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Whatever Happened To Slade? Daryl Easlea produces the first in depth look at the iconic band in 30 years

Whatever Happened To Slade?

Daryl Easlea produces the first in depth look at the iconic band in 30 years

by Ancient Champion, Columnist
first published: August, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

They were from the Black Country, maybe that made Slade's piss boil like few bands ever did.

Slade Book CoverWHATEVER HAPPENED TO SLADE - When the Whole World Went Crazee
Daryl Easlea
Omnibus Press
Published October 12th, 2023

Whatever happened to Slade? Nod of course, is now a national treasure. Some Might Say a sometimes somewhat grumpy one. The band's early 70s discography went on to become Oasis’ first LP. Everything else you want to know about Slade is documented in the forthcoming book, Whatever Happened to Slade - When the Whole World Went Crazee by acclaimed rock journalist, Daryl Easlea, published on October 12th by Omnibus. 

I’m not going to do too many did you knows here, but what you did know is supplemented by way more you need to know about one of the biggest and most iconic groups in the history of pop music in the UK. At their commercial height, Slade’s singles jumped straight to the top of the charts on their week of release, when so few did that we might as well say no one did it. On the way to number one the single Skweeze Me Pleeze Me sold 300,000 copies on it's first week of release. And people are hanging onto it, you never see Skweeze Me Pleeze Me in charity shops alongside the other slop. They were really without peer, although Wizzard, Sweet and Mud had a go. But they just weren’t hard enough. None of them were former skinheads who tore up the West Midlands with Get Down and Get With It. Slade were like a commercially viable Edgar Broughton Band.

Daryl Easlea quantifies the qualities that allowed the original quartet of Dave Hill, Noddy Holder, Jim Lea and Don Powell to endure long after their stock in trade glam rock realm subsided. There’s so much more to Slade than the annual beloved teeth pulling 'Merry Xmas Everybody', that custom SuperYob guitar or Noddy Holder’s mirrored hat.

Whenever they appeared on Top of the Pops my dad thought they were unreal puppets created by Gerry Anderson. They were from the Black Country, maybe that made Slade's piss boil like few bands ever did. What about their movie, Slade in Flame, why isn’t that on like channel 73 every week or something? Gritty. Could teach that Baz Lurhman dude a thing or two about pop icon creative fiction. 

Whatever Happened To Slade? is the first serious biography of the group in over three decades. It details the complete story of this singular band, as well as the personal histories of the four individuals who combined to turn Slade into a genuine phenomenon. 

After years in music retail, author Daryl Easlea began writing professionally in 1999 and became the deputy editor of Record Collector in 2000. He remains a regular contributor to the magazine, and was appointed editor of The Rare Record Price Guide in 2022. He also writes for MOJO and Prog. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Uncut, The Independent and The Glasgow Herald among others.

Whatever Happened To Slade? will be available in October and although it is only August, this is not even the first ‘getting a gift for grandad for Christmas’ product we have seen this week. It's almost too perfect isn't it? The book, the christmas single on the radio and in the rocking chair dad'll be dozing off in no time.

To be revisited in October I guess when it’s Oxford Bags and platform shoes hit the streets.


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Ancient Champion
Columnist

Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT while relentlessly recording and releasing instrumental easy listening music for difficult people. The Champ is working on Public Transport, a new short story collection that takes up where 2021's Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere (Disco City Books) left off. It should be ready in time for the summer holidays. More info at AncientChampion.com


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