31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I've been Slayed!,
This review is from: Slayed? (Audio CD)
Let's be straight about this, 'Slayed?' is my personal favourite Slade album. This CD is going to have to be RIGHT.
For me, Chas Chandler was at his production peak on this album and on the two following two studio sets (Old New Borrowed and Blue and the Flame soundtrack). The sound had a depth and warmth that Slade would never recapture again - an 'in the room' BIG sound that the 'Slade Alive!' album helped shape. Their albums had to sound something like that one.
Whoever originally engineered these albums understood exactly how to put microphones on amplifiers and the drum kit. In addition, Chas knew exactly how to set up a great mix. The group were at an early height of their inventiveness and the studio performance on 'Slayed?' has always reflected this.
On listening to the remastered CD and comparing to the previous issue, the disc is again quite a lot louder and clearer. There's a good warmth to the sound, as hoped. The treble bites, whereas before it didn't.The bass depth isn't noticeably increased, as the album was quite bassy enough anyway, but combined with the increased treble, the overall sound is far more punchy and again, the separation is tremendous.
Tracks like 'The whole world's goin' crazee' benefit greatly from this enhacement, as slightly subdued intros are now more immediate. The guitar intro on 'Look at last nite' has an ocatve-up guitar part on the last progression and at last it's quite clear. It's not that much of an exaggeration to say that some sounds on the classic tracks are being heard properly for the first time.
My favourite Slade cover was always 'Move over' and Jim's bass features prominently throughout. The bass sound benefits from a more 'fruity' (that's what they used to call it back then) and rounded sound. Don's snare cracks away nicely and his cymbals wash quite effectively, without everything else being obscured. Again, it's like being in the room with the band.
Sandwiched between the two big hits from the album is the slow, grinding 'Gudbuy gudbuy'. on this edition, the bass throbs away quite purposefully and the good work of whoever is wielding the shaker fits in nicely. Nod's voice cuts through the instruments like a knife through butter, crystal clear.
'I don' mind' sounds like the band are in the room with the listener. Listen for Don's timekeeping with clicked drumsticks. Nod's voice really does the business on this song and hearing the way he sang here (subtly double-tracked in parts), it's a wonder his voice lasted for all the years that it did.
Let the good times roll's bass and drum passages sound sweet and clear. Nod's voice again just sits in the middle of all that's going on, clear as a bell.
As for the five bonus tracks added on the remaster...
'My life is natural'
I'm used to hearing this with the crackle from the vinyl and it's not there. It's great to hear this song sounding much more like it would have done in the studio, when it was just mixed. The acoustic guitar comes over nicely.
Always a slightly murky production, this is now much cleaner and the guitars are emphasised by some very effective separation. Again, it sounds a little strange to hear a totally clean version without the crackle that generally stopped me getting out the vinyl copies!!! I guess I'll get used to it.
Nice to hear this sounding so clean, clear and with such a lovely warm room sound. The backing vocal harmonies come across very well. No wonder this obscure little song is such a favourite among Slade fans.
'Man who speeks evil'
Out come the maracas again. This track sounds like it has really benefitted from Tim Turan's remastering. The guitar parts absolutely shine and the bass is inventive and it's far easier to make out the lyrics at last. The short guitar freak out at the end of the song shows how good Dave Hill was, even back then.
'Slade talk to Melanie Readers'
A nice addition to finish off the disc is this interview disc. It seems to be taken from the cleanest copy of the flexi disc that was available. This will be an especially nice touch for those people who had the disc back in 1972 and would be tempted to buy this album again, so many years later.