Nobody's Fools

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Nobody's Fools has some really great songs on it, but all things considered it was the band's worst album at that point (at least under the name Slade). Basically misguided from the get-go, Nobody's Fools is constantly trying to free itself from the oppressive production and arrangements. Slade had been living in the U.S.A. for a couple of years at this point. Their mega-success everywhere else in the world was never duplicated here in the U.S. While they were here and trying to figure out how to crack the American market, someone came up with the brilliant idea of making a record with a "California" sound. Unfortunately, not meaning Montrose or the Flamin' Groovies -- that would've been cool. No, this means the dreaded Eagles and Jackson Browne. Many of the numbers on this record are loaded with Dobros, mandos, and female background vocals, and, frankly, it just doesn't work. As was stated before, the album does have some really strong material (though not as consistent as usual). The title track is excellent, but marred by a bad arrangement. "Do The Dirty" is a foot-stomping rocker with a little funkiness thrown in for good measure. The album's best track is "Get on Up," which has an absolutely brutal riff. Check out the version on Slade Alive II if you want the straight-up version. "Scratch My Back" is pure Slade, even with the out of place arrangement. And "Let's Call It Quits" is a real screamer where Noddy Holder coughs up a great vocal. Ironically, the band was really hitting its stride as a seasoned live act, but that didn't matter much, since this album accelerated the drift toward irrelevancy. The world would again awake to the power of a rock & roll good time, but it would take several years. For the fan, this album is worth it for several of the tunes. For the uninitiated, skip this one -- all in all, it's not one of their best.

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