We'll Bring the House Down (song)

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For the Slade album, see We'll Bring the House Down.
"We'll Bring the House Down"
UK cover of "We'll Bring the House Down".
Single by Slade
from the album We'll Bring the House Down
B-side Hold on To Your Hats
Released 23 January 1981
Format 7" Single
Genre Hard rock, glam metal, heavy metal
Length 3:32
Label Cheapskate Records
Writer(s) Noddy Holder; Jim Lea
Producer(s) Slade
Slade singles chronology
"Xmas Ear Bender"
(1980)
"We'll Bring the House Down"
(1981)
"Wheels Ain't Coming Down"
(1981)
Audio sample
file info · help
Alternative Cover
German cover of "We'll Bring the House Down".

"We'll Bring The House Down" is a single from rock band Slade from their 1981 album We'll Bring the House Down.[1] It was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea. After years of touring in small venues and releasing a string of unsuccessful singles and albums, the single was the first Top Thirty hit for Slade since 1976, peaking at number ten in the UK during a chart run of nine weeks.[2] This was largely thanks to the Reading festival the year before after Ozzy Osbourne's band had pulled out at the last minute and Slade agreed to step in instead. The band stole the show and became hot news once again.[3]

In 2003, the song was sampled by Overseer for the track titled Slayed which was also the name of Slade's 1972 album.[4]

As well as peaking at No. 10 in the UK, the single peaked at No. 4 in the Melody Maker charts.[5]

Background[edit]

The idea for the track originally came while the band were performing in Amsterdam at the Paradiso club. An enthusiastic audience who wouldn't go home kept repeating the chant heard in this song. Lea, downstairs in the dressing room, as ever, on the hunt for the next song and realised the potential of the chant. The drums on the track were completely double tracked with Powell playing in the toilet on the second track which gave the echoey sound. Holder's lyrics reflected Slade's shift towards a heavier sound.[6]

The song took two days to record on the 4 and 5 January that year. This was recorded at the Portland Recording Studios in London. To receive the distinctive vocal and drum sounds, the band recorded the parts in the Gentlemen's toilets at the studio. The band had to stop recording every time somebody flushed the toilet in the ladies' restroom, because the sound could be heard.[7]

The track had been covered by Marshall Law, Not Fragile and Victoria's Secret advert.[8]

In a 1981 fan club interview, drummer Don Powell was asked if he thought that Slade would ever make a comeback after many years of commercial failure. Powell responded, "The thing is we don't think of it as a comeback just because "We'll Bring the House Down" made the charts. We didn't really think how long it had been since we had a hit until "We'll Bring the House Down" charted, and then everyone told us that it was amazingly our first hit for four or five years, and we realised."[9][10]

In a 1981 fan club interview, guitarist Dave Hill mentioned performing the song on Belgian TV. "We did a major TV show in Belgium to promote "We'll Bring the House Down". The guy who makes the TV show likes us, so he let us do two extra tracks; "Wheels Ain't Coming Down" and "I'm a Rocker", which was a hit over there.[11][12]

During a 1981 televised gig that The Who were performing in Paris, the audience began singing the chant of "We'll Bring the House Down" in-between songs, much to The Who's annoyance. One crowd member eventually jumped on the stage and shouted "We'll Bring the House Down".[10][13]

In a December 1984 interview with Record Mirror, the magazine tested Lea's memory by asking him to recall the story behind certain hits. For We'll Bring the House Down, Lea stated "We were getting this big ovation the week after the Reading festival. The crowd stayed at the end for 15 minutes and it wasn't just a few idiots down the front. The crowd were chanting this 'woh oh oh oh oh' and there was a big argument going on in the dressing room. Our manager Chas Chandler was going 'You've got to go on otherwise there's going to be a riot!!'. We looked through the curtain and all the gear had been packed away and they're going 'woh oh oh oh oh' and I thought there's got to be a song in that – it's great. Then years later I was watching 'Rock Goes to College' and the crowd were doing our chant at a BA Robertson gig. I felt a bit sorry for the bloke and he came on and said 'Will you stop that, it's a lousy tune with three notes and a crappy lyric'."

