Slade Alive!

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Slade Alive!
Slade Alive.jpg
Live album by Slade
Released 24 March 1972
Recorded 19–21 October 1971, Command Studios, 201 Piccadilly, London W1
Length 39:00
Label Polydor (UK/US)
Producer Chas Chandler
Slade chronology
Coz I Luv You
Slade Alive!

Slade Alive! is a live album by the British rock band Slade. The album was released on 24 March 1972. It reached number two on the UK Albums Chart, and remained in that listing for 58 weeks.[1] It was Slade's first album to dent the Billboard 200 in the United States. The album contained original songs, plus cover versions of songs by Ten Years After, The Lovin' Spoonful, Bobby Marchan, and Steppenwolf. The album was recorded live at Command Theatre Studio and mixed at Olympic Studios.[2]

The album was compiled from three days of sessions recorded live in front of a studio audience, with most of the album drawn from the second day.


After the success of the Slade singles "Get Down and Get With It", "Coz I Luv You" and "Look Wot You Dun", Slade set out to capture their live sound on record. After the commercial failures of previous albums Beginnings and Play It Loud, the only income was through the band's solid live reputation. Slade Alive! was recorded at the Command Theatre Studio in London, with expenses totaling £600, and released without overdubs in March 1972.

The album consisted of covers of Ten Years After's "Hear Me Calling", John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon", Little Richard's "Get Down and Get With It" which became a top 20 hit for the band in mid-1971 and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" which had also appeared on the band's debut album Beginnings (1969).

Cover art[edit]

In its original LP vinyl format, the album was issued in a gatefold sleeve which revealed a huge cartoon drawing on the inside. This drawing was the winning entry in a competition run in The Sun UK newspaper to design the album cover. In Israel and Italy, the front cover used the inner gatefold artwork instead, whilst certain editions releases in the Netherlands and France also used this design.


As a major part of promotion for the album, the band did a UK tour during April and May. The poster for this tour used the same artwork as the album, both front and back sides.

On the UK Granada Television, the band performed a 'Set of Six' show on 13 June 1972. This filmed set featured a similar set to Slade Alive!, the tracks in order being "Hear Me Calling", "Look Wot You Dun", "Darling Be Home Soon", "Coz I Luv You", "Get Down and Get With It" and "Born To Be Wild".


"Hear Me Calling" was originally performed by Ten Years After on their album Stonedhenge. Slade covered the song frequently live, and it was the band's show opener for many years. The band decided to record the song in the studio as a potential follow-up to their 1971 breakthrough hit "Get Down and Get With It". However, the band couldn't better the song in the studio. The studio recording on vinyl acetate was kept by drummer Don Powell, until it appeared on the 2011 Salvo remaster of the 1973 UK number one compilation Sladest. The recording remaining unreleased was also due to the fact that the band would soon release the live version of the track on Slade Alive! and because manager/producer Chas Chandler wanted the band to write their own material.[3]

During February/March 1972, a promotional single was released with "Hear Me Calling" as the a-side and "Get Down With It" as the b-side. This release had only 500 DJ copies made.[4]

"Hear Me Calling" was voted number 1 of the top three Slade album tracks in the Slade Fan Club Poll of 1979. "Hear Me Calling" was also voted number 1 of the top three Slade live tracks.[5][6]

Rumours of an unreleased studio version of "In Like a Shot from My Gun" have been reported although in 1981, drummer Don Powell stated that "It was originally meant to be put down in the studio. But after we recorded it live for the 'Slade Alive!' album, we didn't think that we could do it any more justice by doing it in the studio - as it's basically a live number. Maybe though it might work now if we recorded it in the studio, as we try and put a more 'live' feel on our singles."[7][8] The Southern rock musical ensemble Blackfoot covered the song in their live shows.[9][10]

The song featured on the 2006 box set compilation The Slade Box and the American 2007 compilation In for a Penny: Raves & Faves.[11]

"Darling Be Home Soon" was originally performed by The Lovin' Spoonful in 1967 on the soundtrack album You're a Big Boy Now. It is the only ballad on the live album.

