Saturday, 6 December 2008

Slade - My Town (b-side), She Did It To Me (b-side)

Based on overall chart performance Slade were the most successful artist of the glam rock era. This was highlighted in Channel 4’s ‘Top Ten Glam Rock Artists of All Time’, where Slade and strangely the Bay City Rollers came in first and second respectively.

At their peak Slade were the most commercially popular band in the UK. They achieved 12 top five hits from 1971 to 1974. This included six number 1’s, three number 2’s and two songs at number 3. Three of their singles went straight into the chart at number 1, a feat last accomplished by the Beatles. After 1975 Slade’s success faded however, but they did have some further success in the early 80’s with another two top ten hits, Run Runaway and My Oh My.

I must admit that at times during the early seventies I think I preferred Slade over even Bowie or T.Rex. For great, stomping, heavy, guitar driven pop they couldn’t be beaten. Apart from the great song writing, Slade’s greatest asset was having Noddy Holder as front man. Noddy (Neville) Holder had one of rock’s great voices and unlikely as it seemed had one of glam rock’s great iconic images, the mirrored hat. Along with Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning flash and Bolan’s “Corkscrew hair,” that mirrored hat is the most recognisable thing associated with glam rock.

Even now I still get misty eyed when certain songs come unexpectedly on the radio. We had a black Fidelity record player at home when I was a kid in the 70’s, and playing Skweeze Me Pleeze Me (sic) over and over again is one of the happiest memories from my childhood. The intentional misspelling of the song titles was also a good way to wind up teachers and parents.

My Town is the B-side to My Friend Stan released in 1973 and eventually reaching # 2 in the charts. Both are from the album ‘Old, New, Borrowed and Blue’. My Town is the harder hitting flipside to the bar room piano style evident on the A-side. No introduction, no messing about, just straight in after a single snare beat.

She Did It to Me was the flip-side to Bangin Man a 1974 Slade song that reached # 3. This was a slow, piano driven ballad in the style of Everyday the single that Slade released earlier that year. Proving that they could do slow and sensitive with the best of them.