Slade Alive, Vol. 2

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Slade Alive, Vol. 2, like all live Slade, is searing. Unfortunately, it was released into a void in 1978. Now well past having a U.S. record deal, and with no one in England really interested, Vol. 2 came out on Barn, not exactly a major player in the record business. The album is excellent, both in terms of performance and sound quality. They also did a great job of selecting material for this disc. A nice balance of classics (all Top Three singles in their day) and newer material that hadn't really been heard before. The album kicks off with a devastating version of "Get on Up" from Nobody's Fools. This version not only smokes its predecessor, it is the epitome of the Serious Heaviness. Slade has by this point developed into a full-fledged heavy metal band while retaining everything that made them great in the first place. The playing is simply awesome on this number. A couple of tracks that had been released as singles in 1977 and 1978 also get the treatment. The band combines the rock standards "My Baby Left Me" and "That's Alright Mama" into one mean song. 1950s rock is one of Slade's strong suits -- revved up a bunch, of course. "Burning in the Heat of Love" is a ripping song in the tradition of, well, Slade. (Check out Girlschool's nice version of this one.) And then there were the hits. "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," "Gudbuy T Jane," "C'mon Feel the Noize," "Take Me Back Ome" -- face it folks, this is what a rock & roll good time is all about. A very strong outing that got the band nowhere (fast!). The tastes of the fickle public cannot be predicted, so Slade just continued to do what they did best. Make rock & roll records, and annihilate eardrums whenever they played.

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