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THE SLADE BOOKS
Chris Charlesworth - Slade - Feel the Noize
This fully authorised book is generally regarded by all who have seen a copy as 'The Slade Bible'. The four members of Slade and their late manager Chas Chandler co-operated fully with it. You get the full story up to 1985, pretty much in their own words, as Chris Charlesworth got the stories from them.
It is thought / said that they later looked back on the book as possibly revealing too much, but there's nothing at all in there that does them any discredit. It is lavishly illustrated and practically every question you could have asked about Slade's career up to then is answered honestly and endearingly. An update of this book would be a wonderful thing, but the rights to re-publish passed away with Chas Chandler and so it is not possible to put the book out again. It can fetch a decent price on the internet auction sites, but is really very well worth tracking down.
Years after his own major triumph of a Slade Bible, Chris Charlesworth commissioned a New Slade Bible to be written for Omnibus. They initially announced a book - 'Nobody's Fools' by Dick Porter, which sadly fell by the wayside, so we waited for something to happen. It has been a long wait.
Written with writer Lisa Verrico, this autobiography was the first of the books from a Slade member. Noddy Holder comes across as a normal, well-adjusted man who has been there, seen it and done it all. There's a basically chronological history from his childhood, his teens and his early groups. I still have lots of questions for him, but that's not because he has left any sizeable gaps in the book. Noddy does tell a few tales that are probably in there to shock the reader a little, but it's a damned good read and would take some topping.
If any book is ever going to top Noddy Holder's 'Who's Crazee Now?' then it is this one. Lise Lyng Falkenburg did an exemplary job of getting Don Powell's life story from him and he tells it with bewildering honesty and candour. His life in Slade has seen ups and downs and the downs were absolutely catastrophic. Several myths about the band are blown apart by this book. While he doesn't analyse their split in painstaking detail, the truth is in there and he has no problem telling it. Don Powell for a very long time had the reputation of being the nicest man in rock. This book tells you why. It is now the Slade book to try to beat.
Noddy talks about anything and everything. He seems to get some pet peeves off his chest and despite taking a slightly scattergun approach to topics, this book is well-written and it is an engaging read. You can just about hear a Black Country accent as you sit reading.
If you thought Don Powell's book was honest and open, then be prepared for this book. Dave Hill's childhood was far from idyllic, as his mother suffered from a couple of mental disorders that have left their lasting mark on the guitarist, who later suffered with depression. You just feel sad for him. He tells the Slade story in a very personal way and you maybe warm to him slightly. You get some of his personal life, but I felt that he pulled the shutters closed when he felt he let too much out.
One thing promised that didn't materialise was the true story of the end years of Slade. It was promised we would get an account of that period in some detail and sadly, he almost avoids the subject and skips over it as quickly as he can. It may not tell you a lot about Slade, as he doesn't comes across as having driven their career or having put a lot of deep thought into his own work life until recent years. That aside, this is a good book about Dave Hill and what makes him tick.
The author's page for this book is here.
This is the only book that has ever concentrated in such minute detail on Slade's discography. There was a fan club book that amounted to a brief list, but as good as that was at the time, it doesn't really count. The second edition of The Noize ran to 300 pages, with a full study of their massive discography and a list of the Magic 500 Slade fan names to the rear. Available in hardback with a Fontana cover, or in paperback with a Polydor cover.
A pictorial companion to THE NOIZE - THE SLADE DISCOGRAPHY.
Slade: Did You See Us?
Christopher Selby - The Train Kept A-Rollin'
This was a strictly limited-edition keepsake photo book for members of the 'N Betweens who took part in the re-recording of the classic blues track, The Train Kept A-Rollin'. It was done as a keepsake - just for those involved and it was never put on general sale. A couple of extra copies were offered as competition prizes and one was sold for charity. Only 20 copies and 4 proof copies exist. No more will ever be printed.
The author saw the band almost fifty times and took his camera to a large number of shows. This book is the result of those trips out and of those great shows. One to sit down and pore through with Slade On Stage blaring away in the background. The author's page for this book is here.
Selby / Edmundson
A whopping 340 page full colour examination of all the Barn and Six Of The Best label single releases. Includes Slade releases.
Selby / Edmundson
A whopping 270 page full colour examination of all the Cheapskate label single releases. Includes Slade releases.
It's very very hard to fault a people's history of Slade that quotes the people who were there for most of the key events and major gigs in a group's history. This well-illustrated new hardback book has approaching 400 pages of wonderful testimony for the defence from ardent and verbose fans, some rock luminaries and the odd snippet of expert testimony from the band members themselves. Not every milestone date is in there (obviously) and it has to be said that the author does really well with what he has been given. It's a great cross-section cum history of their career.
The notion that a 50 year old line from 'Skweeze me pleeze me' was a 'right to rape' lyric (posited by one respondent) should maybe not have been included in the book, though that is obviously one person's opinion. Some things were what they were at the time. Otherwise, this book is one of the very best about Slade.
Issued for a limited period with the relevant permissions and a foreword graciously provided by Barbara Kemp, the first book collects together absolutely all of the excellent Dave Kemp newsletters (and the enclosures) into one 332 page volume. Issued on a totally NOT-FOR-PROFIT basis with the books priced sensibly and the entire book royalty went to www.kidneyresearchuk.org.
Published around the time of Flame, This was the first major book about Slade and fans lapped it up and still quote from it today. Maybe it contains a few tiny errors, but it is, like all of Tremlett's formulaic efforts, detailed and informative.
