Box set-interview with Don
Monday last week I went over to Don’s as we had different things to take care of. One of them was to do a short interview regarding the box set to tie in with the remaster-interview. Her you have a bit of the interview as well as some pics. You can read the full interview on my Don Powell-blog.
What do you think of the Slade Box?
I’m very impressed. When we visited Union Square a couple of weeks ago to do the comments for Flame, the guys there, Chas Chandler and Steve Fruin, told us about it being remastered by Tim Turan and he did a fantastic job! Especially when they said that a lot of the tracks, they hadn’t access to the original masters, so they remastered them from the singles of the time, like the B-sides and he did a great job, Tim Turan did. And when we went there, Dave got home before I did, and he called and mentioned to me, play them, because they sound REALLY good and they’ve done a great job. And he has. And I called Nod to say the same thing, because he hadn’t played the new box set. I said, when you play them you’ll be really impressed what a good job the guys did on them. It is really good. When you think some of these tracks go back over 30 years and they’ll obviously sound a little dated, but sometimes that’s quite nice because that’s like the appeal of the thing. But again, that’s different for me being in the business, but the way records sound nowadays, it’s incredible. The kids expect that when they buy records. They expect an A1 incredible sound and I think the guys did a great job.
What do you think of the pick of the tracks?
I think they also did a great job there, choosing the tracks. All the hits gotta be on them, but that’s quite good with some of the other tracks, they actually work well with the hits. Things from the late seventies and the eighties, “Knuckle Sandwich Nancy” and things like that. They are quite nice, the tracks they’ve chosen. It’s good. It’s a good collection of them.
I read some review that said it was strange that both CD 3 and CD 4 consisted of tracks from after the heydays.
I think that is quite nice. I think they HAVE to. A box set has to include those.
It also said it was strange that there were so few live tracks, but…I thought, the live-collection has just been released…
Exactly! It is there on the live-CD with Slade Alive 1 and 2 and the other live albums. Anyway, it must be a pretty difficult job, when they are doing that, releasing other albums like they were, and they have to sort of chose tracks for this particular project. Just take the first side or CD1 rather, which I was quite impressed with, there are some nice songs there. Some of my favourites like “She Did It To Me”, there are some wonderful songs there. I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t do MORE of that. Because when we recorded it I was quite impressed, it’s a lovely song.
Different reviewers also complain that there is nothing new there, on the box.
Well, it’s not a new release. It’s a box set. The thing with a box set is to have the big ones. It is more like the history of the band, basically. Spanning Slade’s entire recording career. That’s what it is.
What do you think of the way that the box looks?
[Don bursts into laughter:] You know, at first I didn’t even noticed that at all! Nod’s hat! It’s so obvious! Not until Chas at Union Square said, noticed something? [still laughing] Of course! [laughs a bit more, before continuing:] But I think it is quite effective. Especially the black and white with the red Slade. And also what is nice as well is the photographs in the booklet. Photographs that haven’t really been seen before. Like when we made the Flame-movie and Andrew Birkin and Richard Loncraine came with us to America, and Andrew took a LOT of photographs obviously when he was on the road with us. And it is SO nice to see new photographs. It would be so easy to use the usual photographs that you see everywhere, so I think that is SO good.
It is nice seeing new photographs and it is nice seeing Chas as well. I like that Chas is there. He was always travelling with us. Mmm…it’s nice seeing the photographs of Chas…And the clothes, of course! [laughs] You waited for that one, didn’t you? [laughs again] And the clothes, of course! I think that is what I look for more than anything. What were we wearing? It’s like when you read the dialogs of the booklet about Dave changing in the toilet and we would give him a shout, what’s he gonna wear? It is SO true, that!
I like that it is Keith Altham who did the essay and not somebody hired without knowing the band.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. He got sort of like a closeness to the band, obviously, being our publicist in those days. And he did sort of know us. He’s not somebody from the outside. And he’s writing as he sort of saw things. But at least Keith DOES know us. And he can write. [laughs] That makes such a difference. I’m glad it is someone like Keith that got the job to do that. He is a writer and he DOES know the band. Plus the fact that he was responsible for us being skinheads! [laughs long]
Well, I don’t have much more, because we talked so much about the tracks the last time and I can just use that with the box as well.
Yes. And as I said, I’m very impressed with the box set. And I think it’s what the fans have been waiting for. The general sort of comments that I get is: About time! And it is quite nice