by this point. Slade at their catchiest. “The liberties you take, the excuses that you make, there's something in your eyes that don't ring true, oh-oh. Your ability leads to infidelity, while I'm saving myself just for you, just for you…”

The next track is a loyal and blasting cover of the simple rock ‘n’ roll Chuck Berry song I’m a Rocker, taken from the 1979 album Return to Base and later included on the 1981 album We’ll Bring the House Down. Suggested that the band record it by Holder, the song was later released as a single in Belgium only, where it topped the chart. The sound is tight and energetic throughout whilst Holder pulls off a great vocal as always. The strong thing about the track is that the band are clearly having great fun playing it and it shines through on the song. Each instrument is playing something exciting during the track with Hill’s guitar solo being a highlight. There’s even some harmonica, a unique appearance on a Slade track. Whilst the song is strong, being a cover, it is surprising why some of the other worthy tracks from the original album wasn’t included instead, but even so, the song is still perfectly memorable. “I went out on the floor when they played number two, she said she don't but I know she do, I’m a rocker, I’m a roller, I go down sometimes but I come back to rock 'n' rollin’, rollin’…”

Ruby Red is one of the band’s most commercial and yet forgotten pieces from the early 80s, taken from the Till Deaf Do Us Part album, where it was also released as a single, peaking at #51 in the UK. A highly infectious guitar melody is present throughout with some strong backing organ. The verses flow perfectly with some fun and strong lyrics whilst the chorus features some great backing vocals and an infectious theme. Holder’s vocals are consistently strong but the greatest highlight is the lead guitar which also has a fantastic solo performed for good measure. Although the song featured on the first compilation of the series The Slade Collection 81-87, it appeared again here on this compilation. “Well I got some food if you're in the mood and the Montrachet's on ice. Let me satisfy your appetite with some coq au vin on rice, oh-oh-oh, Ruby Red, better use your ruby head (I wanna feel Ruby)…”

The next track is Slam the Hammer Down, the opening track of the album The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, where it later appeared on the 1984 American version of the album, re-titled Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply. It was also released as a promotional single, which featured two remixes by Shep Pettibone. The song opens with probably the most unusual intro on a Slade track of a shouted announcement to the listener from what seems to be Holder in a helicopter. Without pausing, the true introduction of the song soon blasts out with a fantastically memorable guitar riff, where the track has some glorious guitar work throughout including a brilliant solo towards the end of the track. The lyrics are great fun and work perfectly with the song’s melody and theme, whilst Holder’s vocals are on top form which surely makes this one of Slade’s best rockers of the 80s. “She's a cool kinda mama, sure gonna slam the hammer down, when your pistons are pumping, sure gonna slam the hammer down. Oh, when your body starts to shake, it's time to loosen off the brake and ram it down…”

One of the greatest and most commercially potential of the band’s latter tracks is Ooh La La In L.A. from the You Boyz Make Big Noize album. The song was released as a single in America and Germany only, where it failed to make any impact outside of Los Angeles, although in recent years the song has become increasingly popular worldwide, particularly in Russia. A sharp guitar riff is used throughout with some great lyrics from Noddy, describing different scenes of Los Angeles that the band remember from their visits. Even drummer Don Powell is mentioned with the lines “There's George on his knees again, on the town with Miss Zimmerman”, which refers to Don’s brief relationship with Bob Dylan’s daughter. The song’s anthemic sound throughout works perfectly and there’s also another sing-a-long chorus and a great guitar solo. “You see the food and you feel the force, B.L.T. and there ain't no sauce, you get enough to feed a horse that's true. And down at Barney's playing pool, Minnesota Fats is ultra cool, a load of balls make you look a fool, then you…”

