Slade

B-Sides

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AllMusic Review by

One of the greatest quests in Slade collecting has been to gather up each and every one of the non-LP B-sides that punctuate their career. From the outset, the band was almost religious about ensuring there was more to every single than simply an advertisement for the next LP, and so such deathless classics as "Wondering Y," "Don't Blame Me," "Candidate," "Man Who Speaks Evil," and the fiddle stomp masterpiece "Kill 'Em at the Hot Club Tonite" piled up, each one as vital as the smash hit that lurked on the other side of the wax, and almost all of them destined to lie in obscurity for three decades. Incredibly, this is the first time many of these tracks have even seen the light of day since the early '70s. An alternate take of "One Way Hotel" opens the show, one of a handful of songs that predate the band's first hit, "Get Down and Get with It." Two rockers, "Do You Want Me" and "Gospel According to Rasputin" then fly from the flip of that 45 and, with that pairing the serious stuff begins, the aforementioned flood of flips that any other band would have been thrilled to put out as their latest A-sides. Neither does the quality dip too far on the other side of the hit years. Disc two (and the last gasp of disc one) coversSlade's late '70s and 1980s, but still manages to serve up such jewels as "Forest Full of Needles," "Ready Steady Kids," and "OHMS." Indeed, it's only when the obvious filler starts -- such as the "swing version" of "My Oh My," an instrumental race through "You Boyz Make Big Noize," and so forth -- that one's attention really starts to drift. But that's three-quarters of the way through a 40-song compilation, and that's a long way to go when you're talking about B-sides.

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