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THE NOIZE - THE SLADE DISCOGRAPHY
First published in January 2019, the first edition of THE NOIZE - The Slade Discography was taken out of print at the end of June 2021. It was very briefly made available as a hardback copy until August 31st 2021.
The massively expanded 300 page second and final hardback edition is available to order on Amazon. The paperback second edition is now available to order. Both versions of the second edition have different covers that represent iconic periods in Slade's history.
Also available from Amazon:
What THE NOIZE is + How it came to be
I was asked about the book on Facebook and if we had written it as 'fans'. I thought I'd give a full reply of how it came to be.
I'm (admittedly) a fan going back to 1972. Over the years I have bought everything, saved everything and never thrown anything away. In the late 70's - early 80's, I took my camera to some Slade gigs and what eventually became www.slayed.co.uk and www.sladeforum.co.uk came out of all that. The site grew and grew and has always been very factual.
People have said for a long time that the superb Chris Charlesworth book on Slade needed to be followed up. I always have been interested in writing and felt that the Slade story needed to be brought up to date and still be told properly. The group have varying degrees of interest in co-operation with official projects, etc and I knew that an unofficial project wouldn't be likely to get any help from the band, so I always left the idea alone. Daryl Easlea is writing a Slade book for Omnibus, so I felt relieved of the responsibility for that.
I bought a discography book by Robert Lawson, about my favourite band Cheap Trick and thought "There really should be a Slade discography book." A lightbulb moment. I also bought that author's excellent Nazareth discography book and it really made me get on with it.
After a start was made and I got a little feel for what I was doing, I got in touch with Chris Selby and asked if he wanted to do the book with me. It became a 50/50 partnership and I couldn't have done it without him and he wouldn't probably have done it without me.
To the book: There is a lot of solid hard work in there. We are both serious Slade historians and archivists. The book has a quick pre-music preamble on each of the band members, then we get into the pre-Slade bands - The Vendors, The N'Betweens, Steve Brett & The Mavericks and tell their stories and illustrate their relaeses chronologically. The band eventually found the line-up that became known as Slade.
The format of the book after the pre-Slade period is: Year by year - Summary of the band's year. Releases in date order illustrated and discussed, track by track, and whatever information we could get in there, with band quotes and reviews attached to each release.
There are similar details for all of the releases after the band ended and the solo works.
Is it from a fan's perspective? Yes and no. The main thing was to be as informative about each release as possible. Nobody wants to read me or Chris going on about how horrendous 'Okey cokey' was, or even worse, 'Ready to explode'. Personal opinions were kept out of it as much as possible. Being 'fans' helped us to get the book together, but we certainly don't say that everything they released is wonderful.
We have bust a couple of myths in the book. We have tried to take a lively and comprehensive textbook approach. Over the years we have met band members and have made friends with people who know all sorts of things. The knowledge is there and we had to be selective with some things we put in the book.
It's not 'The Slade Annual'. We have tried to do *the book that we would have wanted* and one which we believed fans would not be disappointed with. Some are kindly calling it The Slade Bible, which pleases us no end, as it means we have got it right (I hope).
Amazon sell it at a reduced price most of the time - near to the price we wanted to put it out at, except that their system actually forced us into the price we ended up with.
RECORD COLLECTOR REVIEW by Daryl Easlea. August 2019 issue:
Wot they dun is simply Crazee.
As niche as you'd want it to be, The Noize - a forensic examination of Slade's career - is quite superb. Of course, it is written with a fan's zeal, and both Edmundson and Selby - two of the country's leading Slade collectors and aficionados - acknowledge this in their intro.
The Noize is impeccably researched from the first Vendors acetate in 1964 to JIm Lea's latest solo offering in 2018. It is detail-heavy, offering exactly what one would expect. To call it a mere discography is akin to calling Grand Central a railway station. It's the result of interviews with the band, an unrivalled access to sources, and a wander down many byways, with pictures of labels, adverts, fanzines and pressings. It is wholly possible to become completely lost in the Slade maze. It even namechecks the book this writer is currently crafting on the band (I'd better get a move on) but what I do know is that myself and any future Slade writers now have somewhere rock solid to check their facts.