Harmony shows the sensitive side of Slade, taken from the album Rogues Gallery. This song doesn’t rely so much on melody or the usual instant hook but instead uses a hugely anthemic and sing-a-long chorus with group vocal and a set of sensitive, perhaps personal, lyrics by Holder, speaking to his lover. Many lines make this emotion clear, whilst Holder’s smooth vocals and the high production make this track particularly pleasant and the listener can tell that the song comes from the heart. Certainly, this track is not the usual sound for Slade overall - one that dives deep into emotion quite unlike anything Slade have done before ballad-wise. “Oh, it's gotta be me, oh, it's gotta be me, I can change you, rearrange you, wait and see. I believe in everything you say and do, is there anything you say that may be true? No more second chance, your choice is overdue…”

The track Hey Ho Wish You Well features one of the best guitar openings on any Slade album, taken as the opener to Rogues Gallery. This introduction is complete with a galloping drum beat from Powell, strong guitar licks Hill and some fantastic synthesizer from Jim Lea. The song’s theme is in a similar vein to the band’s 1984 hit Run Runaway with the feeling of a rock jig, although both tracks still have many different qualities. The entire track is as catchy as it gets with the huge sing-a-long chorus and fun rhyming verses. Whilst the lyrics are purely jolly and fun, the track does its job of being highly infectious and memroable. The melody alone does the job. “Mad dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun. Too hot to jump the gun, do you know what I mean? Are you a ladies man? Gypsies kiss in a caravan, drinking the black and tan, do you know what I mean?”

Hold on to Your Hats is a very rock ‘n’ roll influenced track with great backing vocals, great pounding drums and some infectious guitar including a great solo. It was taken from the 1979 album Return to Base and later included on the 1981 album We’ll Bring the House Down. Holder’s vocals are strong as always whilst the lyrics are fun and fitting. The song’s chorus works nicely with an anthemic theme, whilst the production gives a solid feel of rock ‘n’ roll throughout. The track couldn’t be described as full-on rock but nonetheless shines on the original album. Again, like I’m a Rocker, it is surprising why the more worthy tracks on the original album wasn’t chosen, as although this track is perfectly strong, there are many more underrated gems that could be included. “Got your girl, a-got your boy, got you something to get you high, better hold on to your hats now. I got your rhythm, you got your beat, I'm gonna get you up off your seat, gotta throw away your blues, you got nothing else to lose…”

Cheap ‘n’ Nasty Luv is a well crafted track with some interesting lyrics, taken from the album The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, and the 1984 American version Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply. The song is undoubtedly about a girl who is involved in prostitution, and therefore displaying a serious social comment. The entire track features some great synthesizer in the background whilst there is a great lead guitar part all the way through, even topped off with a great guitar solo. The vocals are strong throughout and the chorus is memorable, highlighting the song’s overall message. The track ends with a grand finale of a synthesizer solo, which makes an excellent addition. “She couldn't make any other profession and as she says, well, a girl's gotta eat. Trying anything once with a trick of the trade, rents by the hour making sure she gets paid, no satisfaction, it drives her insane…”

Little Sheila is a synthesizer driven track which delivers a highly catchy melody, taken from the Rogues Gallery album where it was released as a single in America, Canada and Germany, peaking at #50 in Canada, #86 in America and #13 on the American Mainstream Rock Chart. There’s some fine guitar work from Dave Hill who weaves the guitar into the piece perfectly, helped by the tremendous professional and glossy production. This time the lyrics are much more mature than Slade’s usual output and although Holder’s vocals has always had the reputation of sounding loud, here he sounds very smooth which works extremely well. The pre-chorus adds another fantastic synthesizer melody which winds up to the chorus. The powerful and immediately infectious chorus features a great sound, including some strong backing vocal from Hill, making this track a winner. A good example of the band reaching out of their usual sound and entering new territory perfectly well. Although the track is said to sound similar to Van Halen’s 1984 track Jump, the song itself was written and demoed by Lea in the very early 80s. “On up and over under, can you hear the thunder on a concrete avenue? Pointed toe stilettos, ringing in the ghettoes when the girls are on the loose. There's some more commotion down on the street and some more emotion out in the heat, you gotta watch yourself whoever you meet…”

