This is the first album I've reviewed this year that is obviously aimed at the Christmas stocking filler market. To be honest this double cd best of will be great fun to listen to whenever you put it on, as it's chock full of Slades hits, even if some of the tunes were hits in the UK and others hits in the US or Germany etc, as they are one of those bands who seem to have several fanbases being mainly a singles band in the Uk and mainly an albums band in the US etc.
This collection contains 43 singles released between 1971-91 16 of which went top ten in the UK and 6 number ones. This compilation isn't in chronological order and has obviously been sequenced to work as a stand-alone collection. Almost everything is written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea who were a very strong song writing team.
This opens with the great blast that is Cum On Feel The Noize a song that feels imprinted in my minds DNA it's the archetypal singalong glam stomper with Noddy Holders full throated singing getting millions of us singing along over the years.
Skweeze me, Pleeze Me has everything you want from a Slade single, bad spelling, a great stomp along chorus that everyone can go whoa oh too, a great beat. Well it just takes me back to being a kid and makes me smile remembering how many girls we tried to Skweeze while this was playing at any number of discos I went too as a kid.
Mama Weer All Crazee Now will have you dancing round the room like your back at a 70's disco going nuts to this, shouting along with the chorus and generally having a great time as Dave Hill's riff drives this along like they are unstoppable.
Coz I Luv You is the first slower song and has that great central violin solo as well as some pretty interesting percussion effects that shows they were really working on the stereo effects as well as this being a nice insistent love song.
Take Me Bak 'ome is a good plea to be allowed round for some lovin' again its the percussion that makes it stand out from many of the other Glam bands at the time and since, that and some glorious guitar bits.
Gudbuy T'Jane is of course yet another classic this time it's a kiss off and it could also be read as a cautionary tale to not go with someone whose so young.
My Friend Stan is the first song I can't sing along too, it's a slightly slower stomper with cool backing vocals and a decent story about how you get to Stan, the piano parts sound like they are playing in a good barrelhouse style that everything else is built around.
Far Far Away is the first song you may need a tartan or silk scarf to be waving in the air too like it's being played as one of the last songs close to the end of a disco, lyrically it reflects the bands touring and is a great example of writing about being on the road and dreaming of home without making it seem like they are better than the people they've left behind no matter how far there heads are in the clouds.
My Oh My is pretty much a glam power ballad and plea for some loving that needs to be played in a fog of dry ice as befits it being released in 1985.
Everyday is a slow song of regret for being away from home as much, as they are not paying attention to the partners left at home, this is one of the bands few songs that doesn't have a catchy hook.
The Bangin' Man isn't quite as bad as the title might suggest and has some great slide guitar runs as a tale of being stuck on the road and going from town to town by limo unfolds and they dream of bangin' back home.
Look Wot You Dun is the aftermath of a relationship falling apart and Noddy is pleading for his freedom to go and be the rock star he was, against a great guitar part and as ever some very interesting drum and percussion that moves slowly across the speakers.
Thanks For The Memory almost sounds like it was written to be the closing song of a live set even if some of the lyrics are somewhat unexpected as they tell us to eat an apple every day and as ever the guitars do all sorts of cool stuff and Jim Lea's bass is far more upfront than usual.
Run Runaway sounds a lot like it could have been played by Big Country or even Thin Lizzy having that 80's big rock sound to it, the drums are a little bit too 80's but not tragically so and the way the song powers along means it still has a lot of vitality to it while sounding like they have been listening to Van Halen.
We'll Bring The House Down is a no-nonsense heads down mindless boogie style rocker with the sort of chorus that was made for early MTV heavy rotation and is machine tooled for call and response action live.
In For A Penny is a slower and more full of regret song about not moving forward as they talk about song writing and making new songs, this is far more reflective than most of Slade's songs.
Let's Call It Quits sounds like it was made to please the Teds in the mid 70's as it has a very old fashioned Rock & Roll feel to it as they ask to finish a relationship before things turn really nasty.
How Does It Feel is slow almost ponderous as they ask you how it feels and well are you ready for something new and different like the brass section that comes in on this song?
All Join Hands is Slade at there most sentimental and obviously written with the idea of getting a huge arena crowd to All Join Hands while they sing this very mid 80's ballad, that sounds like they needed to be wearing shoulder pads rather than platform heels.
We then get the first of only two cover versions on this collection there brilliant re-working of Little Richards Get Down And Get With It that barrels along with some great piano playing and of course that monster riff and the stop start formula that gives plenty of room for stretching it out live and getting everyone following the instructions in the lyrics just great fun and I'm sure lots of people had no idea it was a cover version.
The first cd closes with Radio Wall Of Sound a song that steals plenty from The Ramones and Van Halen to come up with a tune that has been used who knows how many times as an ident for radio stations and shows across the USA and elsewhere although from 1991 it has a very mid 80's sound to it but damn it sounds great yes this is rock & roll radio, sorry the Radio Wall of Sound!
The Second Cd opens with Lock Up Your Daughters that has a very NWOBHM almost Whitesnake feel to it as they caution you to not let your Daughters go to a rock show in case they get into trouble with the band, it also sounds tooled up and ready for the American market in the early 80's.
