Slade in their skinhead phase in from left: Powell, Lea, Holder, Hill. Regulars on the club circuit, they had also recorded a privately pressed four-track EP. Signed to Columbia Records, the band released three singles in Later, back in their home town of Wolverhampton , the musicians met again and this time Holder agreed to join the group.
Jim Lea , whose musical background and strong bass guitar skills were considered an asset, had already been recruited. During , the band recorded the track "Delighted to See You" which remained unreleased until , where it featured on the various artists compilation Psychedelia at Abbey Road. Although the group did not record again for roughly two years, they built up a respectable reputation on the live circuit. The group spent a week in the Philips studio at Stanhope Place recording an album, after which Baverstock offered to sign the group to Fontana Records if they changed their name and obtained London-based management.
The band were initially hesitant because of the reputation gained as the 'N Betweens' but eventually agreed to Ambrose Slade, a name inspired by Baverstock's secretary, who had named her handbag Ambrose and her shoes Slade. The band's debut album Beginnings , released in mid, was a commercial failure, as was the instrumental single "Genesis" and the follow-up single " Wild Winds Are Blowing ".
Chandler was impressed with what he heard in the studio, and after seeing the band live the following day, offered to manage them. As Chandler had previous managerial experience with Jimi Hendrix , the band accepted. The band adopted a skinhead look as an attempt to gain publicity from what was a newsworthy youth fashion trend but this also added an unwelcome association with football hooliganism.
In , the band shortened their name to Slade and released a new single, a cover of " Shape of Things to Come " which despite a performance on United Kingdom music show Top of the Pops , failed to chart. Later though, the album would be retrospectively well received by fans and critics and earn a silver disc for sales. Chandler had been managing the band for almost two years without success when he suggested releasing a version of the Bobby Marchan song " Get Down and Get With It ", originally performed by Little Richard.
Slade still enjoyed a good reputation as a live act and the song had been used in their performances for many years. Always popular, the song's lyrics demanded audience participation and it was hoped that the feeling of a live gig would be projected into the studio recording.
Hill's stage costumes also became notable during this period. The song was written in half an hour and started a writing partnership which would continue throughout Slade's career.
Upon hearing the track played to him acoustically, a pleased Chandler predicted the song would make number one. While recording, the band felt the song's sound to be too soft, and so clapping and bootstamping were added. The song's misspelled title also became a trademark for Slade while causing a furor among British school teachers.
The single became Slade's second UK number one and charted in a number of other countries, including America where it reached number 97 in the Billboard singles chart. Another worldwide hit for Slade, the single again failed to impress in America where it made number A promotional video with dancers was shown instead.
A car crash in Wolverhampton on 4 July left Powell in a coma and his year-old girlfriend, Angela Morris, dead. Powell, who'd suffered breaks to both ankles and five ribs, successfully recovered after surgery and was able to rejoin the band ten weeks later in New York, where they recorded " Merry Xmas Everybody " — in the middle of a heatwave.
It marked a change from previous records, being more piano based and sounding more like a novelty song. During the recording sessions, Powell who was walking with the aid of a stick, had to be lifted up to his drum kit. It became Slade's best-selling single ever.
The song has remained popular and has been released many times since, charting on a number of occasions. The band considered a number of screenplays before settling on Slade in Flame , a gritty tale of the rise and fall of a fictional s group called Flame; the story was based on true music business events involving Slade and various other groups of the time.
Critics loved it, but it was thought that its bleak, noir atmosphere confused Slade fans who were used to Slade delivering a good time. Stateside —77 [ edit ] By mid, the band had become disillusioned with their lack of success in America. Feeling that they were becoming stale and had achieved all they could in Europe, Slade decided to a make a permanent move to the States and try to build a solid reputation from live performances; just as they had previously done in the UK.
Between tours Holder and Lea began writing for a new album which was heavily influenced by the USA and aimed at an American audience. Released in April, it failed to chart at all, the first to do so since the band's rise to fame in Overall, Slade's American venture was seen as a failure, although the band felt improved and rejuvenated.
Louis, Philadelphia, and New York was not translated into US airplay, however, and the band returned to the UK at the beginning of to find that punk rock was the new popular style of rock and that they were largely forgotten and out of fashion. The track was performed on the children's show Blue Peter , but complaints arose due to supposed drug references and the record was subsequently banned by the BBC.
The single proved to be a moderate success, peaking at number 32 in the UK. Based on English football chants , it was intended to appeal to fans of the sport but failed to make any impact whatsoever,  other than making the airplay-based charts of Radio Luxembourg and Manchester's Piccadilly Radio. It has however been used in successful advertising campaigns in recent years.
The bouncer was later jailed for three months for instigating the attack on Holder, after he had told the club bouncers to stop hurting the kids in the crowd who were pushed up against the stage, during the show.
