The Slade Box
The Slade Box (4 CD anthology 1969-1991) will hit the streets on September 25, and is this a beautiful piece of work or what? I must admit that it almost took my breath away!
Already when looking at the box you can see that this is it. This is the anthology that we have been wanting for ages! A beautiful long box designed by Estuary English that signals both glam and refinement. It’s great.
The 4 CDs contain 84 tracks from Born To Be Wild to Universe. It’s a mix of hits, B-sides and rare cuts, previously unissued on CD. So it is not only the likes of ‘Coz I Luv You, Cum On Feel The Noize and Far Far Away that you’ll find there, but also Kill ‘Em At The Hot Club Tonite, She Did It To Me, Two Track Stereo One Track Mind and stuff like Roach Daddy, Burning In The Heat of Love and Rock’n’Roll Bolero. All tracks are superbly remastered by Tim Turan at Turan Audio.
Of course, when compiling such an album you can’t please everybody. There is stuff there that I would have left out and other tracks that I would have wanted to hear instead (I personally miss Don’t Talk To Me About Love!), but all in all this is a really wide and representative anthology, showing the versatility and influence of the band. It’s like the kind of thing you want to give to your none Slade-fan friends and say, “Now listen to this, and tell me why the heck you supported Sweet in the 1970’s!” No offence to Sweet, but all my mates from back then were actually Sweet-fans and used to make fun of me because I loved those ugly buggers from Slade! Well, have a listen and you’ll understand why I love them!
The box comes complete with a 72 page booklet, entertainingly written by Slade’s former press agent Keith Altham and telling the Slade-story including a few stories that you may not have heard before. Accidently Dave's birthday has wrongly been set to be the same as Jim's and Altham has a few odd explanations about the inspiration to some of Slade’s lyrics, but what the heck. His essay is richly spiced with comments from the band.
The booklet includes a string of wonderful photos, many previously unpublished. Especially Andrew Birkin’s series of pics of Slade’s 1974 U.S.-tour is great. Birkin was the screenwriter of “Flame” and through these pics, he gives you his personal account of life on the road with the boyz. The booklet also has a complete UK discography, a “Wall of 45s” and images of the LP-covers as well. The only thing that brings it down a bit is the track listing. Whoever did that should get a serious telling off for bad research. Several of the titles are spelled wrong and (as usual!) Don is not credited for all of the songs that he wrote. Let’s hope this will be fixed on future releases.
Anyway, this box gives you a complete overview of Slade’s amazing career and proves why this grossly underrated band was the most impressive of their time. Finally the guys (and fans) get what they deserve!