In an early 1990 Slade fan club interview, it was announced that Lea had been working with a female singer on a new version of the track, which was later released under the name The Clout. It was backed by an instrumental composition from Lea, titled "Jim Jam". The female vocal on the song was a singer of English jazz-funk band Shakatak.[14][15][16]

Promotion[edit]

A promotional video was created for the track along with TV performances on Top of The Pops, Moondogs and German show Musikladen.[17] The promotional video for "We'll Bring the House Down" was filmed at the band's Ipswich Gaumont Concert on 17 January 1981 by an independent film company. This company also recorded a documentary about the band's life on the road however this was never released.[5][18]

BBC presenter and radio DJ Mike Read noted the band's "electrifying" performance on Top of the Pops. The following day, Read noted on his breakfast show that the programme seemed rather flat after Slade's performance.[5]

Formats[edit]

7" Single
  1. "We'll Bring the House Down" – 3:32
  2. "Hold on to Your Hats" – 2:33
7" Single (German only version)
  1. "We'll Bring the House Down" – 3:32
  2. "Wheels Ain't Coming Down" – 3:36

Critical reception[edit]

At the time of release, reviews were overall mixed.

Sounds wrote "stick down some rock hard Glamboy drums, swinging schlocko guitar, which out crasses fatty Jones, and a little spicy chant a long a football terrace toon and who can fail? Slade's current resurgence amongst the anti literati seems to have provided a much needed livener which has lifted years off their shoulders. Platforms? It's nearly here..."

Melody Maker wrote "Despite the impetus they've gained over the last eight weeks, they blow it with a messy live orientated song and a muddy production that does little to explain to others what all the fuss is about with this revival thing... How about re releasing 'When I'm Dancin' I aint Fightin' lads?"

Record Mirror stated "And then Slade – nice to see the up turn in their fortunes which followed Reading, but a shame that it's taken such rotten, clumsy HM to do the trick. Bring the house down should pander to the band's new headbanger following alright, but frankly it hasn't got much going for it. A crass echo of former glories."[19]

In early 2010, Classic Rock magazine featured Slade as part of their 'The Hard Stuff Buyers Guide' where the magazine reviewed numerous Slade albums. As part of this article, an 'Essential Playlist' listed 14 Slade songs which included We'll Bring the House Down.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
position
Total
weeks
German Singles Chart[20][21] 10 2
Irish Singles Chart[22] 11 4
UK Singles Chart[23] 10 9

Personnel[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slade – We'll Bring The House Down at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive". Chart Stats. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Slade's remastered album We'll Bring The House Down booklet
  4. ^ "Slade Music Sampled by Others". WhoSampled. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Slade Supporters Club Newsletter March – April 1981
  6. ^ Slade's Greatest Hits compilation booklet
  7. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/1145862_orig.jpg
  8. ^ "SLADE @ www.slayed.co.uk". Crazeeworld.plus.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  9. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/1822580_orig.jpg
  10. ^ a b Slade Supporters Club Newsletter May – June 1981
  11. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/6602796_orig.jpg
  12. ^ Supporters Club Newsletter September – October 1981
  13. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/6119927_orig.jpg
  14. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter January – February – March 1990
  15. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/7924117_orig.jpg
  16. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/9686983_orig.jpg
  17. ^ "SLADE @ www.slayed.co.uk". Crazeeworld.plus.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  18. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/179131_orig.jpg
  19. ^ "SLADE We'll bring the house down". Sladeinengland.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  20. ^ Slade Supporters Club Newsletter September – October 1981
  21. ^ http://sladefanclub.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/6/0/7660950/1536733_orig.jpg
  22. ^ Jaclyn Ward – Fireball Media Group – http://www.fireballmedia.ie. "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "Slade – We'll Bring The House Down". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2011.