The Collection 1979-1987

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While Slade's early to mid-'70s hit repertoire represents one of the most perfect runs in British rock history and has been amply anthologized accordingly, it is often easy to forget that their career did not end when the number ones did. Slade kept going until the early '90s, enjoying a roller coaster of highs and lows as they did so, and this package delves into most of them. Picking up in 1979, as the band came off a short-lived stint with manager Chas Chandler's Barn label, and fading out with the band's last proper LP, 1987's You Boys Make Big Noize, the package runs through 17 songs, but eschews, peculiarly, the hits for which the period is best remembered. They, of course, have been highlighted on other collections; this set concentrates on the ones that got away, and there's a surprising number of them. Songs like "Ruby Red," "We Won't Give In" and "Little Sheila" may veer a little closer to generic hard rock than Slade really ought to, but that was the sound of the '80s, just as the glam stomp was what powered their years of omnipotence. And, while it's unlikely this collection will ever replace the oldies in your heart, still it's good to hear what happened next.

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