During the song Holder burped into the microphone. Holder later admitted in 2000 on The Frank Skinner Show that the burp was accidental as the band had a lot to drink before performing. Holder also stated that from then on, he had to continue to do the burp whenever the song was performed otherwise the audience would be disappointed.[12] On this particular Frank Skinner Show episode, the ending features Holder doing an off-screen burp after Skinner performs the 1976 Slade hit "Let's Call It Quits", where Holder and Katy Hill performed backing vocals.

"Know Who You Are" was written by the entire band. It originally appeared as an instrumental titled "Genesis", on the 1969 album Beginnings, and later re-worked with added lyrics for the 1970 album Play It Loud. Both versions were released as singles, in 1969 and 1970 respectively, both failing to make any impact.

"Keep on Rocking" was written by the entire band, and was never recorded in the studio. The song remained part of the band's set list for a long time.[citation needed] The song featured on the German 1974 compilation Far Far Away.

"Get Down With It" was written and first performed by Bobby Marchan, and later covered by Little Richard. The song was Slade's breakthrough hit and was used as part of the band's live set for almost all of the band's live career.[citation needed]

"Born to be Wild" was first performed by Canadian-American rock group Steppenwolf, who released it as a single from their self-titled album in 1968. The song had been part of Slade's live set and was performed often throughout the band's entire live career.[citation needed] It was originally performed in the studio for the band's 1969 debut Beginnings. In the Slade Fan Club Poll of 1979, "Born To Be Wild" was voted number 3 of three on the top three Slade album tracks poll.[5][6]

The band performed "Hear Me Calling", "In Like a Shot from My Gun", "Keep on Rocking", and "Get Down with It" on 17 August 1972, live at the Paris Theatre in London. This performance, along with live in the studio recordings of "In Like a Shot from My Gun", "Darling Be Home Soon", "Get Down with It", and "Know Who You Are" was officially released in 2009 on the two disc set Live at the BBC, after years of appearing on bootlegs.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[13]
Robert Christgau B+[14]
NME favourable
Melody Maker favourable

Upon release, Record Mirror magazine reviewed the album, "Packed in a sleeve with an amusing cartoon, and extracts from many things written about Slade, this is a good quality live recording - made under studio conditions and produced by Chas Chandler. To those who haven't seen Slade this could be surprising, with Noddy's raucous vocal, and bellowed comment - and make their appeal difficult to understand. It's a rocking album and the excitement of the group and crowd has been captured well, but it's not easy listening, somewhat frenzied! On stage the group hold attention with their cavorting antics and general enthusiasm, and to followers this is good album to keep remind of the live performance they'll see. But it's only a fraction of the story. Opens with "Hear Me Calling", an Alvin Lee composition that the group have used since their days as Ambrose Slade. Getting faster and faster with hand claps from the audience and whoops from the group it sets the scene. "Get Down and Get With It" is excellently performed, and shows the extent of audience participation with the group. Their "Keep on Rocking" incorporates phrases and the feel of many an old rock song, and perhaps best indicates what Slade really are about. In contrast Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon" is the only slow tempo track - with a shattering 'burp' breaking the mood, should you be taking it too seriously!"[15]

NME wrote ""Slade Alive!" is just what it implies, having been recorded before a rowdy crowd of fans at Command Studios. If you've ever been to one of their noisy gigs, you'll know exactly what I mean."[16][17]

Melody Maker wrote "Because it was recorded in a studio proper, before an audience, they've achieved the kind of balance and sound not often heard on a live recording."[16][17]

Diane Kelly, editor of the Slade Fan Club Newsletter wrote "What an album! It's unbelievable! It's the best I've heard for a very long time, all the favourites are there. The album itself is coarse, rare and gritty, just how we like to find them. This is a certain for the top of the charts, as quoted on the cover: "you won't be able to stop your feet tapping and you'll be at the head of the queue for the tickets to the next Slade concert in your area." This is one record no Slade fan will want to be found dead without."[18][19] The album was voted number 3 of the top three Slade albums in the Slade Fan Club Poll of 1979. In the same poll, the album was voted number 1 of the top three Slade album covers.[5][6]

The album was rated number 2 of the top ten albums of 1972 by NME magazine's chart point survey.[20]

In Australia, Slade Alive! was the biggest selling album since The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[21][22]

