6
Jul 07

SLADE – “Cvm On Feel The Noize”

FT + Popular53 comments • 4,074 views

#326, 4th March 1973

dave-hill.jpgSomething came up on the Sweet comments thread that tied in with a point I’ve been looking for a space to talk about, viz. what the “glam” in “glam rock” can possibly mean. Glamour? Well, of a sort – Bolan was glamorous, Bowie beautiful and overtly freaky, Eno an androgyne peacock, and so on. This is the version of “glam” that’s more easily exportable, the one that the film Velvet Goldmine picks up on, the one with all the sexual and cultural mystique. But then what about Slade, or the Sweet, or Gary Glitter or Roy Wood? What about their “brickies in dresses” version of glam, the louder, less poised one that seemed to take everything in the past and present pop atmosphere – skins and suedes, longhairs, pantomime drag acts, wrestlers, art school androgynes – and slap it all together with the contrast turned on full?

I have often had a problem with glamour – born squarely out of resentment, I admit – but not with glam: the absurdity, glee and aggression of Slade’s look win me at once. This is dressing up for the joy of it, even if it’s also a smart marketing move in an era where instant teatime TV impact was becoming half the battle. The glam rockers look part ridiculous and half superheroic, and even the word – “GLAM!” – is like a comic book sound effect, kinetic and thrill-powered. I don’t know if they were asked very often why they dressed the way they did – I’m sure the response was along “because we can” lines: their look is an expression of liberated force just like Noddy’s bellow in “Cum On Feel The Noize” – “WELL IT MAKES ME MONEY!”

This will to stardom is what links Slade to Oasis, who covered this track even though they dressed much worse – the Gallaghers entrants in a now-long line of British pop wannabes who thrilled the press by proclaiming fame and worship as theirs by right. Whether Slade made similar statements verbally I don’t know but that sense of entitlement comes through in the music from their all-conquering glory year, 1973. I have never owned a copy of “Feel The Noize” that plays as loud as the song wants to be – live this must have been an awesome, frightening spectacle, the thick-cut hooks and Noddy’s buzzsaw shriek coming through clearer, louder and stronger than they can on disc.

(This song stayed at Number 1 for four weeks, and during the fourth I was born. My contemporary existence won’t be a relevant factor in these entries for another couple of years, though. But I thought I’d mention it.)

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Comments

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  1. 26
    Marcello Carlin on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Yes, and JW used “Time Is Tight” as his chart rundown music. Indispensable school lunchtime listening.

  2. 27
    Waldo on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Johnnie’s signature tune, though, was and is “Because they’re young” by Dwaine Eddy. His tendency to frequently go against the playlist drew me to him even more. On one occasion, he read out a few rude letters from teenaged girlies, fans of a certain group of tartan-wearing Sweaties (more of whom later, alas), who had taken offence to Walker slagging them off on air. Johnnie responded by saying that he was certainly not withdrawing his remarks and that “the day your idols produce anything as good as this, I will apologise”. He then played “Get Back”.

    ONE-NIL !!!!!

  3. 28
    Marcello Carlin on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Not long thereafter he “left” Radio One.

    Oh, and “pop-pop-POP! POP-POP THE QUESTION NOWWWWWW!!!!!”

    This is all scintillating reading for the teenagers innit?

  4. 29
    Waldo on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Oh yes, “Pop The Question”. Happy Days! We used to sing “Hop-Hop-Hop Hop-Hop the lesson Nowwwww!” when we didn’t fancy double maths.

    And, yes, Johnny W was invited to leave very soon after the Bay City Rollers slur (whoops, spolier!). The Head of Radio One (Derek Chinnery, I think it was) pleaded with him that “you have a lunch time show with lots of kids listening and you can’t just slag off the chart acts”. As Private Fraser would say “he was doooomed!!!!!!!”

    I hope any teens reading these ramblings are indeed interested in some of this. I was one myself at that time, although I never quite got into old time music hall. Leonard Sachs did nothing for me at all.

  5. 30
    Erithian on 10 Jul 2007 #

    A quick shudder as I remember that these are events of 30-odd years ago that we fortysomethings are talking about, and the equivalent for us would have been oldies telling stories of Vera Lynn and ITMA. It’s sobering to note that the exact mid-point between VE Day and today is the long hot summer of ’76! – just shows how elastic time can seem.

  6. 31
    Tom on 10 Jul 2007 #

    I wonder sometimes who Popular’s youngest regular reader is!

  7. 32
    Erithian on 10 Jul 2007 #

    DJs with attitude – like it! I remember now JW described the Rollers as “musical garbage” on air. Way to go…

    When Mike Sweeney was on Piccadilly Radio in Manchester he famously refused to play anything by a certain quartet of tuneful Swedes. So much so that he made a jingle of someone going “’AVE YER GOT ANY ABBA?” just so he could sneer “NO!!”

  8. 33
    Tom on 10 Jul 2007 #

    DJs having a matey sneer at ver pop hits of the day is only a good thing if what they’re playing instead is actually better surely!! Not unlikely in the case of Walker and the Rollers I’m sure, but the current mob at Radio 1 plays this particular game a lot and gets it wrong almost every time.

