52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Live Anthology From The Ultimate Live Band
Slade are probably remembered now for three things. A Christmas record that will just not go away, wearing daft clothes and for being one of Britain's top premier live bands. Anyone who saw this band live will testify that they were second to none. Six years of slogging around the country BEFORE they had their first hit paid off. By the time of that first hit (Get...
Published on 14 Sep 2006 by Geoffrey Lake
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars union suare mistake
Slade alive is still the best live album in the world but this box set has been completely ruined by the inclusion of "Okey Cokey" in the middle of the "Live at Reading" set.Somebody needs shot.
Published on 3 Sep 2007 by M. A. Richards
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Live Anthology From The Ultimate Live Band,
Slade are probably remembered now for three things. A Christmas record that will just not go away, wearing daft clothes and for being one of Britain's top premier live bands. Anyone who saw this band live will testify that they were second to none. Six years of slogging around the country BEFORE they had their first hit paid off. By the time of that first hit (Get Down And Get With It) they had so fine tuned their performance to their peak, they simply could not fail in the live stakes.
This compilation brings together all of Slade's live recordings.
The first, Slade Alive stayed in the charts for over a year. Recorded in front of 600 fan club members. Slade Alive contains seven numbers of their best set of the time. A cover of Stepphenwolf's 'Born To Be Wild', would never be played this long again. It just goes on and on and it is all the more wonderful for it. The very Little Richardish 'Keep On Rockin' is just wonderful. 'In Like A Shot From My Gun' was never released as a studio number. Maybe because it would never sound better than this. Noddy Holder is so much in command of his audience. Slade would never sound better on record (or CD) than this. Alive is considered by most to be Slade's best ever live recording.
'Alive Volume Two' is a much more sober affair. By this time, Slade had been in the USA for two years, only to return to the UK shores to find new wave music was all over Britain. After bands like The Sex Pistols and The Clash, Slade were frowned upon. However, as those faithful fans would again testify, punk rock had energy but no staying power. Slade's American influence is there on tracks like 'One Eyed Jacks' but they still knew how to rock. This remastered version so improves on the Polydor version released some years ago. Union Square have done a great job to bring us this piece of Slade history
'Slade On Stage' was really back to form. Slade were back in the charts and this gave them new tracks like 'Lock Up Your Daughters' and 'We'll Bring the House Down' and a confidence that shows through the whole CD. This much heavier Slade, were just awsome. No pretence, just good old rock'n'roll played with gusto, with audience particaption that sent everyone home with ringing bells in their ears but many happy memories.
Finally Slade's swansong was Reading 1980. Slade had Ozzy Osbourne to thank for the next live effort. Reading Festival 1980 and Ozzy had pulled his band 'Blizzard of Oz' from the line up. Slade were asked to step in at the last minute. Lead guitarist Dave Hill had more or less left the band. Thier manager, Chas Chandler had to persude Dave that they should do it if only to play thier last gig to a huge audience.
Slade had been slogging around Britain playing anywhere that would have them. At the Reading festival they played a set they had been playing in all the fleapits around the country. Most thought they were doomed to fail with a heavy rock audience. They went on and conquered and undoubtlably stole the show. Bassist Jim Lea later commented "It was hot and dusty and we felt like gunslingers at high noon, we were strutting through this area holding up someone else's Roller behind us. I refused to move...why should I? I had written more bloody hits than (the rest of the bill) put together."
This release has been remastered by Tim Turan and it a gem of a collection. The artwork includes some great live pictures and a booklet with some wonderful comments.
If you never saw Slade live, you missed one of the best working bands ever to walk a stage. Buy this, get the headphones on loud and you might just get 25% of how good it really all was. For the rest of us, we already know. An essential purchase. Keep On Rockin!!
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic racket.,
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Over 35 years of gigging, I have been lucky enough to see some of the worlds greatest bands, topped by the mighty Led Zeppelin; but if there was ever one gig I regretted missing it was this one.
I bought this album on vinyl back in the early seventies, and still play it to this day.
The vinyl version contained only the first seven tacks listed on this CD version, and showed Slade at their rocking best.
It even included a bit of melody, with the track Darling Be Home Soon showcasing the fact that Noddy had one of the all time great voices of rock music.
My real reason for writing this review though is for one track alone, and that is Born To Be Wild.
Imagine lying between two speakers on your bedroom floor, trying to blow your eardrums out before your Dad shouted to turn the volume down.
Following the vocal section of the track it becomes a one off masterpiece in unsophisticated white noise.
If you buy this album please please please do not put it on at volume two for a quiet listen. Wait till the whole street is out, give it the full whack, and celebrate the pre over produced days, when a band could turn up at the town hall, erect a stack of Marshall amps that resembled the empire state building, and make a full on attempt to send you home deaf, but very very happy.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best live album of all time,
This has to be the best live album of all time: no cleaning up of the sound, no polishing up on mistakes, just 100% raw energy, captured superbly by Chas Chandler's ever-thoughful production.
