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May 07

SLADE – “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”

FT + Popular17 comments • 2,629 views

#319, 9th September 1972

“Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-YEAH!” – that’s the point of this single, really: the coda where Noddy stops saying weer crazee and simply goes (goez?) crazee-er, his voice finally catching up with the runaway train drumming that’s been goading him every chorus to just let it go. The rest of the single – verses in particular – are simply a necessary warm up.

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Comments

  1. 1
    doofuus2003 on 30 May 2007 #

    I feel the chance to get the first comment should not be missed, sitting here in Savannakhet, Lao PDR. But like Tom, I can’t think of much to say about this. Probably would never have been No.1 if it was their first single, but by now Slade were on a roll and many would have bought it unheard, just to get the latest

  2. 2
    Billy Smart on 30 May 2007 #

    I don’t know how to do one of those stork pictures, but this is where I come in! It could be better, it could be worse… Is this the one where the Top of the Pops performance has some rather dizzying editing in time to the “Ma-Ma-Ma”s?

  3. 3
    Erithian on 30 May 2007 #

    Takes me back to a fairly dismal caravan holiday on the Yorkshire coast, listening to the chart rundown as Slade came in at 2 and following the news of the Munich Olympics massacre. This was where Slade really got into their stride, with the “wall of sound” effect on full bore and turning TOTP into a party. Possibly their best intro, a guitar sound to rival Alice, and listen out for Nod going “whoopee!” as it gets, as you say, crazee-er.

    Number 2 Watch – this and David Cassidy between them denied T. Rex another number one with “Children of the Revolution”.

  4. 4
    O SOBEK! on 30 May 2007 #

    Yeah I love this song, God to be 13 with this and “School’s Out” on the charts – can you imagine??? Both have this (not really) threatening aspect to them, a more tongue in cheek “Kick Out the Jams”, probably the closest forebears to “God Save the Queen” yet with the Pistols going both more tongue in cheek and more threatening. Question for the Elders – how much of a prescence did Slade have stateside at this time? And why weren’t they bigger over here?

  5. 5
    Erithian on 31 May 2007 #

    “Elders” – blimey! Yes, it was pretty good to be 10 with those two around, and Roxy, Mott the Hoople and “Layla” further down (see http://everyhit.com/retrocharts/1972-SeptemberC.html). In answer to your question, their presence Stateside at the time was virtually nil – I remember a piece in Record Mirror in early ’75 titled “New York gets Slade”, reporting a gig opened by Noddy with the words “This is Central Park and we’re gonna rock’n’roll…” They were on the wane in the UK by then though, and trying to break the US didn’t help their fortunes here as I recall.

  6. 6
    Marcello Carlin on 31 May 2007 #

    Indeed, fatally impeded them.

    Elton John once approached Slade when both were gigging in the States and expressed his astonishment that they weren’t playing stadiums there.

    The likely truth is that for American media demographics they fell between too many stools – not country-rock, not LOUD HEAVY ROCK METAL, not quite bubblegum, not quite unalloyed mainstream rock, plus the traditional suspicion of “funny costumes” – but these questions are more aptly discussed when we get to their next number one.

  7. 7
    Erithian on 31 May 2007 #

    Another story relating to a future Slade number one is that their biggest hit single was recorded in New York in the summer of ’73, and they used a harmonium John Lennon was using while recording “Mind Games” in the studio next door. Lennon was one of the few people in New York who knew who Noddy Holder was! Much more on that particular song when we get to it…

  8. 8
    Waldo on 31 May 2007 #

    My abiding memory of this track was the cruel pleasure I took in finally convincing a young female schoolmate,who was a rabid Rod Stewart fan,that the plastic jock had been knocked off the top after just a week. She hadn’t heard the chart rundown,which came out on a Tuesday in those days, and gathered her information only on the Thursday when TOTP was broadcast. An excellent way to impress a girl, I do not think. She blossomed into a cracker, as I remember…

  9. 9
    wwolfe on 4 Jun 2007 #

    I *was* 13 when this and “School’s Out” were out – although only the latter was on the radio. (I seem to recall eventually hearing “Gudbye t’ Jane” once on a Cleveland radio station.) This is my favorite Slade song and it meant a huge amount to me. I probably was the only person in my tiny Ohio town to own this album when it was new – I think it was the album cover, with the band’s name scrawled on their extended hands, and their totally rude, we-don’t-give-a-shit (yet cheeky) haircuts that got me. I hadn’t heard their music, so that’s all I can think it might have been that convinced me to take a shot on it. (Maybe some praise in the rock magazine Circus played a part, too. Or that their producer was Chas Chandler, since I was a big Animals fan.)

    I bought the album the autumn after my dad died, and this song was one of the handful that kept me going in a bad period. A lot to hang on what might be seen as a thin reed, but what’s a Pop Heaven for if not that? I knew that for the duration of that great fade, I wanted to BE in that huge mass of people singing along with Noddy, because if all those people could be so filled with life and hope and determination and shared joy, then so could I – at least for as long as the record lasted. That kind of emotional support strikes me as one of the basic purposes that loving music can serve.

  10. 10
    Rosie on 18 Jun 2007 #

    My favourite Slade, I think. A wild and reckless summer.

    I see you’ve all been busy while I’ve been having an enforced absence owing to moving home (again) and trying to sort out a new broadbean connection. But I’m back now, with Popular to catch up on.

  11. 11
    Martin Skidmore on 11 Jul 2007 #

    Slade were probably my favourite band at the time, around my first flush of passion for pop music, and this is my favourite of their singles. I’d have given it 10, if only for Noddy’s performance.

  12. 12
    alan on 18 Sep 2007 #

    slade at their best,loud and proud,best live group of the seventies,I was seventeen in 1972 and slade were simply the best,good A sides ,great B sides on the single records, simply a good time band,should be in the british hall of fame, nobody came close to them

  13. 13
    richard thompson on 23 May 2008 #

    I remember it being on TOTP at christmas time 1972, weren’t there two editions of it then, I’m sure it was xmas day when there was a new girl in Pans People who was unwrapped.

  14. 14
    punctum on 20 Mar 2011 #

    TPL FINALLY gets to ’73 and to glam proper, and how better to begin than this single’s parent album?

    http://nobilliards.blogspot.com/2011/03/slade-slayed.html

  15. 15
    Ken Shinn on 28 Mar 2012 #

    Does Noddy sing that he wants enough booze “to fill up Dave Hill’s left shoe”? I love that line.

  16. 16
    Lena on 4 Dec 2012 #

    Children, don’t behave: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/prophetprofit-t-rex-children-of.html Thanks for reading, everyone!

  17. 17
    hectorthebat on 25 Jun 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010)
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    Zig Zag (UK) – Gillett & Frith’s Hot 100 Singles (1975)
    Panorama (Norway) – The 30 Best Singles of the Year 1970-98 (1999) 8
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)
    Toby Creswell (Australia) – 1001 Songs (2005)
    Giannis Petridis (Greece) – 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century (2003)

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