Crackers: The Christmas Party Album

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Crackers - The Christmas Party Album
Crackers – The Christmas Party Album (cover art).jpg
Studio album by Slade
Released 18 November 1985
Recorded 1985
Genre
Length 46:52
Label Telstar
Producer Jim Lea, John Punter
Slade chronology
Rogues Gallery
(1985)
Crackers - The Christmas Party Album
(1985)
You Boyz Make Big Noize
(1987)

Crackers – The Christmas Party Album is the thirteenth album by the British glam rock band Slade. It was released on 18 November 1985 and reached number 34 in the UK charts. It contained several of the band's hits that had been re-recorded, and tracks that had been hits for other bands. Two singles from the album were also released, promoting sales of the album.

More of a 'covers' album than a proper studio album, Slade tried to create an LP that had a party atmosphere to it and was value for money. The album has had numerous re-issues and re-releases over the years under various names. It was reissued the following year in the guise of 'Slade's Greatest Hits' by Telstar, still containing the original vinyl disc for Crackers, unre-titled, but did not sell in large numbers. Its 1999 re-release as "Slade's Crazee Christmas!" was supposed to coincide with the Millennium. Its current CD incarnation on the Salvo label was released in 2006 and bears the title Crackers: The Rockin' Party Album!.

The album was certified Gold by the BPI in November 1985.[1]

Recording[edit]

In a 1986 interview, guitarist Dave Hill spoke of the album compared to the band's previous 1985 album Rogues Gallery. "I enjoyed making the tracks for 'Crackers' a lot more than those for 'Rogues Gallery'. I think that maybe too many of the songs on 'Rogues Gallery' sounded like pop hits, so the album began to lean too much to being regarded as a sort of 'poppy' album, and there is nothing worse than that for me."

During the recording of "Crackers", Hill discovered Victor Herman, a busker, who was playing bagpipes in Oxford Street, London. Hill knew that Slade planned to record "Auld Lang Syne" for the party album, so he invited Herman to add an authentic touch to the recording. Herman agreed, and when he'd finished his recording work, Slade gave him an envelope with a sizeable sum of money in it, along with their thanks and best wishes. Two days later, the envelope was returned by post, along with a letter from Herman, saying that he'd enjoyed himself so much in the studio that he didn't want the money. Slade did however later invite him to their Christmas Party on 18 November 1985, when they officially launched the album. At the party, Slade presented Herman with one of the band's Gold Discs as keepsake.[2][3]

Release[edit]

The band had a Christmas party on the album's release date in order to celebrate the album's release.[3]

In an early 1986 fan club interview, drummer Don Powell was asked if Telstar Records were pleased with the performance of the album. "Yes - it went gold! I know that it didn't go too high in the charts, but that's due to it being Christmas time and the records sell a lot more anyway."

Powell was also asked whether he thought Telstar Records would offer a "Crackers II" album for the next Christmas season. Powell responded "I don't really know, they may do as they were really pleased with this one."

Powell was asked whether he was pleased with the making of the album. Powell replied "Well, we were a bit dubious at first, we thought that it might have been another Black Lace type of thing. When we actually recorded the cover versions though, we had a great time doing them. We just went into the studio and put them down one after the other - it was like playing live on stage."[3][4]

In an early 1986 Slade fan club interview, drummer Don Powell replied to the fact that the single Do You Believe in Miracles was included on the album, the same time as being released as a single, suggesting why the single only peaked at #54 in the UK. "That could be a reason. Funnily enough, that was one of the bones of contention - Telstar said that they wanted it on the album, whereas we didn't because that would mean that it would split the sales between the single and the album. I know that if I personally like someone's single, and it's going to be on their latest album, then I'll wait and buy the album."

Aside from the covers, the album featured re-workings of previous Slade hits Cum on Feel the Noize and Get Down and Get With It. The live version of Merry Xmas Everybody was taken from the 1982 single (And Now the Waltz) C'est La Vie, where the song was the b-side, titled Merry Xmas Everybody (Live & Kickin'). Other Slade hits were also included, but these were the original studio versions, with All Join Hands and Run Runaway being the single versions rather than the album versions.

Original track listing[edit]

  1. "Let's Dance"
  2. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
  3. "Hi Ho Silver Lining"
  4. "We'll Bring the House Down"
  5. "Cum On Feel the Noize" (re-recording)
  6. "All Join Hands"
  7. "Okey Cokey"
  8. "Merry Xmas Everybody"
  9. "Do You Believe in Miracles"
  10. "Let's Have a Party!"
  11. "Get Down and Get With It"
  12. "My Oh My"
  13. "Run Runaway"
  14. "Here's to... (the New Year)"
  15. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
  16. "Auld Lang Syne / You'll Never Walk Alone"

1999 re-issue[edit]

  1. "Merry Xmas Everybody" (live)
  2. "Let's Dance"
  3. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
  4. "We'll Bring the House Down"
  5. "Cum On Feel the Noize" (re-recording)
  6. "All Join Hands"
  7. "Okey Cokey"
  8. "Run Runaway"
  9. "Do You Believe in Miracles"
  10. "Get Down and Get With It" (re-recording)
  11. "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (re-recording)
  12. "My Oh My"
  13. "Here's to... (the New Year)"
  14. "Auld Lang Syne / You'll Never Walk Alone"

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[5]
Classic Rock unfavourable

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 the ‘Avoid’ section, a review of Crackers - The Christmas Party Album wrote "Cunningly repackaged several times afterwards in no less excusable form (‘Slade’s Crazee Christmas!’; ‘Crackers: The Rockin’ Party Album!’), this turkey was very much a nadir for Slade. The combination of re-recorded hits and festive fare (‘Okey Cokey’, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, ‘Here’s to the New Year’, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, worse of all ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’) achieved its commercial goal, peaking at #34 in the UK, but the album’s very existence slammed the credibility of HMS Slade amidships like some unforgiving German torpedo."

Chart performance[edit]

Original release[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Total
weeks
UK Albums Chart[6] 34 7

Reissue "Slade's Crazee Christmas"[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[7] 31
Chart (2002) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[7] 23
Chart (2003) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[7] 21
Chart (2005) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[7] 37

Personnel[edit]

Slade[edit]

Additional credits[edit]

  • Dave Garland - engineer
  • John Punter - producer
  • Victor Herman - additional bagpipes on "Auld Lang Syne" (uncredited)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home". BPI. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  2. ^ "Slade Fan Club Archive". Weebly. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  3. ^ a b c Slade International Fan Club newsletter January - February 1986
  4. ^ "Slade Fan Club Archive". Weebly. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Dave (2001-10-22). "The Party Album - Slade". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  6. ^ "UK Singles & Albums Chart Archive". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Chart Log UK: DJ S - The System Of Life". Zobbel.de. Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 2011-08-10.