Slade

The Very Best Of... Slade [Video]

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An awkward little beast, this. On the one hand, if you have the VHS Wall of Hits collection that memorialized the best of Slade at the end of the '80s, the run of early-'70s TV and video hits that make up a chunk of this collection will seem more than a little familiar. From "Coz I Luv You" to "Radio Wall of Sound," the program plays out precisely as you remember it, and doesn't even seem to have been remastered for the occasion. Several performances even lose their last few seconds, just as they did on the video. Judge this collection by those standards, and it's a bit of a disappointment. But then you switch to the bonus features, and your eyes pop out of your head. Under the banner "More Hits," six U.K chartbusters that were omitted from the VHS play out in all their glory, among them "Everyday," "In for a Penny" and "How Does It Feel." Watch them and wonder why they were omitted the first time around, because they're all just as good as they ought to be, and they still reveal a side to Slade that it's too easy to overlook. The other bonus feature, "Set of Six," is just that -- a six -song performance for U.K. TV in 1971, mixing the best of the then-recently released Slade Alive! album with the band's three hits to date: that is, "Get Down and Get with It," "Coz I Luv You" and "Look Wot You Dun." And all six are sensational, even if the broadcasters did decide to fade the closing "Born to Be Wild" long before its time. Quality footage of Slade in concert from this period is very scarce indeed; effortlessly overriding the antiseptic mood of the television studio, this stunning performance will let you know what you're missing.

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