Friday, 4 December 2009

Slade: How Does It Feel? (a-side)

In 1975 Slade made the film "Slade in Flame". Partly semi-autobiographical, it was not the film that critics and fans expected of the band. Instead of colourful "Monkees" style musical comedy it showed a more gritty and cynical side of the music industry, and I think it is all the better for that.
It chronicles the rise and bitter break up of a Northern rock band, and the movie's theme is the song "How Does It Feel?" which I think is one of the best singles released in the 70's. But the change in style for the band did not go down well with all fans with the song only getting to '#15 in the charts, a relative failure for Slade, making it their first single in three and a half years that failed to make the top 10.
It is a melancholy and reflective ballad using flutes and piano with string and brass orchestration, not something you would usually associate with their records. Noddy Holders voice shows genuine emotion and it was this song more than any other that gave Noddy Holder and Jim Lea the title of "The Lennon and McCartney Of Glam"
In 2000 on the Big Breakfast TV show Noel Gallagher of Oasis said it was his favourite Slade tune. He said:

"Slade were never pretentious. It was just music to them. Pop, rock, soul... it was all the same to Slade. They wrote great songs. And, besides, I'd like to raid their wardrobe."
"Do you know what it's like

to be searching in your own time?,
to be searching and suddenly find.
All your illusion, all your confusion,
all left behind.
How does it feel turning away?,
and how does it feel facing another day?.
Coz many years from now
there will be newer poisons
and new horizons.
How does it feel?"
Noddy Holder & Jim Lea 1975