My Baby Left Me: That's Alright is a blooze rock stomp along that has echoes of T-Rex as they re-work Elvis' That's Alright Mama into a glorious bit of rocking fun.
Gypsy Roadhog has that written whilst on tour feel to it, like they have just put there diary entry into a song, as they namecheck the tour stops and what they got up too and how they got the nick name The Gypsy Roadhog as the guitars power everything along.
(And Now The Waltz) C'est La Vie is a mid-80's single that is rather overblown and while not bad is certainly not what I was listening too back then, it has a good nostalgic feel as they hark back to there heyday or to the days before everything went wrong with yet another girlfriend as this gets properly over the top.
Myzterious Mizster Jones re-works Laura Brannigans Gloria into a MTV ready 80's synth keyboards big haired sort of stomp. I am glad this song passed me by as I can imagine many 70's Slade fans being horrified by this song as they tried to stay current in the mid 80's.
Ruby Red is fast and furious stomp along as they tell Ruby to use her head and it has a break down that may have been the moment for some call and response live but just heralds a monster guitar solo instead.
Do You Believe In Miracles no not that song but a Slade original that sounds like it was made for a feel good video and has a good stomping feel to the drums and echoes of Van Halen.
Wheels Ain't Coming Down is late 70's paranoid song about a plane whose wheels don't come down and they are worried about all dying in a plane crash with some interesting crashing sounds as eventually the captain tells them the wheels have come down.
7 Year Bitch is one of the mid 80's singles that is stuck in my head the moment I hear the whoah whoah parts as they sing about old rockers with young girls on their arms and they question if you should be going with girls who are young enough to be your daughters, lyrically this asks some uncomfortable things.
Still The Same is a lighters in the air late 80's blustery ballad that builds and builds as they tell us that nothing's changed, well if that's the case why isn't this a glam stomper then.
The second cover version on this best of is The Shape Of Things To Come this is a short sharp blast of angst about your powerlessness to change the shape of the future that George Benson had an instrumental hit version of that's as radically different from Davie Allen's original from the film Wild In the Streets as Slade's take on it is.
Know Who You Are is a good early single that has a good Who influence as they wonder how things are going to work out for them, the stomp is in the drums but the vocals are still quite restrained and poppy and quite indebted to Roger Daltrey.
Nobody's Fool is a great song as Noddy repeatedly tells us that no one can say he's Super cool as they revel in not being the coolest but instead, they are just reliably ok and that's more than Okay for them.
Burning In The Heat Of Love sounds like the title for a disco single, but of course it's a full throated rocking plea for lurve from Noddy with some dirty low down guitar it's sleazy and greasy as it should be.
Give Us A Goal sounds like they are singing a song for George Best or Stanley Bowles as they urge a fancy footed footballer to stop fannying around and just score, with the odd lyric stolen from The Who I'm sure they were aiming for the sort of success Queen's We Are the Champions had.
Ginny Ginny is a slightly sad song about Ginny and what she got up too, this isn't them at there most woke so to speak, as Ginny was a bit of a gold digger and consummate groupie and ligger.
Sign Of The Times is an end of the 70's, looking to the future and what's to come in the 80's, and how close they are to the end of the century, well listening to this now that the 70's are long gone, they are right most of us have turned off the radio although we no longer listen to songs like this that sounds like Woody Woodmansey's U-Boat rather than anything futuristic.
Knuckle Sandwich Nancy is both the best and most worrying song title on the album, and no it isn't about gay bashing a Nancy boy, but rather the Nancy boy dishing out the beating after you've said the wrong thing to him and Noddy's initial shock and then the whole sorry saga unfolds and has enough going on for someone to write a dissertation about this song.
Ooh La La In L.A. is not my favorite song with Oh La La in its title from 1987 as I prefer the John Cale song of that name from 1987, this one is a tale of life on the road that arrives in L.A. and sounds like they are aiming for the FM drive time slot with this one.
That's What Friends Are For takes the keyboard part of Van Halen's Jump and marries it with an old Slade riff to come up with a song that sounds well kind of embarrassing and easily the worst thing on this collection unless of course you love the mid 80's hair metal production values this has.
We Won't Give In is late period Slade writing a song that has the feel of a last throw of the dice with a song title that Dee Snyder might have suggested for them, it's a decent late 80's big haired self- empowerment metal song.
The album closes with Slades all time monument of a Christmas classic Merry Xmas Everybody a song that just about everyone should be able to sing and sway along too by now, if you don't know the words to this song, why have you read this far and where they hell have you been for the 47 Christmases since this was first a hit, a song that will never go away.
If you know any rock fans who need to hear this, put a smile on there faces and buy it for them for Christmas. Find out more https://slade.tmstor.es/?lf=d79a526bd481e8bf4cf505470b44ba3a https://www.amazon.co.uk/Feel-Hitz-Best-Slade-VINYL/dp/B08DL919FB/ref=tmm_vnl_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=&tag=infecmusic-21&ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&ascsubtag=d79a526bd481e8bf4cf505470b44ba3a