Artist: Darren Johnson
Slade were one of the biggest British bands of the 1970s. One of the early pioneers of glam rock, they enjoyed an incredible run of six number-one singles, five top-ten albums and a succession of sell-out tours.
After a failed attempt at an American breakthrough in the mid-1970s, Slade returned to Britain and faced dwindling record sales, smaller concert halls and a music press that had lost interest in them. By the end of the decade, they were playing residencies in cabaret clubs and recorded a cover of a children’s novelty song. But then came a last-minute invitation to play the 1980 Reading Festival, setting in motion one of the most remarkable comebacks in rock history.
It’s now 50 years since Slade’s 1973 annus mirabilis that saw ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, ‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’ and ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ enter the UK charts at number one, and this book celebrates the music of this legendary band. From their beginnings in the mid-1960s through each year of the decade that gave them their biggest successes, every album and single is examined, as well as coverage of their raucous live shows and colourful media profile.
A former politician, Darren spent many years writing about current affairs but after stepping away from politics he was able to devote time to his first love: music. His first book, The Sweet in the 1970s, was published by Sonicbond in 2021, followed by Suzi Quatro in the 1970s in 2022. Now he turns his attention to the first band he truly fell in love with: Slade. A keen follower of both rock and folk, he maintains a popular music blog – Darren’s Music Blog – and has reviewed albums and gigs for a variety of publications. He lives in Hastings, East Sussex.