In for a Penny

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"In For a Penny"
Single by Slade
from the album Nobody's Fools
B-side Can You Just Imagine?
Released 14 November 1975
Format 7" Single
Genre Rock
Length 3:34
Label Polydor Records
Writer(s) Noddy Holder; Jim Lea
Producer(s) Chas Chandler
Slade singles chronology
"Thanks for the Memory (Wham Bam Thank You Mam)"
"In For a Penny"
"Let's Call It Quits"
Audio sample
file info · help

"In For a Penny" is a single from rock band Slade which appeared on the album Nobody's Fools. It was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea. The single was released in 1975 and peaked at #11 in the UK, spending 8 weeks on the chart.[1] The track itself is notable for being the only track in Slade's career to feature accordion, played by bassist and keyboardist Lea, though Holder mimed the part on a concertina when the band performed the song on TV.[2]

Record Mirror magazine voted the single #6 on the top 10 best singles in February 1976.[3]

The first 30,000 copies of the single had a picture sleeve.


The track was chosen as a single because it was reminiscent of the rhythm of Coz I Luv You. Around the time of this track, Slade manager and producer Chas Chandler was mixing tracks in the studio while John Lennon poked his head around the door and said "The singer's good. He sounds like me".[4]

The track was recorded at New York's Record Plant along with the rest of the Nobody's Fools album. The track features the longest guitar solo any Slade single has.[2]

Just before the second solo in the track, Holder shouts the line "Ee, they got a band" which was taken from a British TV advert in which a female character mistakes the entrance of threatening gangsters carrying violin cases for the arrival of a music combo.[5]

The track did not have a promotional video but was performed on Top of The Pops and Supersonic.[6]

"In For a Penny" has featured on many Slade compilations including Slade Smashes, Slade's Greats, Feel the Noize- Greatest Hits, The Very Best of Slade and The Slade Box. The title of the single was also used for an American compilation released "In For a Penny: Raves & Faves".

In an early 1986 Slade fan club magazine interview, guitarist Dave Hill spoke of the song. "Yeah, that seemed a mistake! When we came back from touring in the States and released that, I think a lot of fans were disappointed, though I personally liked the track. They thought we'd come back with something heavy, so it may have seemed lightweight to them. It was recorded at the Record Plant, New York, as part of the "Nobody's Fools"/America project."[7][8]

"In For a Penny" was voted #3 of the top three Slade single sleeves in the Slade Fan Club Poll of 1979.[9][10]

The song was later covered and issued in 2005 as a free internet download by Ian Edmundson via


The track did not have a promotional video but was performed on the UK TV shows Top of the Pops and Supersonic. The song's performance on Top of the Pops has never been seen since the original broadcast.[6]

At the time, Slade had started their two-year exile to the United States. Bassist/co-writer Jim Lea remembered the band returning to Britain to film Top of The Pops, and watching the finished results the following day at Freddie Mercury's flat. Apparently on the same show, Queen were appearing with their single "Bohemian Rhapsody" video for the first time. Lea recalled being totally knocked out watching the Queen film - whilst Mercury didn't realise what a tremendous achievement his group had made.[11][12]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "In For a Penny" - 3:34
  2. "Can You Just Imagine" - 3:31

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, Record Mirror magazine reviewed the single and gave an overall thumbs up, symbolising a hit. "A good Beatles-ish kind of tune, written of course by Jimmy and Noddy, with a good lyric. The arrangement is modest, featuring some nice melodic guitar breaks and the harmonies are perhaps the best thing Slade have ever done. This shows the group breaking new territory and doing it very well."[13]

Melody Maker wrote a negative review of the single. "Much of Slade's recent work has been afflicted by a definite paucity of ideas, and this single does nothing to arrest their decline. The song is not particularly ambitious, is handled with no great enthusiasm and is weakly constructed. Noddy Holder, never one of rock's more versatile singers, is at his most uncomfortable here with a throat scrapping vocal set against a background of limited musical intelligence. There are, no doubt enough Slade loyalists left in the country to ensure that this will make an appearance in the charts, but it promises little for the future of the band."[14][15]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
Irish Singles Chart[16] 12 5
Swedish Singles Chart[17] 14 1
UK Singles Chart[1] 11 8


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


  1. ^ a b "SLADE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  2. ^ a b Slade's remastered album Nobody's Fools booklet
  3. ^ Record Mirror magazine 14 February 1976
  4. ^ Slade's Greatest Hits compilation booklet
  5. ^ Nobody's Fools remastered album booklet
  6. ^ a b "SLADE @". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter March - April - May 1986
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ Slade Fan Club Magazine January-February 1980
  11. ^ [3][dead link]
  12. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter June - July - August 1986
  13. ^ Record Mirror 8 November 1975
  14. ^ [4][dead link]
  15. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter December 1975 - January 1976
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - In For A Penny". Retrieved 2011-08-10.