May 07

SLADE – “Take Me Bak ‘Ome”

FT + Popular26 comments • 3,493 views

#315, 1st July 1972

If I’d taken five weeks to write the last Slade entry I’d have marked it higher – I don’t like what I didn’t like in “Cuz I Love You” any better but I respect how it’s lingered as a baleful presence in my head. “Take Me Bak ‘Ome” has had the chance to do similar but no luck: its stomp just doesn’t seem to ignite, at least not until time’s running out and Noddy starts sounding urgent as the seconds tick down to the fade. Where it scores is in its noisy brutality – the nasty sprawl of the guitar, the massive handclaps after the first chorus which sound like someone beating out iron. But I want it to do more than that – maybe I just don’t like Slade as much as I thought I did. .




  1. 1
    Erithian on 11 May 2007 #

    You’re right, Tom, this is the least impressive of Slade’s six number ones, and if you asked anyone to name all of them this would probably be sixth out of most people’s memory banks. After they became big this was perhaps the closest they got to the basic-ness of “Get Down and Get With It”. Sophistication could wait.

  2. 2
    Rosie on 11 May 2007 #

    Hey Tom, I’ve been pining!

    There comes a point when one Slade single sounds pretty much like any other Slade single. Very enjoyable all the same, but I agree that this is the most anonymous of their number ones and the one I find myself straining hardest to remember.

    That might be because I’d finished my A-levels and was spending a couple of weeks traipsing up and down the Mosel between Koblenz and Cochem, running on bratwurst and cheap local plonk, before my last two days at school (but the anthem for finishing school, very apt really, is yet to come and I’ll say no more.

    Five is about the right spot – enjoyable but nothing special. But then I actually prefer the rawness of ‘Coz I Luv You’ to the more glitzy Slade these days.

  3. 3
    Chris Brown on 12 May 2007 #

    As I still haven’t been born yet, my knowledge of Slade is dependant on what I’ve heard since, which in turn depends on posterity’s view of them, and for that reason I don’t think I’ve ever heard this all the way through. I even looked up a sound clip online to check whether it sounded familiar and it doesn’t, beyond the fact that it sounds *exactly* like Slade.

    If this had been ‘Far Far Away’ or ‘Radio Wall Of Sound’ I’d be more helpful, sorry.

  4. 4
    intothefireuk on 15 May 2007 #

    Yes not one of their better efforts and no doubt only successful on the back of their earlier hits. Still it is Slade and you didn’t have to wait too long before the next stomp came along.

  5. 5
    Marcello Carlin on 15 May 2007 #

    Only number one for a week so that week must have been a pretty slow one.

  6. 6
    Tom on 15 May 2007 #

    It’s the Hindu Times of its day.

  7. 7
    Waldo on 17 May 2007 #

    Hello again, Tom. I had a horrible feeling that it would be “starry starry night” forever. As John Sebastian would say, Welcome Back.

    Yes, this was Slade’s runt of the litter unquestionably. An unremarkable piece, which deserved Number One much less than the brilliant Goodbye to Jane, which was kept off the top by “Ding a Ling” later on in the year. The supreme irony of this was that Berry recorded this live in Coventry of all places, and in the crowd (and thus participating in the recording) was one Noddy Holder.

    I bet Rosie knew that!

  8. 8
    Erithian on 17 May 2007 #

    Waldo – spoiler or not, this is a wonderful nugget of information (as is Tony Blackburn picking “School’s Out” as record of the week). In both cases – is this true? are you sure?!! We’ll talk a bit more about Berry and his audience shortly, but for now this revises the record books as to the total of number ones Noddy performed on!

  9. 9
    Waldo on 17 May 2007 #

    Erithian – Yep. Both true. I cannot substantiate Blackburn picking “School’s Out” other than a personal memory. I was particualerly astonished as Tony usually only ever went for black artistes, mostly Mowtown. Alice Cooper couldn’t have been more different, even if he did hail from Detroit…

    As for Noddy, I heard this snippet form the great man himself on a radio interview a couple of years ago. Good one, isn’t it!

  10. 10
    Erithian on 17 May 2007 #

    Another unlikely record of the week for “Timmy Bannockburn” (as Peelie called him) was Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light”.

    Noddy – yes, best one I’ve heard since learning that Eric Idle and Bill Oddie went to the 1966 World Cup Final together. Any other instances of celebs at unlikely landmark events…?

  11. 12
    Doctor Casino on 25 May 2007 #

    Hey, this rocks pretty hard! Worth turning the volume up for. I like this, maybe I should go back and give the other Slade a closer look. I would rather have “Hindu Times” if it came down to it, but that includes sentimental value.

  12. 13
    Sid on 28 Sep 2007 #

    The song that started my life-long love affair with Slade. I still love listening to it on the Slade Live Anthology album to this day. Slade are the loudest band I ever saw (4 times) and they really entertained the crowd.

    Noddy Jim Dave and Don – well done lads.
    Keep on Rockin’

  13. 14
    wichita lineman on 7 Aug 2008 #

    Following Coz I Luv You and Look Wot You Dun, both Beatlesque and minor key, I’d suggest this was the first Slade single to have their definitive stomp stamped into it. And after the relatively Mills and Boon lyrics on those two hits, TMBO introduced another Slade trademark, the red lips-hair-and-fingernailed Jezebel with a bottle of booze at the ready: is her name on this one Sidney or Cindy??