The compilation’s closing track is a live version of When I’m Dancin’ I ain’t Fightin’, a track originally from the 1981 album We’ll Bring the House Down. This live version is taken from the band’s final live album, the 1982 release Slade on Stage. Being an immediately strong anthemic and catchy rocker, this live version is the definitive version for me personally. The use of Holder’s blasting vocal, the audience participation, the energy and the strong guitars all blend into one fantastic track. A strong chant is also used whilst the song’s chorus is memorable, like the rest of the track. Even Holder’s lyrics work nicely on many levels, whilst a strong guitar solo is also included. On this track, the band performed an excellent version, adding more energy than the original studio version in the track. “Let me tell ya about the ins and outs of love, let me tell ya about a bit of push and shove. A-let me tell you when the hooded terror strikes, oh-oh, he’s a ladykiller, doing what he likes. Doesn't matter if you're naturally one way, it doesn't matter if you're actually, well, gay…”

Album Background


Upon release, The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87 didn’t manage to chart in Germany, although this was likely down to the lack of involvement from the now-split band and also lack of promotion in general. Despite this, the compilation has remained rather cheap second-hand despite being out-of-print, probably as it was re-issued in 1999 as well. The album would remain a popular choice of Slade’s compilations around the time, and was therefore successful in that field. No further compilation in this series was released and in 2007, Salvo remastered both two compilations under the name The Slade Collection 79-87. This two disc set remains available brand new online and in stores for under £10, and therefore at very good value, even including a good booklet. Salvo has also remastered the band’s entire catalogue, and through the remastering all the tracks to sound up to date and fresh.

Conclusion


I highly recommend this album to any fan of 80s rock, 80s pop-rock or classic rock in general. The entire compilation takes many worthy tracks and allows even a casual listener to get a feel for the band’s 80s material. The Salvo compilation The Slade Collection 79-87 is probably the most recommended of all, as it does add the first compilation too. This compilation’s sound is typical of many compilations released around the early 90s, but this doesn’t affect listening in any way. Today, the compilation itself can be found second-hand online for under £10, although it is a little harder to find than the first compilation The Slade Collection 79-87. A compilation of the best latter day tracks was never going to satisfy every fan through the choice of tracks, but The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87 continues where the first collection left off and does it very well. Overall, The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87 is a great compilation, combining many of the band’s worthy tracks from the 80s decade, offering a mixture of styles that Slade had delved into.

Track Listing


1. Sing Shout (Knock Yourself Out) (Holder; Lea) - 3:10
2. The Roaring Silence (Holder; Lea) - 2:48
3. That Was No Lady That Was My Wife (Holder; Lea) - 2:31
4. We Won't Give In (Holder; Lea) - 3:37
5. Razzle Dazzle Man (Holder; Lea) - 4:36
6. Rock and Roll Preacher (Holder; Lea) - 5:34
7. I'll Be There (Holder; Lea) - 4:35
8. I'm a Rocker (Chuck Berry) - 2:41
9. Ruby Red (Holder; Lea) - 2:49
10. Slam the Hammer Down (Holder; Lea) - 3:23
11. Ooh La La in L.A. (Holder; Lea) - 3:52
12. Harmony (Holder; Lea) - 3:47
13. Hey Ho Wish You Well (Holder; Lea) - 5:08
14. Hold on to Your Hats (Holder; Lea) - 2:33
15. Cheap 'n' Nasty Luv (Holder; Lea) - 3:28
16. Little Sheila (Holder; Lea) - 3:58
17. When I'm Dancin' I ain't Fightin' (Live) (Holder; Lea) - 3:47

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  • h_perry published 13/10/2012
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Product Information : The Slade Collection Vol. 2 - Slade

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Title: The Slade Collection Vol. 2

Sub Genre: '80s

Performer: Slade

Original Release Year: 1993

Format: Audio CD

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