Slade are an English rock band. Slade were one of the most recognizable acts of the glam rock movement and were, at their peak, the most commercially popular band in the UK. They are well known for the deliberate misspelling of their song titles and for the song "Merry Xmas Everybody" (released December 1973), now one of the most iconic Christmas pop songs in the United Kingdom.
Slade are from the Black Country area of the West Midlands: Drummer Don Powell and bass guitarist Jim Lea were both born and raised around Wolverhampton, while lead guitarist Dave Hill was born in Devon and moved to Wolverhampton as a child. Lead singer Noddy Holder was born and raised in the nearby town of Walsall. In writings by and about Slade, the Trumpet public house in Bilston is mentioned frequently as a band meeting place, especially in their early days.
One of the most acclaimed British Rock bands of the 1970s, Slade are especially remembered for their brash songwriting and energetic live performances.
The group dominated the British charts during the early 1970s. During the height of their success, Slade out-performed their chart rivals, such as Wizzard, Sweet, T.Rex, Suzi Quatro, Mud, Smokie, Gary Glitter, Roxy Music and David Bowie. In the UK, they achieved 12 top five hits from 1971 to 1974, six of which topped the charts. In total, Slade had 17 top 20 hits between 1971 and 1976 including six #1s, three #2s and two #3s. No other UK act of the period enjoyed such consistency in the UK top 40 and Slade actually came the closest to matching The Beatles' 22 top ten records in a single decade (1960s). Three of their singles entered the charts at #1 and they sold more singles in the UK than any other group of the 1970s.
While Slade's attempts at cracking the United States market were largely unsuccessful, they left their mark on several US bands who cite Slade as an influence. Kiss bassist Gene Simmons readily admits that his band's early songwriting ethos and stage performance style was influenced by Slade. In his book "Kiss and Make-Up," Simmons writes on page 85, "the one we kept returning to was Slade," and "we liked the way they connected with the crowd, and the way they wrote anthems... we wanted that same energy, that same irresistible simplicity. but we wanted it American-style." Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick has said that his band went to see Slade perform, and that they used "every cheap trick in the book", thus inadvertently coining his group's name. Quiet Riot had a U.S. hit with their cover of Cum on Feel the Noize.
The original band's memory was kept alive by comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, who respectfully sent up the band in a number of what the band called 'hysterically accurate' 'Slade in residence' and 'Slade on holiday' sketches in their The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer TV show in the early 1990s - these are available on DVD.
It has been said that Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer based their fictional band Spinal Tap, in the film This is Spinal Tap, on Slade. However, the comedians have since confirmed that the band in the film was based on the "tour diaries" of numerous UK "heavy metal" and "glam" bands. The events occurring to Spinal Tap in the film are based on the real exploits of not only Slade but also Deep Purple, Saxon, Led Zeppelin and Ozzy Osbourne.
1970 Play It Loud
1974 Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
1974 Slade in Flame
1976 Nobody's Fools
1977 Whatever Happened to Slade?
1979 Return to Base
1981 We'll Bring the House Down
1982 Till Deaf Do Us Part
1983 The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome
1985 Rogues Gallery
1985 Crackers: The Party Album
1987 You Boyz Make Big Noize