Holder showed his mettle by performing the next night as planned, although he had a broken nose, at a club in Cleethorpes , Lincolnshire. The story of the attack would later be written into the single "Knuckle Sandwich Nancy", which Holder insisted would be released as a single.
The band said in contemporary interviews that RCA and Chas Chandler objected to the single's release, so it came out on the Cheapskate label, rather than on RCA, the label that they were contracted to. In late , the band released " Rock 'n' Roll Bolero ", which was another commercial failure.
In , the band released a further three singles: All failed to chart. The Slade newsletter of the time announced that "Ginny, Ginny" had made the top in the UK but not the official top Lea in particular disagreed with Chandler on production decisions. As a result, Chandler offered to sever his association with the band. Slade, not wishing to be rid of Chandler entirely, asked him to stay on for the time being as their manager, which Chandler agreed to do. In late , Lea formed The Dummies as a side project, with his brother Frank.
They released three singles, which received plenty of radio airplay but sales suffered from distribution problems. Holder was said to have turned the position down, despite Slade's current situation, and his loyalty to the band. As a result, the band stopped working together and Hill started driving couples to their weddings in his own Rolls-Royce , to earn money. The business never really took off, as Hill only drove one couple a pair of fans.
Slade were suggested, but Hill, still demoralised, had effectively left the band and initially refused to take part when asked by the other band members.
Eventually, Chandler went to his home and convinced Hill to play what should have been a farewell performance in front of 65, rock fans, instead of Slade's disbanding and disappearing without a trace. To Hill's astonishment, the band stole the show and quickly became the darlings of the music press and radio.
Afterwards, the band signed to Cheapskate Records, owned by Chandler, Lea and his brother Frank, which gave the band more control of their material and products. Another extended play followed in November, titled " Xmas Ear Bender " which peaked at number The album was given plenty of promotion and spent 15 weeks in the UK charts, peaking at number The idea for the new track came after a performance in Amsterdam at the Paradiso Club.
An enthusiastic audience who would not go home were overheard chanting by Lea, who was downstairs in the dressing room.
Realising the potential of the chant, the song " We'll Bring the House Down " was written and released in January Aimed at the new audience which consisted of mainly heavy metal fans, it showed Slade's heavier rock sound. Also called We'll Bring the House Down it peaked at number Although not a hit, it served to keep Slade in the public eye while they were writing new material and planning a European tour. The band refused to return so soon, and opted to play the Castle Donnington Heavy Rock Festival instead.
In May, the band released " Knuckle Sandwich Nancy " which featured lyrics commenting on the assault on Holder in the Welsh nightclub. Although eagerly wanted as a single by the band, Chandler was not entirely convinced and thus it was half-heartedly released and failed to chart.
The band blamed Chandler for losing interest, and began to manage themselves. The next couple of UK singles would still be released under the Cheapskate label but with RCA pressing and distributing the records, then a full RCA release would start. The track continued to follow a more heavy metal sound and made number 29 in the UK.
It remains Slade's most metal-directed and heaviest sounding album to date. This time, however, it only managed to get to number Although a gatefold release with two extra live tracks, it only managed to reach 51 in the charts.
It only made number 50 in the UK but was a hit in Poland where it reached number two. American breakthrough —84 [ edit ] Although Slade enjoyed some minor success, RCA Records had higher expectations and sent them away to write songs to be considered for release in The label was delighted with both the tracks and hired outside producer John Punter to work with the band to record them.
This was the first time the band had another producer since Chandler. Punter's methods differed to those Slade were used to, in that the band recorded all their parts separately.
This method eventually met with the band's approval, except for Holder, who believed this method was ruining their unique chemistry and was losing their rock n roll edge. It became a huge hit, peaking at number five in the Billboard charts  and helping their debut album " Metal Health " to the top, selling seven million copies on the way. Its success, it has been suggested, was partly due to the accompanying music video which was filmed at Eastnor Castle in Ledbury , Herefordshire, England and was heavily shown on the MTV music channel.
He was later diagnosed with hepatitis C. The band returned to the UK and did not tour again, mainly due to differences within the band and problems in Holder's family life. Entitled " All Join Hands ", the song made number 15 in the charts. The single marked a return for Slade's trademark of spelling titles incorrectly, which had not been done since the hit "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me".
Despite being a radio-friendly track, the single only peaked at number 50 in the UK  Neither "7 Year Bitch" nor "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" was released in America but the single " Little Sheila " was, where it reached number 86 in the Billboard charts and number 13 in the American mainstream rock chart.
Reported to be one of the band's most polished productions, the band aimed to produce an album where all tracks were potential hit singles. In the UK, the album reached number 60,  whilst in America it made number It also charted in other European countries.
Influenced by the Beastie Boys ' musical style, it lacked the synthesiser sound of the album.