Writing with soul and passion, Edmundson and Selby are, however, unafraid of the truth - even they find it difficult to find kind words to say about 1979's cover of Okey Cokey. An absolute treat.
Daryl mentioned THE NOIZE again in his excellent epic 2023 book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SLADE.
Shindig Magazine issue #89, March 2019.
REVIEW BY CHRIS CHARLESWORTH from the JUST BACKDATED blog here.
The affection in which Slade are held by a small but dedicated group of fans has taken tangible form in a new book by two of that number, Ian Edmundson and Chris Selby, whose The Noize: The Slade Discography, a privately produced and funded initiative, is now available on Amazon via print on demand, priced at a little over £20.
By combining their Slade knowledge, record collections and cuttings files, the two authors have created an unauthorised but discrete history of the band that is signposted chronologically by their singles and albums, all the way from the first ‘N Betweens single in 1965 through the glory and doldrums years to the most recent solo recording, which just happens to be Jim Lea’s 2018 six-track EP Lost In Space.
Well, it’s a good job somebody out there cares. I belong to a school of thought that believes Slade have to a certain extent been unjustly written out of rock history through efforts by music industry bigwigs to disregard their achievements. Part of this is due to snobbery. Provincial to a tee, Slade never played the industry game, never behaved deferentially towards persons of influence, never minded their p’s and q’s in polite company.
The situation is not helped by an unimaginative re-issue programme that is unlikely to tempt fans to part with their money and what seems to be an ongoing and rather unseemly disagreement between former members with regard to who contributed the lion’s share of creative effort into their many hits. This latter issue has been bubbling under for a while now, surfacing only occasionally when one of the antagonists feels inclined to speak out, but it never makes headlines because it’s not really news.
Furthermore, you don’t need a degree in music business lore to deduce that while the group’s songwriters, Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, have emerged from the Slade saga as men of substance, the two junior partners, Dave Hill and Don Powell, have not been so lucky – the fate of non-writing band members everywhere – otherwise they wouldn’t be obliged to tread the boards as Slade II.
This endeavour, tolerated but hardly encouraged by Holder and Lea, has now been put on hold following the snapped tendons in both legs that Powell suffered while changing trains on his way to a gig in Wakefield in the north of England late last year, a cruel turn of fortune for one of the nicest men I know.
All of which must distress fans like Ian Edmundson and Chris Selby whose book is a true labour of love that reflects a lifelong devotion to the cause, though they demur at addressing any of the issues that I refer to above. As thorough as it is enjoyable in a nostalgic sense, the 206-page large format book tells Slade’s story from an authoritative perspective that relies on published accounts interspersed with quotes from the band to reinforce this. The record releases are illustrated with hundreds of sleeves, labels and images used to promote them, almost all of which are in colour. More than anything else, turning the pages makes it abundantly clear that Slade were far more prolific than is suggested by their glorious chart run in the first half of the seventies.
Particularly interesting for me is the period between that July 1965 ‘N Betweens single and when Chas Chandler ‘discovered’ them around the middle of 1969. Aside from some early efforts by pre-Slade groups, a number of singles were released, as was the rather unfocussed LP Beginnings by Ambrose Slade, every track of which is analysed here. When Ambrose was dropped they were billed as The Slade on Chandler’s first production, ‘Wild Winds Are Blowing’, which coincided with their ill-advised skinhead phase.
In 1996, Slade fan John Haxby collected 25 even earlier recordings – not unlike the early tracks on The Beatles’ Anthology 1 – by The Vendors (featuring Hill and Powell), Steve Brett & The Mavericks (featuring Holder) and two editions of The ‘N Betweens (the first featuring Slade with John Howells on vocals, the second just the crucial four) on a fascinating CD entitled The Genesis of Slade, and all of these little-known tracks are discussed in The Noize.