    That said, it’s all sound and fury, carried by the mud-and-thunder production, with virtually no melody or hook (in either guitar line or vocal). While I have total recall of the number ones around it, and a very clear memory of their next 45 entering the chart higher than anything my 7-year old self could remember, TMBO made no impression beyond a vague familiarity with the title. I only became familiar with it a little later thru Ronco’s 20 Fantastic Hits Vol 2. Maybe it was a live favourite?

  14. 15
    mike on 7 Aug 2008 #

    After “Baby Jump”, could this be the second least memorable Number One of the 1970s? I loved Slade, but I’m still struggling to remember what this sounded like.

  15. 16
    Billy Smart on 7 Aug 2008 #

    ‘Always Yours’ is perhaps yet more forgotten, but more memorable once you have heard it.

  16. 17
    wichita lineman on 7 Aug 2008 #

    I think most number ones, at least prior to the mid-90s, have a certain inevitability about them, but Always Yours felt like a no.3 or 4 even at the time!

    Any of the first four GG hits (Rock n Roll, I Didn’t Know I Loved You, Hello Hello I’m Back Again, Do You Wanna Touch Me) would have been harder to contest and all fell short. I seem to be one of the few people left who can still separate the man with the Fritzl eyebrows from his music, which I’m quite happy about.

    Likewise, Gudbuy T’ Jane shoulda made it, but I’ll take it as a trade-off for My Oh My stopping one place shy.

  17. 18
    DJ Punctum on 7 Aug 2008 #

    Well, there was quite considerable competition when Gudbuy T’Jane was out and in the wider scheme of things they were never going to wrest the top slot from Chuck or Little Jimmy. But then that’s the randomness which ends up defining what does or doesn’t make number one; I’d wager that R&R Pt 2 outsold Always Yours by a considerable margin but the latter was only top for a week and it may well have been a slow week for sales in general. I think there’s still a sense of inevitability about number ones, especially the current one, whose progress I have been gloomily noting in the manner of someone who knows full well that the 60-ton safe is hurtling down towards someone’s head from a 50th floor window but there’s nothing that can be done to stop it.

  18. 19
    wichita lineman on 7 Aug 2008 #

    Agreed, on the whole, but I think the period when records would flash in and out of the top spot before the public could get a grip on them for posterity led to some which lacked that inevitability. Of course, I’m barred from mentioning them by name but one that became the very first to enter at 1 and drop the second week (and was entirely forgettable) marked a sea change.

    R n R must have outsold Always Yours, yes. And I reckon the biggest seller this summer could be Gabriella Cilmi’s Sweet About Me which has yet to break the Top 5. The current no.1 is the kind of thing that I would NEVER have expected to reach the top here. So grim. Some consolation – I’ll lay good money on it staying there as long as Always Yours, as there’s one of those 100% inevitabilty no.1s waiting in the wings…

  19. 20
    Pete Baran on 7 Aug 2008 #

    The difference partially comes out of the stratifying of musical genres. In the seventies we are still talking about one main outlet for pop music (wunnerful) which nevertheless meant that if something radically different did get airply, it was open for new people to pick up on. The chart inevitability I think comes very much from hindsight (plus of course the ranks and ranks of number two and threes which could have happily fit in this list if not for circumstance).

    I am trying to think of the first number one which I noticed to do feel like it was only bought by its fanbase / or a genre fanbase. Clearly I can’t talk about it here but I can think of some late 80’s-ish tracks which might fit that bill before it started to get more commonplace in the late 90’s.

  20. 21
    DJ Punctum on 7 Aug 2008 #

    In historical terms it would probably be something like “Lady Madonna” – only two weeks at the top, eight weeks on the chart in total, straight up and straight down and out again pretty quickly, and obviously for fans only.

    There’s also one very clear example – well, three of them – of this happening in the early eighties but hey hey.

  21. 22
    Pete Baran on 7 Aug 2008 #

    Yeah, I suppose it did happen to the Beatles! The phenomenon I guess is not that different to the rise of some novelty singles which people find hilarious, buy and then never get played again (again there’s a few of these in the eighties) and maybe death singles too. The difference I guess may lie in the reason to buy it.
    a) Fanbase singles: I must buy because I love band and want to be able to hear the track NOW and wheneve I want
    b) Novelty singles: Must own first to play to people so they think I am a fun guy to be with*
    c) Death singles: Must show appreciation for peorson I did not appreciate that much in life.

    In all of these speed of buying are paramount to the reason its being bought. As opposed what we may assume to be “classic” assent of the pop single: namely like it a lot on the radio, want to buy it. This model gets balls up by formatted radio and pre-release to radio singles up to a month in advance (which seemed common in the 90’s).

    *Could be complicated by age group of buyers

  22. 23
    DJ Punctum on 7 Aug 2008 #

    And of course there’s also (as far as the eighties and beyond are concerned):
    d) Good cause singles (though these are tangentially related to both B and C): Buy it to SHOW YOU CARE.

  23. 24
    lonepilgrim on 1 Mar 2010 #

    …and if you eer wondered what Slade sounded like live, here you go:


  24. 25
    lonepilgrim on 2 Sep 2018 #

    Listening to Slade now I can imagine them carving out a career similar to AC/DC in different circumstances. As well as the primitive stomp of the Glam beat there are some crunchy riffs, syncopated bass and Noddy’s yowling vocal. All of that is undercut by Dave Hill’s huge Panto tendencies however and that desire to appeal to a wider audience perhaps prevented the more ‘credible’ career

  25. 26
    Gareth Parker on 18 May 2021 #

    I actually rather like this. Not Slade’s strongest chorus in my view, but there is a stomp and a swagger here that I admire. A generous 7/10 from me.

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