In August 1991, Q Magazine reviewed CD re-issues of Beginnings, Play It Loud and Slade Alive! in one review, using the opening line "Three re-issues from the Slade archive that cover their pre-Merry Xmas japery". For Slade Alive!, a rating of three stars was given, with the review stating "Slade Alive, from '72, revealed their desire to rock out, with a distinctly heavy seven-track selection. It proved to be a turning point, as a glut of commercial singles followed Slade Alive's highlight, the terrace-styled 'Get Down and Get With It'. The laddish rock style is in evidence, most notably on a fairly faithful rendition of The Lovin' Spoonfuls' 'Darlin' Be Home Soon': a gentle ballad which vocalist Noddy Holder colours by belching during the moody middle eight. That burp kind of sums up the Slade ethic which was emerging on Slade Alive!. It's just fun and beers all the way."

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 ‘Superior: Reputation Cementing’ section, a review of Slade Alive! wrote "Released nervously after two studio albums that had flopped, ‘Slade Alive!’ was (much as ‘Alive!’ was for Kiss) the live record that saved Slade’s bacon. Completely devoid of any overdubs, and reportedly recorded for the paltry sum of just £600, this distillation of Slade’s live show of the time, including the show-stopping ‘Get Down and Get With It’, took them to #2 in the UK chart. Those with a nose for a bargain might like to know that the 2006 reissue is an expanded, two-disc edition that adds 1978’s ‘Slade Alive Vol Two’, ‘Slade on Stage’ from 1982 and six songs from their performance at the 1980 Reading festival."

Track listing[edit]

Side 1
No. Title Writer Length
1. "Hear Me Calling"   Alvin Lee 5:46
2. "In Like a Shot From My Gun"   Noddy Holder, Jim Lea, Don Powell 3:33
3. "Darling Be Home Soon"   John Sebastian 5:43
4. "Know Who You Are"   Holder, Lea, Dave Hill, Powell 3:37
Side 2
No. Title Writer Length
5. "Keep on Rocking"   Holder, Lea, Hill, Powell 6:29
6. "Get Down With It"   Bobby Marchan 5:33
7. "Born To Be Wild"   Mars Bonfire 8:12

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
Australian (ARIA) Albums Chart[23] 1 39
Austrian Albums Chart[24] 8 8
Canadian Albums Chart[25] 77 4
German Albums Chart[26] 25 ?
Norwegian Albums Chart[27] 18 4
UK Albums Chart[28] 2 58
U.S. Billboard 200[29] 158 11[30]


Additional personnel
  • unknown member of audience - tambourine on "Know Who You Are"
  • Barry Ainsworth - engineer (recording)
  • Alan O'Duffy - engineer (mixing)
  • Chas Chandler - producer
  • Derek Robinson - artwork
  • Chris Walter - photography (front)
  • M. Webb - artwork (sleeve inner)


  1. ^ "Slade Alive chart history". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Database and Marketplace for Music on Vinyl, CD, Cassette, MP3 and More". Discogs. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Sladest Salvo Remaster 2011 Booklet Notes
  4. ^ "Slade - Weer All Crazee - Main Page". Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c [1][dead link]
  6. ^ a b c Slade Fan Club Magazine January–February 1980
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Slade Supporters Club Newsletter May - June 1981
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Supporters Club Newsletter September - October 1981
  11. ^ "SLADE Discography @". Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Frank Skinner Show (1995– ) : Episode #4.10". Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  13. ^ Cook, Stephen. "Slade Alive! - Slade". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "CG: slade". Robert Christgau. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Record Mirror Magazine 1 April 1972
  16. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  17. ^ a b Slade Fan Club Newsletter June - July 1972
  18. ^ [3][dead link]
  19. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter April - May 1972
  20. ^ NME magazine 30 December 1972
  21. ^ [4][dead link]
  22. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter April - May 1973
  23. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1972". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  24. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - Slade Alive!". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  26. ^ "". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - Slade Alive!". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "SLADE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  29. ^ "Slade". AllMusic. 25 June 2002. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Whitburn, Joel; Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums 1955-1996; p. 717. Published 1997 by Record Research Inc.
Preceded by
Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
25 September - 22 October 1972
11 December 1972 – 4 February 1973
Succeeded by
Catch Bull at Four by Cat Stevens