Slade in Flame (album)

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Slade in Flame
Flamelp.jpg
Soundtrack album by Slade
Released 29 November 1974
Genre
Length 41:20
Label Polydor (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Producer Chas Chandler
Slade chronology
Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
(1974)Old, New, Borrowed and Blue1974
Slade in Flame
(1974)
Nobody's Fools
(1976)Nobody's Fools1976
Singles from Slade in Flame
  1. "Far Far Away"
    Released: 11 October 1974
  2. "How Does It Feel"
    Released: 7 February 1975

Slade in Flame is the first soundtrack album and fifth studio album by the British rock group Slade. It was released on 29 November 1974, reached No. 6 in the UK and was certified Gold by BPI in February 1975.[1] The album was produced by Chas Chandler and contains songs featured in the band's film of the same name. The band tried to give the album a "sixties" feel, as the film was set in 1966.

In the US, the album was released on the Warner Bros. label, with "The Bangin' Man" replacing "Summer Song (Wishing You Were Here)" & "Thanks for the Memory" replacing "Heaven Knows". The most recent re-issue of the album was in 2015, when Salvo Sound & Vision released a repackaged CD + DVD version of the album and film.[2]

"So Far So Good" was covered by Alice Cooper songwriter Mike Bruce on his 1975 solo album In My Own Way.[3] In a 1989 fan club interview, drummer Don Powell singled out "Standin' On the Corner" as one of the band's best efforts on record: "It's got a great swing to it and it's the first time we even used brass."[4][5]

Background[edit]

By 1974, Slade had become a big success in the UK, Europe and beyond; however the band felt that continuing to provide 'more of the same' was not what they wanted to do. The band's manager Chas Chandler suggested Slade do a movie, to which the band agreed. Rather than producing a film portraying the band's "happy-go-lucky" image, the subject matter was based on the gritty tale of the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s group called Flame. The script, written by Andrew Birkin and Dave Humphries, was largely based on true music business events that had occurred to Slade and other groups of the time.[6]

To accompany the film, lead vocalist Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea began writing material for a soundtrack album, which would continue to see the band break out of their successful formula and try different musical ideas. Having completed a fifth US tour, the band spent a month recording the new album. In October 1974, the lead single "Far Far Away" was released and reached No. 2 in the UK. The Slade in Flame album followed in November, peaking at No. 6. Though the record was lauded by critics, the album did not sell as well as expected, particularly as the band's previous three albums had all reached number one.[6]

In January 1975, the Slade in Flame film was released. Although it later received recognition as one of the greatest rock films, the initial reception towards the film was less positive, particularly from fans. Slade's audience did not expect the band to produce a film with a bleak and sour atmosphere. In February 1975, the second and final single, "How Does It Feel", was released and reached No. 15 in the UK, breaking a run of twelve Top 5 UK hits.[6]

Release[edit]

The album was originally scheduled for release on 22 November 1974 but Polydor were unable to produce enough copies to cover pre-order sales.[7][8] Prior to its release, the album was awarded a Gold Disc based on pre-order sales.[7][8] By February 1975, the album had surpassed 200,000 sales in the UK.[9][10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[11]
Record Mirrorfavourable[12]
Discfavourable[13]
Classic Rockfavourable

Upon release, Record Mirror commented that "because Flame is set in the 1960s, the album has a distinctive 1960's flavour", but also noted: "[As] the songs have been taken out of context, a few of them have lost their charm and meaning but nevertheless, it is an enjoyable elpee."[12] In 1976, Record Mirror would vote the album No. 5 on their list of the Top 10 best albums of 1975.[14] Disc said: "The music included here certainly sounds like the Slade we all know and love. Only occasionally, do they stray from the usual mould. A touchy album but definitely more good than bad."[15]

After the film was shown on British TV in December 1987, London Evening Standard advised people to listen to the soundtrack instead of watching the movie.[16][17] In 2007, Classic Rock listed Slade in Flame as No. 18 on their "49 Best Soundtrack Albums" list.

Geoff Ginsberg of AllMusic retrospectively said: "Slade in Flame is a tough album to judge. Made as an accompanying piece to the movie of the same name, it was different than the group's other records. It's an artistic tour de force for a band that was looked on as "just a good time." Although Slade was that, the band had a lot more in its bag of tricks, and this album shows it. Don't worry, though, because it's still pure Slade."[18]

Track listing[edit]

UK track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."How Does It Feel"5:54
2."Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing"3:27
3."So Far So Good"3:02
4."Summer Song (Wishing You Were Here)"3:36
5."O.K. Yesterday Was Yesterday"3:58
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Far Far Away"3:37
7."This Girl"3:32
8."Lay It Down"4:08
9."Heaven Knows"3:55
10."Standin' On the Corner"4:54

US track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."How Does It Feel"5:54
2."Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing"3:27
3."So Far So Good"3:02
4."The Bangin' Man"4:11
5."O.K. Yesterday Was Yesterday"3:58
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Far Far Away"3:37
7."This Girl"3:32
8."Lay It Down"4:08
9."Thanks for the Memory"4:33
10."Standin' On the Corner"4:54

1 Listed as "Thanks for the Memories"

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart 31
German Albums Chart[19] 41
Norwegian Albums Chart[20] 2
UK Albums Chart[21] 6
U.S. Billboard 200[22] 93

Personnel[edit]

Slade
Additional personnel
  • Chas Chandler - producer
  • Alan O'Duffey - engineer
  • Bud Beadle - baritone saxophone
  • Ron Carthy, Eddie Quansah - trumpet
  • Mick Eve, Steve Gregory - tenor saxophone
  • Malcolm Griffiths, Chris Hammer Smith - trombone
  • Chris Mercer - baritone, tenor saxophone
  • Paul Welch - art direction
  • Wadewood Associates - art design
  • Steve Ridgeway - logo design
  • Welbeck Photography - production stills
  • Gered Mankowitz - photography (front, back & portrait photos)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home". BPI. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  2. ^ "Salvo". Salvo-music.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  3. ^ "Michael Bruce - In My Own Way (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  4. ^ http://www.sladefanclub.com/1989.html
  5. ^ 2nd Slade International Fan Club newsletter April - May - June 1989
  6. ^ a b c Slade in Flame - 2007 Salvo remaster booklet liner notes
  7. ^ a b "Slade in Flame - Stop Press". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  8. ^ a b Slade Fan Club Newsletter December 1974 - January 1975
  9. ^ Slade Fan Club Newsletter February - March 1975
  10. ^ "New Single - News in brief". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  11. ^ Ginsberg, Geoff. "Slade in Flame - Slade". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  12. ^ a b Record Mirror magazine 30 November 1974
  13. ^ "1974 Press Cuttings". Slade Scrapbook. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  14. ^ Record Mirror magazine 14 February 1976
  15. ^ "1974 Press Cuttings". Slade Scrapbook. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  16. ^ "Flame - First show on Dritish TV". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  17. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter January - February - March 1988
  18. ^ Ginsberg, Geoff. "Slade in Flame - Slade". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  19. ^ "charts.de". charts.de. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "Slade - Slade In Flame". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  21. ^ "Slade | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  22. ^ "Slade". AllMusic. 2002-06-25. Retrieved 2011-08-10.