Collected Slade content from the German magazine Bravo, covering their entire career. All written in German. Reassuringly expensive to buy, as a numbered limited edition, this goes for bigger money on Ebay. Came with a numbered card and poster.
Alan confirmed to me that the text of this book was severely edited down by management and the publisher, which is a great pity. The authors had access to some great photographs that hadn't been seen since the early 70's. Alan is one of the better writers to deal with the story of Slade and it's a shame his work was effectively cut in half.
The 1969 book did initially seem to lean heavily on Chris Selby's research into Slade gigs from painstaking trawls of various newspaper archives. It does admit that the 'Slade 1969 and all that' page was a big source of information and inspiration. Apparently the page owner (Chris Selby) couldn't commit to joining in on the book when it was in preparation.
The content? Day by day gig adverts where found, some interviews, record releases with brief detail. 128 pages. The gig advert illustrations are really very well restored, and look wonderful, compared to the originals that can be seen on the net. There is an amount of info in the book that is not on the 1969 page or readily available on the internet and the book was indeed the first of a series, as promised.
The story goes on into 1970 and following years and these books provide quite a wealth of previously unearthed Slade historical material that I hadn't seen, or thought that I would see. There are a lot of gig adverts sourced from newspaper archives and the book details the record releases from the years, without going into too much detail and doing the work of a discography book. Again, there are some interviews from the time, venue photos for those who want them.
The later period when the group were in the clubs and Universities, with the occasional concert hall gig thrown in. You could see them close up and their show was an uncompromising spectacle with the full PA hauled into smaller venues. They didn't spare the crowd a single decibel. Their performances were tighter than before. They rehearsed themselves to a frazzle and made themselves a much tighter band. Their records bizarrely stopped charting. Is a single that fails to chart a bad record? No. It's just the failure of radio and the press to generate interest in it. We see how radio and TV started to treat Slade as lepers. Their shows remained mighty. And as for nightclub bouncers.... well, a few of those didn't like Slade much. Their time would come again...
The final book does tell the back end of the Slade story quite well. I rated the book on the book content, not how the Slade story went. There are large gaps and that seems to because the group were effectively no more. Summing up 1992 in one page shows just what the real state of play was. It baffles me how some good records simply slipped through the cracks. I don't think that the press and radio ever let Slade back in like they could have, even after their Reading triumph. A nice, thick book to round off the collection, but a sort of tapering off and fading away at the end of their story was inevitable. The group sort of petered out and faded away in the latter years and it is just sad, but it is exactly what happened to Slade.
Tony Charles -
Slade In Their Own Words
There are two versions available and the best version to get is the one with the sheet music included. A mainly pictorial potted history of Slade. Slightly more content than a tour programme.
Collected fan club magazine newletters from 1971 to 1976.
Indispensible. Follow Slade's progress through the newsletters.
This is one of a long series of 'Decades' books, written to a basic template. A slim workman-like volume which gives a reasonable chronology of the band in the 1970's, though there are a couple of errors I spotted, which I would have thought the team of 'fan' proof readers would have noticed. Things like incomplete song names definitely jar slightly with me. Descriptions of some songs on albums seem very similar to others that I have read. Some of the song descriptions are odd.
His assertion that the song All The World Is A Stage, that many rate as the outstanding radical change during the mid-point of Slade's career, is 'pretentious'.... is just mind-boggling: "This is one of the album's most experimental songs. The lyric invokes Shakespeare's famous monologue from As You Like It, to celebrate the art of performance and communion with one's audience. It all comes across as rather pretentious, a little overblown and curiously out of step with the album. Holder turning from Shakespeare to showbiz schmaltz at the end - 'You've been very wonderful tonight. Thank you. Goodnight' - does nothing to rescue it."
I don't know how he missed mentioning Slade's final live performance on a stage in 1991. A very generic photo section in the centre of the book. Mainly album covers. It does highlight a couple of differences in band member accounts of how the odd song came together - Far Far Away, for example. Bearing in mind that this is his third book for them (he's also done Suzi Quatro and Sweet), he should have got his format and approach right by now.
Having said that though, I read Slade books differently to a lot of people and that's probably my problem. Any new book on Slade is a good thing and you can buy it here.
An overview of most of Slade's chart output with week-by-week singles positions.
Cheap as chips and a decent reference book. here
Currently in the planning stages for 2024 release.
It's just a cut and paste from a Wkipedia entry (which is now far more up to date on the Wikipedia site) and a collection of random images from a Google search. Completists only. Now out of print. Not a bad state of affairs.
Remarkable life of Noddy Holder
"It's just comical. There needs to be a golden garbage award for this piece of utter hogwash. If there is such a person as James A Gilson, well, It's a cheek for him to call it a book.
It's been put together using AI - there's actually a burst of random German on one page where the text generator breaks down - and there's little doubt about that as soon as you start reading it. The writing is stilted and awkward and AI using lazy platitudes to write essays for the opening blurb and conclusion to pad it out, is nothing new. The inclusion of a band photo that doesn't include ANY member of Slade on the title page (I think it's the Grateful Dead) is the funniest thing I've seen in ages.
It's fairly obvious that this book was thrown together in a mad panic to sell a few copies after Suzan Holder's feature for Cheshire Life magazine. That is reproduced word for word, uncredited here, along wit the editor's comments, which any sensible author would have cut out of the book. I collect Slade stuff, but am working out whether to return it or not. It's so bad it's good in a comedy way. It reads like someone in a call centre abroad has put it together in their lunch hour. They really shouldn't have wasted our time.