Formed in 1966 in the English industrial midlands as the N'Betweens the band soon built up a formidable following on the live circuit playing their own versions of contemporary rock covers and obscure U.S. R&B records. A name change to Ambrose Slade and a record deal with Fontana records followed, but it wasn't until 1969 when they were signed up by former Jimi Hendrix manager and Animals bass player Chas Chandler did Slade begin to make themselves known to a wider audience.
Chandler changed their name to simply Slade and it was he along with publicist Keith Altham who changed their image to that of "Britain's first skinhead band," a move that - while it got them the publicity they wanted - didn't help with any chart success until 1971, when they released their version of an obscure Bobby Marchan track entitled "Get Down With It" which propelled the band into the chart of the day with a #16 hit.
By now they had grown their hair, and as the UK's flagship TV pop show, Top Of The Pops was now being transmitted in color, they adopted a "primary colors rule" approach and were one of the pioneering bands of the glam look. "Get Down With It" was soon followed up by the first of their six UK #1 hits "Coz I Luv."
Slade then embarked upon a five-year run of constant chart success in their homeland and were huge in Europe and Australia. Despite many attempts at breaking the US market they never really caught on with the record buying public but were influential nonetheless with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who witnessed them at New York's Academy. Simmonds has recently admitted that without Slade, there would have been no KISS.
It was to take America another decade before Slade received their first chart hits with the early eighties hits "My Oh My" and "Run Runaway." This success followed the publicity they received after Quiet Riot had scored successive #1 US hits with covers of two of Slade's biggest hits "Cum On Feel The Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," the latter which can be heard here as the show's closer.
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