Times Up

Sounds - 29 November 1980
Slade Smashes (Polydor POLTV13) review - La Punk Nostalgique - Garry Bushell

I know, I know, another five star review. Seems that virtually every vinyl sweetmeat I weigh up these days is worthy of the ultimate accolade, but I kid you not chums, despite the gloomy doomy 'music is dead' attitudes promoted by various intensely boring manic depressive types I honestly believe that musically things have rarely been better.
Take a gander at some of the classic modern records that have seen the light of day these past few months - The Skids, The Jam, The Rejects, The Specials, Madness, Motorhead, Manners - oi vay in a babylon breddren, talk about diamond wheezers. And at the same time not instead of musical progress but as a nice little bonus on the side, we've been treated to re-issues of some of the old time heroes who made my own teeny weeny days go with a grin and mucho din...Big Gal Glitter, the soon-come Judge Dread double and now this mighty meaty big and bouncy collection of twenty timeless Slade faves.
For once I'm speechless, well almost anyway, and it's only with near superhuman self restraint that I prevent these perspiring pinkies from tapping out the full horrorshow history of my Slade memories, from that initial encounter on the Eammon Andrews Show blistering through 'Get Down And Get With It' with cropped-head conviction, through hundreds of backing track adolescent adventures, right up to undoubted chart supremacy and Earls Court mayhem with, I must confess, silly hat and cape flying in the wind.
All I'm gonna say is that as far as I can see this collection is a perfect reminder of the glories that were, marrying raucous rock and singalong pop in a superb celebration of unpretentious goodtimes. They're all here, the rowdy faultless chart-toppers 'Coz I Luv You', 'Take Me Bak 'ome', 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now', 'Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me', 'Merry Xmas Everybody' - ten silver discs, two gold discs, one platinum.
There's the mighty scarf-waving anthem 'Everyday' too, and the similarly moving homesick howsyafarver 'Far Far Away', not to mention the pre-Rejects football fave 'Give Us A Goal', then the r 'n' r circus medley 'My Baby Left Me.That's Alright Mama', the stompin' stormer 'Get Down And Get With It', and even, whisper it, one or two I ain't so fond of like 'Thanks For The Memory' which makes me think maybe, just maybe, the rot was setting in even before the American failure. But they're just the exception that proove the proof of the pudding washes whiter.
Because what we're talking about here then, men, is a near miraculous disc that every home should have. And what's interesting is that recent live performances indicate that the band, despite their methusela-like antiquity still rock like good'uns and Noddy is still the same colourful clown with the prime primal power-lung scream, so maybe there's a chance that Slade'll become heroes for a new generation...
For the moment, however, I don't give a monkey's toss about speculating and such like, all I wanna do is put this on again full blast and dodge the missiles from the ignorant barbarians who I'm forced to share this under-paid under-staffed office with.

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