  9. 34
    Waldo on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Shall we send the St Bernard out to try to find Rosie?

  10. 35
    Brian on 10 Jul 2007 #

    I wonder sometimes who Popular’s youngest regular reader is!

    I want to claim turf as oldest at 54 in October. Doc Mod was same age but alas she’s still holding out on us.

  11. 36
    Waldo on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Ah! I noticed Rosie opened comments on the next Number One. St Bernard back in the kennel…for the time being!

    Yes, come on, Doctor Mod. Cards on the table, boy!

  12. 37
    Waldo on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Ah! I noticed Rosie opened comments on the next Number One. St Bernard back in the kennel…for the time being!

    Yes, come on, Doctor Mod. Cards on the table!

  13. 38
    Waldo on 10 Jul 2007 #

    Sorry – Doctor Mod is female!! Whatamistakeatomakea!

  14. 39

    haha perhaps it is me! (this seems rather unlikely)

  15. 40
    Marcello Carlin on 10 Jul 2007 #

    One rave Style Council album review does not a Doctor Mod make!

  16. 41
    Lena on 10 Jul 2007 #

    I wasn’t a teenager until 1980. Does this make me the youngest?

    Sorry, you got me on Quiet Riot. There are some songs that can’t be covered, and this seems to be one of ’em.

  17. 42
    Billy Smart on 11 Jul 2007 #

    Tom and I are both 34, but that’s not exactly the first flush of youth.

  18. 43
    Rosie on 11 Jul 2007 #

    Erithian: Rosie – I hope your remark about moving on doesn’t mean you’re about to leave us!

    Oh, I didn’t know you were missing me – I’d moved on to the next thread!. It’s nice to feel appreciated!

    I have no intention of leaving, at least not for a while yet. As I intimated, we’ve passed through the period when everything was utterly familiar to me, into one where I’m familiar with some (like Slade), unfamiliar with others, know things I thought I didn’t and didn’t know things I thought I did. This was because by 1973 I’d moved on to other things – I liked Pink Floyd and Genesis and ELP (I still do, and it’s going to be fun when we get to punk), although I’ll be in touch with the charts again in a few years time. Meanwhile it’s an adventure and a learning experience.

    By the way, I’m 53 in three weeks and my stork is attached to David Whitfield’s Cara Mia

  19. 44
    Erithian on 12 Jul 2007 #

    OK then, just turned 45 and mine would be attached to the Shadows’ “Wonderful Land”.

  20. 45
    O SOBEK! on 12 Jul 2007 #

    My hunch is Doctor Casino may be in the running for youngest, he’s midtwenties at most. DanielRF or some such posts here some also right? Anyhow I’d give this a ‘ten’. RE: Quiet Riot I will say that their cover (not that any of us knew it was a cover) provoked a fervor in third grade (fourth grade?) matched by very few (Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the Fat Boys basically). And the corresponding album cover seemed nearly as awesome/terrifying to behold staring out at me from my Aunt’s album collection as Queen’s News of the World (STRONG PRAISE).

  21. 46
    Erithian on 13 Jul 2007 #

    Another appearance by Noddy on the Stuart Maconie Radio 2 show last night – http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/radcliffemaconie/ if you have one of those newfangled Radio Player thingies – where he was mainly talking about curry (Slade first visited the States in 1972 and asked where they could find an Indian restaurant – their host thought they meant a Red Indian themed restaurant!) but told a long story about how they first teamed up with Chas Chandler.

  22. 47
    Marcello Carlin on 13 Jul 2007 #

    “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” really should have been a number one.

  23. 48
    richard thompson on 24 May 2008 #

    I remember hearing this came in at number one as well on the Johnnie Walker show, they were really popular in my junior school at the time and I’ve still got the single, better than the xmas hit they were about to have, they performed it on TOTP the week before it made number one as did GG with I love you love, the only difference being the Slade record still sounds good today.

  24. 49
    Jonathan Bogart on 21 Sep 2008 #

    I’m not going to try to defend Quiet Riot — in fact, their cover has made Slade’s original unlistenable for me now, as I can hear nothing but 1983’s dullard roar.

  25. 50
    Lena on 19 Feb 2013 #

    Restless Rod: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/faces-cindy-incidentally.html Thanks for reading & commenting, everyone!

  26. 51
    Lena on 5 Mar 2013 #

    Friends say T.Rex is back: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/here-comes-everybody-t-rex-20th-century.html Thanks for reading everyone!

  27. 52
    lonepilgrim on 23 Mar 2013 #

    Happy Birthday Tom!

  28. 53
    hectorthebat on 27 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)
    BBC (UK) – Pop on Trial, Top 50 Songs from the 1970s (2008)
    Mojo (UK) – The Ultimate Jukebox: 100 Singles You Must Own (2003) 56
    Q (UK) – 50 Greatest British Tracks (2005) 37
    Q (UK) – The 1001 Best Songs Ever (2003) 946
    Q (UK) – The 50 Most Exciting Tunes Ever (2002) 37
    Q (UK) – The Ultimate Music Collection (2005)
    Panorama (Norway) – The 30 Best Singles of the Year 1970-98 (1999) 2
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)

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