Even with Chandler at the helm it took a while before Slade’s breakthrough arrived. It finally happened in 1971 with ‘Get Down And Get With It’ (aka ‘Get Down With It’, as labels here indicate) and, not long after, ‘Coz I Luv You’, the first Holder/Lea composition, the first to top the charts and the first to utilise the phonetic spellings that caused such anguish in teachers’ common rooms. By this time I’d become aware of the group and was writing enthusiastic reviews in Melody Maker, largely inspired by the excitement they generated at live shows. “They’re a breath of fresh eayer,” Chandler would yell at me over the din in his slightly threatening Geordie accent. Indeed, here was a group that had honed their craft over hundreds of nights in clubs and pubs up and down the land, an apprenticeship that would ensure their fortunes for as long as they plied their trade. Appropriately, then, it was their 1972 live LP, Slade Alive, that sealed matters, spending 58 weeks on the charts, far and away the longest of any Slade album.
Recorded over three nights – October 19, 20 & 21, 1971 – at Command Studios in Piccadilly at a cost of only £600, I was present on the 20th, a Wednesday. Earlier that day, in the late afternoon, Slade had recorded an appearance on Tops Of The Pops, performing ‘Coz I Luv You’. Euphoric at having reached number one for the first time, they arrived at the studio straight from the BBC Centre in Shepherds Bush in a state of high excitement, and it would be an understatement to say that, with Noddy leading the charge, the four boys from the Black Country were at Olympic fitness that night. Five years of hard slog had finally paid dividends and as I watched the “Full poke, Charlie!” show from among an audience of 300 I knew I’d picked a winner.
Fittingly, over four pages are devoted to this landmark release and thereafter The Noize details the upcoming glory years with all the LPs, picture sleeves and labels you would expect. Slade had 12 top five singles between 1971 and 1974, including six number ones, and three number one albums, making them the country’s most consistent hit makers in an era when the competition – T. Rex, Bowie, Rod and Elton among them – was at its most intense.
Slade’s progress is summarised in text that prefaces each year’s releases, and I was delighted to note that in their review of 1973 – a key Slade year – Edmundson and Selby draw attention to the US group Kiss’ adoption of Slade’s style: “Kiss saw the band in concert in New York and consciously adopted the whole Slade attitude,” they write, “some of the dress sense and to an extent the general sound of Slade on their own recordings.” The authors add that Kiss’ hit ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’ – note the misspelling – even included the lyric, “You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy.” Kiss, of course, have been inducted into America’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Why not Slade?
In many respects 1973 was an apogee for the group. Though the year ended with their biggest hit, ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’, it was their last number one, and thereafter, gradually, things would calm down for them. Nevertheless, an aspect of Slade’s career that is truly reflected in The Noize is how Slade never gave up trying when the chips were down. They battled fashion, a punk backlash and indifference, enjoyed a brief renaissance in the early eighties and carried on releasing records throughout the decade, and all these later releases on a myriad of Chandler-backed labels are carefully listed and annotated.
Slade last played together before a paying audience in 1984, but there was one final, brief appearance, at the 25th Anniversary Slade Fan Convention at Walsall Town Hall in 1991. What happened that day is described for the first time in some detail in The Noize, and I won’t spoil things by revealing it here, but Slade as a live band were effectively dormant from that day onwards. As Jim Lea puts it, “I drifted into drifting.”
It seems fitting here to mention for those unaware of it that between 1971 and 1975 I probably wrote more about Slade than any other music writer, and more enthusiastically too. Like the authors of The Noize, my fondness for Slade also never waned and in 1983 I was commissioned by Omnibus Press to write a book about them. I approached Chas Chandler who, in exchange for copyright control, agreed to co-operate, and as a result the book, titled Slade: Feel The Noize!, carried the word ‘OFFICIAL’ on its front cover. I interviewed the band, who’d become friends of mine over the years, and various people associated with their career, including chief roadie Graham Swinnerton, who sadly died in 2015, their PR Keith Altham and even Louise Lea, Jim’s wife, who related the hair-raising saga of a New York bank robbery that occurred while she, Leandra Holder and Jan Hill were queueing for a teller.
Although the book was ‘authorised’, the members of the group and others were remarkably candid about their lives and the ups and downs of Slade’s career. No one, not Chandler or the band, requested text approval. Perhaps in hindsight some of them now feel they were a bit too candid, and this might explain why the book has been allowed to go out of print, effectively suppressed by the heirs to Chandler’s business interests, and why I haven’t been asked to update it. Nevertheless, I’m gratified to learn that most fans still consider it the ‘Slade Bible’. (Used copies occasionally appear on Amazon for anything between £50 and £100.)
When I lent my support to the Genesis of Slade CD project, giving my go-ahead to use text from my book in its sleeve notes, I felt the wrath of those who control Slade’s business affairs come down upon me. Although the compilers had cleared the necessary copyrights, the management considered I was out of line and that the CD was ‘unauthorised’. I’m not quite persona no grata – and I’m still on very good terms with two members of the band – but I didn’t help my cause by publishing Don Powell’s book, which wasn’t approved by the same corporate interests, and commissioning for Omnibus Press a further ‘unauthorised’ Slade biography which has yet to be published.
I’m confident it will appear before long, even though its original author has been replaced, and in the meantime Ian Edmundson and Chris Selby’s book The Noize will act as a fitting tribute – and a nice companion to my own book – to a band I’ll always remember with enormous affection – that “breath of fresh eayer” that my old pal Chas drummed into me all those years ago.
REVIEW BY FILM-MAKER AND AUTHOR ALAN G PARKER.
The Noize - The SLADE Discography
I can't really remember a time when SLADE weren't there! Pictures covered the walls of the bedroom I shared with 'our kid', there were singles in red generic Polydor covers, there were albums with titles like 'Slayed?', there was at gig at King Georges Hall in Blackburn (1973, I was 8 years old, it was our first gig, we sat in the balcony with Dad) they always seemed to be on TV in our house, and then in the summer of 1975 they were in the cinema! 'Flame' was brilliant, it still is, and the soundtrack record might just be my favourite SLADE album.
A few years ago now I was approached by Carlton Books to do a book on SLADE, it all happened very fast, one minute a meeting that could have been about anything, the next minute a contract and a pretty fast deadline. We wrote a fairly precise history, adding what we could find through research to what we knew as fans, plus the odd one liner from various meetings with Nod, Jim, Dave & Don. Next thing we knew management were trying to get the publisher to cease and desist? It made little sense, there was nothing remotely outrageous or scandalous in the text. Suddenly a compromise was reached, Carlton Books had recently seen some great success from re-printing the Jackie Annuals, the decision came to shrink the text, add more pictures, throw in a quiz (why a quiz? I'll never know!) and publish at Christmas in a format that looked very much like an Annual. Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall? It's the time that every Santa has a ball. Does he ride a red-nosed reindeer? Does a ton-up on his sleigh? Do the fairies keep him sober for a day? Not sure, but for us it felt like a cop out, although some fans tell me they like the book.
Right at that point I said, to whoever might be listening, that the only way to get a really good SLADE book away was to publish privately and hopefully swerve management. I've never really understood why the catalogue and subsequent exploitation of such a well liked band is policed so strongly? They should take a look at what Apple Records or the Estate of Elvis Presley are doing, and learn from it. Not everybody will want a lunchbox, fair enough, but a lot of the things that are possible will have them queueing around the block. It might be in smaller numbers, but it will be significant.
At this point enter 'The Noize' a private undertaking by two die-hard SLADE fans, which dropped through my letterbox from amazon just yesterday. It looks and feels like a big police or FBI file, I say that because it's about the only thing I can compare it too, and very much in a good way. A last word look at the SLADE discography, loaded with facts, information, record covers and a mountain of memorabilia, to say the boys done good is an understatement! If your a SLADE fan you need to own a copy NOW! As Nod might say; "Give it full po!"
Something like this has been missing from the SLADE bookshelf for years, infact for three hours last night I was lost in it! And I'm still going strong today.... A case in point from what I said earlier is that the book also covers the still missing in action 2018 UK Singles box, which fingers and management crossed should appear in 2019. It will stand very nicely next to the 'When SLADE Rocked The World' album box set, which I for one love.
More projects like this can only keep the name alive and the fire burning! And you never really know where that might lead.... Not unlike The Beatles, SLADE still have quite a few tricks up their collective sleeves that would look good on DVD/Blu-Ray or indeed CD/Vinyl, and surely something like this can only help the steps towards that....
... and has authored or co-authored the following books:
REVIEW BY LISE LYNG FALKENBERG, AUTHOR OF LOOK WOT I DUN.
Don’t you just love, when a book does exactly what it promises to do? I certainly appreciate it and “The Noize” is for sure such a book.
Over the years, loads of books have been written about the British (glam) rock band Slade that had its heydays in the seventies, but none have taken a thorough look at the releases by the band. This is what the two authors, Ian Edmundson and Chris Selby, set out to do.
In the author’s notes, the two authors say that “this book’s primary aim is to catalogue and discuss all of Slade’s UK releases and take in the most interesting overseas versions of these and some unique foreign releases,” and that is exactly what it does. Meticulously and faithfully, every UK release is listed chronologically, from the very first 1964 acetate disc by the Vendors (forerunner for Slade as the band included Don Powell and Dave Hill) to the latest 2018 solo EP from Jim Lea, decades after the original Slade had packed it in.
No matter if it is a single, EP, album, box set or an acetate or test pressing, as long as it is connected to Slade, the release is examined, discussed and presented with every possible recording and package info, track descriptions, contemporary reviews and photos. This is very impressive as the research alone must have been difficult and extremely time consuming. The authors deserve nothing but respect for this work.
The book is spiced up by short biographical information about the band and its members as well as personal and sometimes funny observations by the two authors. This makes the book an energetic and entertaining read instead of a dull and repetitious catalogue.
For a hardcore Slade fan like myself this book is a must, and for others it is a unique opportunity to dig into the releases of what was one of Europe’s most successful bands in the early seventies. I bet you’ll be surprised and entertained of what you’ll find, so put on a good Slade record and start reading!
I’ll give “The Noize” five out of five stars: ***** (and it’s not due to the authors calling my official biography about Slade drummer Don Powell “the absolutely definitive Slade autobiography”, because it isn’t. It’s a biography).
30 January 2019
AT LAST - AN UP TO DATE SLADE DISCOGRAPHY!
For many years, Slade fans have been waiting for this book to be written, but to have it compiled by two renowned Slade Historians means that this is THE Definitive guide to all of Slade's recordings! For fans who are familiar with books about Slade, - if you were to cross Chris Charlesworth's "Feel The Noize" with Malcom Skellington's "Slade The Record Collection" and bring it bang up-to-date, with full colour illustrations throughout AND sell it for a very reasonable price, you would end up with a book that no Slade fan should do without! In short, do you love Slade? - Then you NEED this book!
POWERPLAY ROCK AND METAL MAGAZINE, JUNE 2019
Well, Cum On Feel The Kwality! Two Slade aficionados drop a labour of love and it's a bit special. Edmundson and Selby are hardcore fans who explain their love of Slade songs simply and rather sweetly in the preamble, and there can be no denying that the band were exceptional.
A heavyweight in forensic knowledge, singles, spin-offs, B-sides, it's all here and you're also nicely informed with lovingly written pen pics of albums and their successes. Yes, you can dip in and out of it, but it also works as a continuous read, revealing the band's struggles, blind alleys wandered down in their early career, the pomp period and the sadly extended winding down - searching for something they couldn't find, and then Noddy's refusal to play live, which hampered their appeal.
Also, the later grillings they get at yearly fan club events are very funny. Replete with colour pics of the records and band poses, it's a quality, well put together piece and with the band finally now on streaming services (one of the last hold-outs), we can only hope that more people will find them and purchase their extensive back catalogue to which this lovingly put together book makes a great companion. With this publication, these boys make big noize.
29 January 2019
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thorough detailed discography of one of the 70’s biggest groups.
As a nerdy child who spent adolescent evenings reading the various years of Guinness book of British Hit Singles and an avid Slade fan, this book was a must-buy for me. An unbelievably detailed discography with copies of press reviews and advertising at the time. The authors have put a huge amount of research into this book, their inputs are witty and show a true admiration for Slade. I am grateful there are still people devoted to this much underrated hugely successful British band, enabling us to relive our memories of Slade.