Sunday, 31 December 2017


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Play It Loud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Play It Loud
Slade Play It Loud.jpg
Studio album by Slade
Released28 November 1970
LabelPolydor (UK), Cotillion (US)
ProducerChas Chandler
Slade chronology
(as Ambrose Slade, 1969)
Play It Loud
Coz I Luv You
Singles from Play it Loud
  1. "Shape of Things to Come"
    Released: 12 March 1970
  2. "Know Who You Are"
    Released: 20 September 1970
Play It Loud is the second studio album by the British rock group Slade. It was released by Polydor on 28 November 1970 but did not enter the charts. The album, produced by Chas Chandler, was the first to be released under the Slade name, as the band's 1969 debut Beginnings was released under the name Ambrose Slade.




Following the lack of commercial success of their debut Beginnings, the band and their new manager Chas Chandler began considering their next career move. Having not been pleased with the debut album, Chandler thought the band would benefit from writing their own material and a change of image. He decided that the band should project a skinhead image in the effort to generate interest in the band. Both guitarist Dave Hill and bassist Jim Lea were mortified by the revised image, but the band agreed to try the idea and adopted Dr Marten boots, braces, cropped hair and aggressive "bovver boy" posturing.[1]
Coinciding with the new image, Ambrose Slade changed their name to "The Slade", which was used on their single "Wild Winds Are Blowing", released in October 1969. The single was another commercial failure. In March 1970, the band's next single, "Shape of Things to Come", was released but also failed to chart. As a result, Chandler soon moved Slade from Fontana to Polydor Records, believing a higher profile label would boost sales.[2] The band continued recording songs for their next album, with Chandler assuming responsibility for the group's production. For the album, much of the material was written by the band.
In September 1970, "Know Who You Are" was released as the band's debut single on Polydor. However, it too was a commercial failure, as was its parent album, Play It Loud, when it was released in November. Afterwards, the band decided to drop their skinhead image and would achieve commercial success with their mid-1971 single "Get Down and Get with It". Speaking to Classic Rock in 2005, lead vocalist Noddy Holder recalled: "We got a lot of flak for being a skinhead band, so gradually we changed. We replaced Doc Martens with platform boots. We became more colourful and then it all went berserk — Dave the Superyob with his spacesuits and all the rest. It was a great laugh."[1]
Later in 1973, the album would achieve commercial success in Canada after it was released there by Polydor, reaching No. 40.[3] In a 1975 interview, Holder said: "Actually, Play It Loud did nothing at first. When it came out, we hadn't had any hit records, or any success, and it sold a few. It sold about ten thousand copies, something like that. But over the years, over the last four years since we've been having hits, it's still been selling slowly, slowly, and about two weeks ago, it reached a silver album."[4][5]


The band appeared on the UK show Disco 2 to promote the album. They made three appearances during 1970, performing "Shape of Things to Come", "Know Who You Are" and "Sweet Box". All three performances have never surfaced since broadcasting.

Track listing[edit]

1."Raven"Jim LeaNoddy HolderDon Powell2:37
2."See Us Here"Lea, Holder, Powell3:12
3."Dapple Rose"Lea, Powell3:31
4."Could I"Jimmy GriffinRobb Royer2:45
5."One Way Hotel"Lea, Holder, Powell2:40
6."The Shape of Things to Come"Barry MannCynthia Weil2:18
7."Know Who You Are"Lea, Holder, Powell, Hill2:53
8."I Remember"Lea, Powell2:55
9."Pouk Hill"Lea, Holder, Powell2:23
10."Angelina"Neil Innes2:49
11."Dirty Joker"Lea, Powell3:26
12."Sweet Box"Lea, Powell3:24

Song information[edit]

