My Friend Stan

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"My Friend Stan"
Sladesingle-myfriendstan.jpeg
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
Songwriter(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)
"Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me"
(1973)
"My Friend Stan"
(1973)
"Merry Xmas Everybody"
(1973)

"My Friend Stan" (stylised as "MY FRIEИD STAИ") is a song by the British rock band Slade, released in 1973 as the first single from the band's fourth studio album Old New Borrowed and Blue.[1] It was written by lead vocalist Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea, and produced by Chas Chandler. It reached No. 2 in the UK, spending eight weeks on the chart.[2] The single was certified UK Silver by BPI in October 1973.[3]

Background[edit]

"My Friend Stan", alongside the compilation Sladest, was Slade's first release following drummer Don Powell's near fatal car crash in July 1973. The accident threw the band's future into doubt, however Powell survived and was soon able to join the band in recording material for their new album. One of the earliest songs to be recorded, "My Friend Stan" saw Powell still walking with the aid of a stick. He had to be lifted onto his drum stool during its recording.[4] "My Friend Stan" was released in September 1973 and reached No. 2 in the UK. Prior to its release, Polydor had to import 100,000 copies of the single into the UK due to the high pre-order demand. It was reported in the Slade fan club that the song went on to sell the same amount of copies as the band's previous single "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me" had, although it did not reach No. 1.[5][6]

"My Friend Stan", a piano-based track, marked a change from the band's successful formula of guitar-based, anthemic songs such as "Cum On Feel the Noize". After Lea started writing the song, the band's manager Chas Chandler persuaded him to complete it after he had heard him playing the melody at his home piano.[7]

Release[edit]

"My Friend Stan" was released on 7" vinyl by Polydor Records in the UK, Ireland, across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan.[8][9] The B-Side, "My Town", would later appear as an album track on Old New Borrowed and Blue.[10]

Promotion[edit]

In the UK, the band performed the song on the music show Top of the Pops. In France, they performed it on the TV show Dimanche Salvador. Around the time of the single, a Germany TV company filmed the band aboard a jet named "Slade Express" on a trip between Frankfurt and Munich. The band mimed to parts of the song for the footage. In America, the band performed the song on the TV show Midnight Special in 1974.[11]

Music video[edit]

A music video was filmed to promote the single, which was recorded at the Olympic Studios in Barnes. The video portrayed the band recording the song, and features guitarist Dave Hill uses his trademark Superyob guitar.[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 stated: "This time it's not so much the mis-spelling, but the reversal of the letter "n". It's also a much slower Slade offering, and it's really rather subdued. Noddy's voice is there out front, but there's a backing group effect to it, and when it really builds... well, you know that it's yer ackshuall Slade. An obvious number one, and in some ways more memorable than some of the earlier rampagers."[14] In October, the magazine also posted the feelings of a Slade fan on the single: "If you listen to the b-side, you will hear a very good commercial song 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!"[15]

Chart performance[edit]

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

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]

Slade
Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slade - Old New Borrowed And Blue at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  2. ^ a b "SLADE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  3. ^ "Home". BPI. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  4. ^ Old New Borrowed and Blue - 2006 Salvo remaster booklet liner notes
  5. ^ "1973 - Slade Fan Club www.sladefanclub.com". Sladefanclub.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  6. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter December 1973
  7. ^ "CD Album - Slade - Greatest Hits - Feel The Noize - Polydor - UK". 45worlds.com. 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  8. ^ "ALL Discography @ www.collectadisc.co.uk". Collectadisc.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  9. ^ "Slade - My Friend Stan at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  10. ^ "Slade - Old New Borrowed And Blue at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  11. ^ "SLADE @ www.slayed.co.uk". Crazeeworld.plus.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  12. ^ "1986 - Slade Fan Club www.sladefanclub.com". Sladefanclub.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  13. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter June - July - August 1986
  14. ^ "1973 Press Cuttings". Slade Scrapbook. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  15. ^ Record Mirror magazine 13 October 1973 - Article titled Slade on the Flip
  16. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1973". Poparchives.com.au. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  17. ^ "Slade - My Friend Stan". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  18. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - My Friend Stan". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  19. ^ "InfoDisc : Tout les Titres par Artiste". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2017-07-22. 
  20. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News". Musicline.de. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  22. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - My Friend Stan". Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - My Friend Stan". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  24. ^ "Muska". Muska.fi. 1975-02-05. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  25. ^ "The Romans - Major Panic". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 2016-10-08.