My Friend Stan

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"My Friend Stan"
German/European cover of "My Friend Stan".
Single by Slade
from the album Old New Borrowed and Blue
B-side My Town
Released 28 September, 1973
Format 7" Single
Genre Glam rock
Length 2:38
Label Polydor Records
Writer(s) Noddy Holder, Jim Lea
Producer(s) Chas Chandler
Slade singles chronology
"Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me"
(1973)
"My Friend Stan"
(1973)
"Merry Xmas Everybody"
(1973)

"My Friend Stan" is a single from glam rock band Slade which appeared on Slade's 1974 album Old New Borrowed and Blue.[1] The single was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea. The single was released in late 1973 and peaked at #2 in the UK, spending only 8 weeks on the chart which compared to Slade's eight previous singles was a disappointment. The single originally entered the charts at #4. It did stay in the top #10 for 5 weeks.[2] The single marked a change from their previous records with the single being more piano based, sounding more like a novelty track.[3]

Despite only reaching #2 in the UK, the single sold the same amount as the previous single "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me".[4][5]

The single was certified UK Silver by BPI in October 1973.[6]

Background[edit]

At the time, Lea was persuaded to complete this song by manager Chas Chandler who'd heard him playing the melody on the piano at his home. Holder's lyrics were full of innuendo which was quite risque for the time. During recording, drummer Don Powell was walking with the aid of a stick and had to be lifted on to his drum kit.[7]

Shortly before release, Polydor records had to import 100,000 copies of the single into the UK, due to the phenomenal demand of the record.[8][9]

Subsequent to its original release on Old New Borrowed and Blue, "My Friend Stan" has appeared on several Slade compilation albums, including Greatest Hits, Wall of Hits, Slade Smashes, Slade Greats and The Very Best of Slade.

The track was also recorded by artists The Romans and Muska.[10]

Promotion[edit]

Aside from the band's live performances, the band promoted the single on TV, although Powell was still recovering from his car accident.

The song was performed on the UK show Top of the Pops as well as the French TV show Dimanche Salvador. Around the time of the single's release, a German TV company filmed the band aboard a jet titled 'Slade Express' on a trip between Frankfurt and Munich. The band mimed to parts of the song.[11]

Music video[edit]

A Polydor Records promotional video was recorded at the Olympic Studios in Barnes, supposedly of the band actually recording "My Friend Stan". vocalist/co-writer Holder is seen in a grandad t-shirt, making funny faces and yawning, whilst bassist/co-writer Lea tries to hide behind the piano from the film cameras. Guitarist Dave Hill uses his trademark Superyob guitar, and drummer Powell is seen with short hair - the filming taking place shortly after Powell's near-fatal car crash.[12][13]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "My Friend Stan" - 2:38
  2. "My Town" - 3:02

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, Record Mirror magazine published a short article based on the feelings of a certain fan towards the single. "If you listen to the b-side of "My Friend Stan", you will hear a very good commercial song "My Town" which should have been the a-side. Friends of mine say that "My Friend Stan" is Slade's worst single. True, until you get the record and listen to the b-side. Then it becomes Slade's best single! It's certainly worth buying it if only for the b-side."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
Total
weeks
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[15] 39 3
Belgian Singles Chart[16] 7 12
Dutch Singles Chart[17] 10 5
French Singles Chart[18] 44 5
German Singles Chart[19] 5 18
Irish Singles Chart[20] 1 5
New Zealand Singles Chart[citation needed] 25
Norwegian Singles Chart[21] 5 8
Swiss Singles Chart[22] 6 8
UK Singles Chart[23] 2 8

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1973, Finnish singer Muska recorded a version of the song for her self-titled album. The song is titled "Ystävättäret".[24]
  • In 1993, Belgian band The Romans recorded a version of the song for their album Major Panic.[25]

Personnel[edit]

  • Noddy Holder: Lead vocals and guitar
  • Jim Lea: Bass guitar, piano and backing vocals
  • Dave Hill: Lead guitar and backing vocals
  • Don Powell: Drums

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slade - Old New Borrowed And Blue at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  2. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  3. ^ Slade's remastered album booklet Old New Borrowed and Blue
  4. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/4562753_orig.jpg
  5. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter December 1973
  6. ^ "Home". BPI. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  7. ^ Slade's Greatest Hits compilation booklet
  8. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/2889143_orig.jpg
  9. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter October - November 1973
  10. ^ "SLADE @ www.slayed.co.uk". Crazeeworld.plus.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  11. ^ "SLADE @ www.slayed.co.uk". Crazeeworld.plus.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  12. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/4356911_orig.jpg
  13. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter June - July - August 1986
  14. ^ Record Mirror magazine 13 October 1973 - Article titled Slade on the Flip
  15. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1973". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  16. ^ http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Slade&titel=My+Friend+Stan&cat=s
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - My Friend Stan". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  18. ^ http://www.infodisc.fr/Bilan_S.php
  19. ^ musicline.de / PhonoNet GmbH. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". musicline.de. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  20. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group - http://www.fireballmedia.ie. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  21. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - My Friend Stan". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  22. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - My Friend Stan". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  23. ^ "Slade - My Friend Stan". Chart Stats. 1973-11-24. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  24. ^ http://www.muska.fi/discografia.html
  25. ^ http://www.ultratop.be/nl/album/2e25b/The-Romans-Major-Panic