"Raven" is the album's opener, which AllMusic believes to have been inspired by Ten Years After. "See Us Here" was described as being "subtle Black Sabbath".[6] "Dapple Rose" features lyrics from Powell that refers to a horse. Recalling the inspiration behind the song, Powell recalled in 2009: "I've always had a fondness for horses and where I lived with my parents there were some fields over the back and there were always gypsies camping there. They used to have these horses and donkeys and they always looked dead to me. They were not looked after which was sad."[7] The song featured as the B-Side to "Know Who You Are". "Could I" is a cover of the 1969 song by Bread. "One Way Hotel" originally appeared as the B-Side to "Wild Winds are Blowing", but that version had more of a jazz influence in the guitar parts. This was altered for the version that appeared on Play It Loud. "The Shape of Things to Come" is a cover of the 1968 song by Max Frost and the Troopers. It band's performed the song on their first appearance on Top of the Pops, although the performance has not been seen since the original broadcast. "Know Who You Are" was originally an instrumental titled "Genesis", which appeared on Beginnings. The band reworked the song into a song featuring lyrics. It later achieved greater recognition after appearing on the band's 1972 live album Slade Alive!.
"I Remember" features lyrics by Powell about a man who loses his memory. In 1973, Powell would suffer memory issues after being involved in a major car accident. In a 2006 interview, Powell said: "That's strange, isn't it!! I wrote the lyrics! That's spooky! I don't remember what the inspiration was at the time when I wrote the lyrics to that one, but that is very weird!" "Pouk Hill" refers to a local hill in Wolverhampton, with the lyrics focusing on the band's experience there during a photo-shoot for the Beginnings album. The cover on the album featured a photo of the band on Pouk Hill, which the band didn't enjoy posing for due to the cold weather. The line "Dick took a shot and he got us" refers to the photographer Richard Stirlin. "Angelina" is a cover of the 1970 song by The World. Speaking of "Dirty Joker" in the liner notes for the band's Live at the BBC compilation, Lea stated: "We were showing off, really, and there's even a jazz bit in the middle, with Dave scatting and Don doing a bit of fancy drumming." "Sweet Box" is the album's closing track. Lea later recalled: "When Chas Chandler first heard it he thought the harmonies at the beginning were disguised swear words. But in fact, they came from the cover of a women's magazine full of sewing patterns. Five! Shade! Six! Size! Cut! Out! Girl! We just swapped the word 'patterns' for 'girl' at the end. Chas was a bit disappointed when he found out."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[8]
New Musical Expressfavourable
Q2/5 stars
Upon release, New Musical Express stated: "Aggressive - that's what the music and vocalising of Slade seems to be, though they vary the volume with great skill, at times quiet, then turning it up and shouting at the listener as in "Know Who You Are". They also bark out a love song to "Angelina", and get a good rhythm going with handclaps on "Dirty Joker", and on "Sweet Box" they attack the music ferociously with guitars and voices. Of the more tuneful items is "Could I". The lead vocalist is inclined to shout too much, but then, maybe that is the appeal of the group."[9]
In 1991, Q retrospectively commented: "By 1970's Play It Loud, they'd dropped the 'Ambrose' and succumbed to record company ideas, adopting skinhead garb, while giving their sound a tighter groove, best illustrated by the single of that moment, "The Shape of Things to Come". Some 20 years on, the track still sounds exciting and belligerent but the rest lacks real fire." AllMusic stated: "This album demonstrates Slade's image evolving, along with their sounds. Although the latter-day Slade were fun, it is the music of Ballzy and Play It Loud which was more serious and which demands repeated listenings. Wonder what would have happened if Slade had dismissed the humor and kept on this more serious course? They certainly had the chops for it, and this is, on the whole, a good record apart from what they became famous for.[10] In a review of the 2006 Salvo release of Beginnings and Play It Loud combined, AllMusic also stated: "Two solidly excellent albums that were surely combined only because both are so underrated that they might otherwise have been lost." The writer, Dave Thompson, felt the albums represented the band "as it struggled to come to grips with its own talent."[11]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1973)Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[12]40


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