The band played in a large studio infront of a 100 or so fans. They then belted out their classics in the same unique way that they had already been doing for almost ten years.
They have to be almost the only band that can cover famous rock 'n' roll songs and not only make them their own, but in my opinion improve on them by adding a few more decibels.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play It Loud,
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Slade have been called the working class Beatles and for years people forgot just how many hits the band wrote. Although forever linked with glam rock , mainly thanks to Dave Hill, Slade were a hard working rock band and this album proves it. Combining their three official live albums and the Reading EP this highlights Slades power on stage. If there is more powerful live singer than Noddy Holder then I'd like to hear him. The "one of the lads" humour comes over on all the tracks and this is guaranteed no overdubs. Album one is a bit rough and ready but album two show casing the "On Stage" set is outstanding. I was lucky enough to be at Reading when the band made their famous comeback but the EP tracks don't really work in this context.
Listen to Rock 'n' Roll Preacher - join the congregation and PLAY IT LOUD!!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars just aren`t enough,
This is a 10 star album if ever there was one. Slade were my first rock heroes and Alive! represents not only the best Slade you`ll ever hear, but one of the best, if not THE best live album ever made (although Nugent`s Double Live Gonzo is pretty close). My mate used to run a disco in the 80`s and he always closed with Born To Be Wild. Believe me, that song played at full volume used to clear the floor pretty quickly. Another thing: A lot of people may not have relaised that Holder was more than capable of singing a moving ballad as shown during the first half of John Sebastian`s Darling Be Home Soon. Great album.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Alive and ROCKING!!!",
Geoffrey Lake "banginman"...top bloke!Having read several of his reviews i have to agree with him 100%...and for these re-mastered Slade releases,i've actually taken the plunge and bought these excellent packages!
Slade were the very first band i ever saw 'live' back in '73 or '74 at Earls Court,and i've never looked back.Whenever they played London i'd go see them,in fact anywhere close to London as well! Being a life-long fan of the greatest band ever,and one of those that got into 'punk' when it came along too i might add,i never gave up on them....i may not have been at either of the comeback festival gigs they played,but i did see them in 1980 at the Lyceum Ballroom, with Discharge and U2 in support,and there were plenty of punks at that show that wanted to see Slade as much as Discharge! Slade as usual didn't let us down,and played an awesome set,to all the rockers in the audiences pleasure!!! U2 were,and still are crap...and those who left after their performance missed one of the greatest gigs ever!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slade at their very best!,
The immediate thing that strikes me when opening the packaging on this doublepack is that some care has gone into making it a very attractive package to tempt those buyers who may not have all (or any) of Slade's live material. The main artwork emphasis is naturally on the biggest-selling of Slade's live efforts, Slade Alive!
The original album artwork for Slade Alive Volume Two, The Reading EP and Slade On Stage is reproduced on the fragile wrap-around strip that helps keep the package closed and also in minature just inside the booklet. This is a great way to get just about all the live music Slade released in one place.
The booklet itself contains a series of anecdotes from the band about their live career - the most telling being those grumpily aloof (and totally correct) comments made by Jim Lea about their last minute appearance at 1980's Reading festival, where after being obliged to traipse through the mud from the public car park, carrying their guitars and stage clothes, refusing to move aside for the Rolls Royces of more recent and lesser stars who had written less hits then Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, even when you added them all together.
Enough of the mud, what about the music?
There is little doubt that many of Slade's longest-serving fans believe Slade Alive! to be Slade's finest hour. It is certainly a totally superb illustration of the very cornerstone of their career - their live act. Slade Alive! has more atmosphere than most live albums that have been recorded since its release.
'Hear me calling' remained Slade's live show opener for a great many years and that is being despite it being written by Alvin Lee for Ten Years After. Here it is in all its glory, revealing Slade's uniquely powerful live sound and Jim Lea's playful illogical basslines under the solos. It is followed the the best song Slade ever played live, but never committed to a studio version; 'In like a shot from my gun'. That would have made a superb single, but Slade Alive only gave up one single - and that was a few hundred copies only of a promotional 7" release of 'Hear me calling' that most Slade fans have never even held a copy of.
'Darling be home soon' is another interesting choice for a live album - another cover - this time from the Lovin' Spoonful. The subtlety and melodicism of the band (except for when Nod burps) is astonishing as they power through this quiet little song. Restraint. You can feel the energy being kept in as the band do all but explode towards the end of the song.
'Know who you are' disappeared from Slade's live show soon after the Slade Alive! period, to be replaced by newer material that the group had just written. A pity, because here the song chugs along like a runaway train, the bass going subtlely and deliberately out of rhythm with the guitars under parts of the verses, giving that extra bit of drive and thickening up the sound in a away that made Slade unique. Dave Hill's lead guitar parts remain a joy to hear.
