Slade’s manic popularity in their native England as well as their cult status within US shores back in the ‘70s and lower ‘80s were the results of a hard-working, hits-laden band of lads that rocked the joint – hard. So good, they’re credited by many bands as having been influential to their own rise. In one situation, Slade covers made a band extremely popular (Quiet Riot with Slade tunes, “Mama, Weer All Crazee Now” and “Cum On Feel the Noize”) giving the band their first Top 5 hits.
Fans of Slade have no end of Slade music, especially with Expanded remasters of their studio albums from Salvo Records in England. Shout! Factory recently released an excellent Slade compilation of hits called Get Yer Boots On: The Best of Slade in 2003 along with a DVD version of the band’s Slade in Flame film. The band’s music was loud and great stuff. The large scale indifference of the US market still leaves me scratching my head in perplexity, as Slade offered all that a music fan could want in their string of catchy songs.
Shout! Factory revisits the band with another collection, this time assembling a selection of lesser-known tracks and b-sides. Compiled by Dan Epstein, a noted music journalist (presently West Coast Editor of Revolver magazine), this album presents a different view of Slade as well as presenting rare cuts. What you’ll find on In For a Penny: Raves & Faves (title, In for a Penny, is from a song off of 1976’s Nobody’s Fool; the title track from this album would have been a very good inclusion here, and is somewhat of a glaring omission – sorry, Dan, it shoulda been here.)
The tracks found here range in age from Play It Loud (1970) to Nobody’s Fool (1976), a few of them live material from Slade Alive! (1972). As stated earlier, the tracks found on this album present a different shade of the band that is less the loud ‘n proud glitter rock Slade is best known for, but more a thoughtful, experimental aspect of the band. What this reveals is that Slade was more than the batch of hits that made them a popular favourite amongst fans. This selection of tracks seeks to show that “other” side primarily.
Rare cuts include “Burning in the Heat of Love,” a live selection from the Slade Alive! period but not included on the original 1972 live set as well as “Wonderin’ Y,” a B-side from the Slayed? (1972) sessions. “C’mon C’mon” and “Thanks For the Memory (Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am)” are other ones. The rest of the album will be familiar enough for serious fans and an eye opener for the casual listener of Slade who may not have gone beyond the “hits.”
In For a Penny: Raves & Faves is a very nice complement to Get Yer Boots On: The Best of Slade, making for a more complete overview of Slade outside of a more comprehensive Box set. A Box set is a project that Shout! Factory should seriously consider engaging themselves with.