In for a Penny: Raves & Faves

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In for a Penny: Raves & Faves functions as a "more of the best" companion to Shout! Factory's excellent 2004 Get Yer Boots On: The Best of Slade, the first comprehensive American hits collection for Slade, the seminal British glam band. If Get Yer Boots On had all the big hits -- from "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" and "Cum on Feel the Noize" to "Run Runaway" -- In for a Penny concentrates on hits that didn't climb as high on the charts, as well as deep album tracks, B-sides, and non-LP singles. This isn't much use for big hardcore fans, since most of the rarities appear on expanded reissues or other British comps, but this isn't designed with them in mind: it's for those who have Get Yer Boots On, or some other hits compilation, and want to hear more. That's exactly what need In for a Penny serves: compilation producers Dan Epstein (who also provides excellent annotation) and Derek Dressler sort through the abundance of Slade recordings and whittles it down to a dynamite 15-track collection. This begins in 1970 with a surging cover of "Shape of Things to Come" and ends with 1977's "Burning House of Love," but the bulk of this disc draws from Slade's peak between 1972 and 1974, when the band was churning out hits that topped the charts, but also had plenty of great lesser-known tunes as this comp proves. There's the B-side "Wonderin' Y," a graceful Beatlesque psychedelic ballad; the down-n-dirty swagger of "How d'You Ride," a slice of sleazy rock that stands proudly alongside such classics "Gudbuy T'Jane"; the hard-charging, bloozy boogie of "Don't Blame Me," which incongruously served as the B-side of "Merry Xmas Everybody"; the addictive chant-along of "Do We Still Do It," which has a nifty lift from "She Said She Said," even if this spangly stomp sounds nothing like that psych classic; "When the Lights Are Out," which is as light and silly as the Bay City Rollers; and the absurd, slide guitar-driven "Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing." Even if they're not quite as timeless as Slade's biggest hits, these are pieces of glittering trash from the litterbin that are as much giddy fun as anything on Get Yer Boots On, which means anybody who loved that disc shouldn't hesitate to pick this set up.

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