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Song 6 - 'Far, Far Away', Slade

BBC 4 is currently dedicating an entire night of programming to Slade, and that has served to remind me of just how good a British rock band they were.

Slade is massively underrated as a group - I think maybe because they got hit singles and teenage girls liked them (and just maybe because they looked even more ridiculous than most groups did in the first half of the 1970s). That's death in terms of credibility, or at least it was in the 1970s. But I challenge any fan of Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple or Yes to listen to a Slade greatest hits album and tell me that Slade don't deserve a lot of proper respect as songwriters and performers.

My overseas readers might not appreciate the part that Slade plays in the traditional British Christmas. They had a Christmas hit in 1973 with a song called 'Merry Xmas Everybody". It was still at number one the following February, and it's been re-released pretty much every year since. If you spend a day in a British shopping centre in December, you will hear it, I promise you. I think it's been so enduring because whereas most Christmas songs are somewhat sickly and soppy, Merry Xmas Everybody just describes a typical family Christmas Day. It's a great song. For me, Christmas officially starts once I've heard it on the radio.

But tempting though it is to choose it as my next song (what with Christmas and all), it's not my favourite Slade song. That would be 'Far, Far Away', which is also lead singer Noddy Holder's favourite. (He wrote it.) And while I'm going on about how underrated they are, I can't imagine any other singer spitting out a line like "I've seen the palace lights from high upon Montmartre" quite like Noddy could...

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kargicq
Dec. 22nd, 2012 08:19 am (UTC)
Dan and I liked that. I'll have to look up Slade on Spotify. I think I like the music better when I'm not getting distracted by how daft they all look in their white flares and pudding-bowl haircuts! (BTW - surely he said "the Paris lights"?) - Neuromancer
philmophlegm
Dec. 22nd, 2012 10:17 am (UTC)
That would make more sense admittedly. Funny, I've always heard it as "palace" - although I agree that there probably aren't many palaces visible from Montmartre!

The white flares look is by far the most sensible costumes Slade ever had I'm afraid.
jane_somebody
Jan. 7th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
I haven't heard that one before, I like it, thanks for the link.

I certainly don't hate 'Merry Xmas Everybody', but my favourite charts-type Christmas song has to be 'Fairytale of New York' (I see from wikipedia that that makes me boringly mainstream, oh well.)
philmophlegm
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot!


A perfect song for concerned parents at Christmas: "Children, this is what will happen to your teeth if you eat all the sweets you had for Christmas in one go."
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )