After their lengthy stay across the pond, Slade returned to the UK early in 1977 to face a UK music business much changed from the way they left it. The scene surrounding the snarling, anti-establishment buzzsaw rock n roll called punk had exploded and had become the dominant influence on youth culture and the music press. Many a band would have accepted that their day was done (and many did), splitting graciously, waiting for the wheel of fashion to turn until it was cool once more to admit they had been cool. Not this band. Chas Chandler was still their manager, he still believed in them, and the group themselves knew that if they d been a good live act before the American sojourn and they were they were an even better one now. Harder, more disciplined, an altogether heavier prospect. They would have to simply plough on, start again if they had to, and prove it. The first that was heard of Slade in 1977 was the single Gypsy Roadhog which appeared in February, a pounding tale of the exploits of an American cocaine dealer. Whatever Happened To Slade, titled by Chandler after a piece of graffiti spotted painted on a London bridge, followed in March 1977 to no airplay and very little press. It was the group s lowest-selling LP to date. However, those faithful few who took the trouble were amazed by the record. The heaviest, dirtiest (in all senses), most decadent Slade music ever made, Whatever Happened To Slade made Gypsy Roadhog sound like The Teddy Bear s Picnic and remains many Slade connoisseurs favourite of all their albums. Indeed, much of the album sounds like an update of the complexity and latent heaviness of their 1970 album Play It Loud, made before they embarked on their hit-making run from 1971-75. As joyous as much of that peak period was, from the viewpoint of the Slade of 1977 it almost feels like all those hits just interrupted where Slade were actually heading, which was to here, to the intricate, power-guitar riff-fest of Whatever Happened To Slade. And as the lads stand by mock-ups of their Play It Loud skinhead selves on the cover, they seem to answer the question posed by the album s title themselves. Whatever happened to Slade? Slade picked up from where they left off in 1970, that s what happened. With accomplished, hard-hitting tracks like The Soul The Roll And The Motion , Be , One Eyed Jacks With Moustaches and the non-album single Burning In The Heat Of Love , they had evolved into an unassailably powerful and precise hard rock group.