'Keep on rockin' remained a staple in various rearranged formats throughout their live career and it always worked brilliantly. Lashings of Chuck Berry and Little Richard with no pretension whatsoever. Fantastic.
The live version of 'Get down and get with it' (until the latest remaster came along) always rendered the studio version redundant. It is a truly brilliant performance by a band at one of its many live peaks. The closer, 'Born to be wild' is that most rare of things, a live version of a rock classic, where the group covering the song make it their own.
'Slade Alive Volume Two' captured the band live at a couple of shows from the 1977 and 1978 'Whatever happened to Slade' period tours and first and foremost, the remastered version noticeably corrects a number of mastering errors from the previous CD issue. The guitars sound savage by comparison too. Nod's voice is loud and clear. His rhythm guitar is thick and muscular. Jim's bass throbs and grinds and Dave's guitar sounds just wicked. Don Powell's drums pummel away, and with your eyes shut and with your head firmly wedged between two speakers set to 'stun', it's a bit like being there on the night.
It's great to hear good clear live versions of songs like the sadly under-rated 'Be' and 'One eyed Jacks with moustaches' as well as what sounds like the most heartfelt rendition of 'Everyday' they ever released.
'Slade on stage' sounds crisp, sharp and tight. 'Rock and roll preacher' immediately sets the energy level for the whole set with Dave Hill's guitar coming across far more clearly than before. The guitars and bass are mixed far more to the fore on this CD, which when the band were playing unison riffs (like on 'Take me bak 'ome') goes to show how well-drilled a machine the band was.
Jim Lea gets an extraordinary bass solo and violin solo spot during the Rainbow-esque 'A night to remember'. How this man is not regarded as one of the bass playing greats, I will never figure out. I've never heard anyone but John Entwistle do anything that compared.
A number of old favourites that Slade played on the tour captured here lose none of their vitality, as the band were truly giving every song their all. 'Gudbuy T'Jane' always sounded like a new song when Slade played it.
The Reading EP's:
The 'Merry Xmas Everybody' that appears on disc two is the crowd singalong from the 1980 Reading Festival, not the 'Live and kicking' version. But that doesn't matter when it's surrounded by goodies like 'Somethin' else' and 'Get down and get with it'. The inclusion of Slade's version of the 'Okey cokey' was a bit of a strange thing for them to do at the time, but it fitted in with the overall party mood of the Reading EP's, so here it is once again.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was one of the lucky hundred or so.....,
....who were at the first Slade Alive recording session! A couple of friends and I managed to get hold of some of the complimentary tickets and so had the great good fortune to see one of the premier live bands as if they were playing in a small club........
It was great being there, the sound was incredible and the band were absolutely on song - and it's all captured on the album. I can't hear myself cheering on it (couldn't hear much for a few days after, either!!) - but it still remains one of the all time great live albums. Buy it, invite loads of mates around, play it loud and hear how live rock ought to be.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slade Alive were unbeatable,
I was never lucky enough to see Slade Alive at the peak of their popularity as that was like getting a ticket to see The Beatles. However I did see them at the time their Slade Alive Vol. 2 was being released and couple of times after that. They were absolutely brilliant!! This collection is a testament to how they excelled in the live arena and were pretty much unbeatable. This new collection of all their live recordings in one double set is a real treat and hats off to the people in charge of remastering and re-packaging. The only minor fault with this is why the entire 1972 live set wasn't released this time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Blow Me Down - It's Slade!,
This review is from: Slade Alive (Audio CD)
A long, long time ago, I was in Oasis in Birmingham City Centre and one stall I passed was bashing out a rather glorious noise! In fact, I was so taken by it, that I just had to ask who was playing as it sounded so familiar, yet so difficult to pinpoint because of it's high energy level. It turned out that the track was In Like A Shot From My Gun and it was Slade - yes, SLADE! Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather as back then, Slade was a "pop" / "chart" act - not a band that could turn something like this out.
I was so taken with this track that I went straight down to the record shop and purchased a copy of the album and gathered my mates around to have a listen too - and although they thought that I'd flipped when I told them what I was about to play, each and everyone became a convert and purchased their own copy resultant! Well, let's face it, a "live" album recorded in a studio with a warts and all production but containing such a high level of energy rock numbers "Hear Me Calling" the aforementioned "In Like A Shot", "Darling Be Home Soon"(belches included)and the towering "Born To Be Wild" belted out by a band at the top of their game is something to behold. Indeed, I'd have to say that it would certainly figure within my top 50 list of all time great live albums, even though this is not technically a real-live performance - but it certainly is a performance!
Buy it and try it, if you're into high energy rock you'll go quite a way to top this. But am I a Slade fan - well, hrrrmph....nah! But I do love this!
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