are an English rock band from Wolverhampton/Walsall. They rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s with 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones. The British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles. They were the first act to achieve three singles enter at number one; all six of the band's chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. Total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best selling single, "Merry Xmas Everybody", has sold in excess of one million copies. Following an unsuccessful move to the United States in 1975, Slade's popularity waned but was unexpectedly revived in 1980 when they were last minute replacements for Ozzy Osbourne at the Reading Rock Festival. The band later acknowledged this to have been one of the highlights of their career. The original line up split in 1992 but the band reformed the following year as Slade II. The band has continued, with a number of line-up changes, to the present day. They have now shortened the group name back to Slade. A number of diverse artists have cited Slade as an influence, including grunge icons Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, punk pioneers the Ramones, Sex Pistols, the Undertones, the Runaways and the Clash, glam metal bands Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Poison and Def Leppard and pop-rock stalwarts the Replacements, Cheap Trick and Oasis.

Links To Peel

Slade had been a working band for a number of years before achieving major success. In 1969, under the name of Ambrose Slade, they recorded a hard rock album, including material written by some of the artists Peel had played on Top Gear, but it was unsuccesful - although it did eventually turn up (at 3:26) among the rare records from his collection in the Rare, Precious Or Beautiful video he made in 1995. They then decided to change their image and become a skinhead band - a move prompted by their manager Chas Chandler, who had previously handled Peel favourites Jimi Hendrix and Soft Machine and knew how to use publicity to good effect. Under Chandler's guidance they quickly became a chart-topping band[1]. But even if their early image didn't endear them to Peel's audience of that time (skinheads being known for beating up hippies) their first hit was "Get Down With It", a cover of a song by Peel favourite Little Richard, so the DJ was intrigued enough to book them for a session in 1972. 

In an article written by Peel for Super Star Magazine [1] in 1974, he mentioned the band as making the 70's as an exciting musical era: 

In some 27 years of buying records I cannot remember having ever sat down and listened to a band's entire recorded output as I have done with Slade's today. Hearing the early material for the first time and hearing the great hits again after a year or two, I'm genuinely impressed with the part the band have played in making the 1970s such an exciting musical era. And I don't say that because I'm paid to say it either. 

Peel on the same article also predicted that the end of the 70's, Slade would be responsible for the best of British popular music:

I'm confident that we'll be able to look back at the 1970s and say, without fear of contradiction, that Slade have been responsible for the very best of British popular music. I expect too that they'll still be making great records in the 1980s. I certainly hope they will. 

However, Peel did not predict the rise of punk, which totally changed his music opinions on most bands of the early 70's he liked. Amongst the casualities were Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Yes and Slade itself. None of these bands got any substantial airplay on Peel's shows in the 80's and beyond.

Peel mentioned to Stuart Maconie on his 19 January 1997 show that his favourite Slade song was The Bangin' Man. The song was played on his show after Stuart Maconie had had singer Noddy Holder as a guest on his previous programme.


  • Their session only appears to be available on Live At The BBC, Salvo 2009. Although the tracks are credited as coming from Sounds Of The Seventies, the sleeve notes state they were recorded on 9 May 1972.

1. Recorded: 1972-05-09. Broadcast: 26 May 1972. Repeated: 14 July 1972

  • Move Over Baby / Let The Good Times Roll / Darlin' Be Home Soon / Keep On Rockin

Other Shows Played

Slade - Keep On Rocking

Slade - Keep On Rocking


Top Of The Pops

See Also


  1. In Jonathon Green's Days In the Life (London 1988, p.141) Robert Wyatt is quoted as saying: "Chas was always looking for Slade, and eventually he found them, meanwhile he had to put up with people like us and Jimi Hendrix" .

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