Slade is a glam rock / hard rock group from Wolverhampton, England in the West Midlands they were formed in 1966 by Noddy Holder (Lead vocal & Rhythm Guitar), Dave Hill (Lead guitar), Jim Lea (Bass) and Don Powell (Drums). The group started out as the N’Betweens and were mainly a R&B act. They changed their name to Ambrose Slade and later shortened it to just Slade.
In the late 60’s they hooked up with manager Chas Chandler who proved to be the missing link, convincing the group to use the heavier rock style with clapping hands and stamping feet which they had success with live.
This change of direction paid off, and from 1971 to 1975, the band scored a huge number of hit albums and singles. During the heights of their success, Slade out-performed chart rivals like Wizzard, Sweet, T.Rex, Suzi Quattro, Smokie, Gary Glitter and even David Bowie.
The band members of Slade grew-up in the Black Country area of the West Midlands: both the drummer Don Powell, and bass guitarist Jim Lea were born and raised in Wolverhampton, lead vocalist Noddy Holder was born and raised in the nearby town of Walsall, and lead guitarist Dave Hill was born in Devon and moved to Wolverhampton while a child. Writings by and about Slade frequently mention The Trumpet public house in Bilston as a band meeting place, especially in their early days. Slade have released over 30 albums, three of which reached No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart. Their releases have spent a total of 531 weeks in the UK charts and they have earned 23 top 30 UK hits as of 2013.
Slade dominated the UK charts during the early 1970s, out-performing chart rivals, such as Wizzard, Sweet, T. Rex, Suzi Quatro, Mud, Smokie, Gary Glitter, Roxy Music and David Bowie. Slade achieved twelve Top 5 hit singles in the UK between 1971 and 1974, three of which went straight to #1. Of the 17 Top 20 hits between 1971 and 1976, six made No. 1, three reached No. 2 and two peaked at #3. No other UK act of the period enjoyed such consistency in the UK Top 40 and this feat was the closest any group had come to matching the Beatles' 22 Top 10 records in a single decade (1960s). Slade sold more singles in the UK than any other group of the 1970s. In 1973 alone, "Merry Xmas Everybody" sold over one million copies globally, obtaining gold disc status. They toured Europe in 1973 and the US in 1974.
Slade moved to the US in the mid-1970s, in an attempt to break into the American market and although this was largely unsuccessful, they left their mark on a number of US bands who have since cited Slade as an influence. During the late 1970s, the band returned to the UK following years of commercial failure both at home and abroad. Slade's career was unexpectedly revived when the band were asked to perform at the 1980 Reading Festival when Ozzy Osbourne pulled out at the last minute. For the next two years, the band produced material tailored towards the heavy metal scene and by 1984, they finally cracked the American market with the hits "Run Runaway" and "My Oh My." This new-found success did not last long, however, and despite a top 25 UK hit in the early '90s the band split shortly after in 1992.
Slade are an English glam rock band. Slade were one of the most recognizable acts of the glam rock movement and were, at their peak, the most commercially popular band in the UK. They are well known for the deliberate misspelling of their song titles and for the song "Merry Xmas Everybody" (released December 1973), now one of the most iconic Christmas pop songs in the United Kingdom.
It has been said that Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer based their fictional band Spinal Tap, in the film This is Spinal Tap, on Slade. However, the comedians have since confirmed that the band in the film was based on the "tour diaries" of numerous UK "heavy metal" and "glam" bands. The events occurring to Spinal Tap in the film are based on the real exploits of not only Slade but also Deep Purple, Saxon, Led Zeppelin and Ozzy Osbourne.
Slade may have never truly caught on with American audiences (often narrow-mindedly deemed "too British-sounding"), but the group became a sensation in their homeland with their anthemic brand of glam rock in the early '70s, as they scored a staggering 11 Top Five hits in a four-year span from 1971 to 1974 (five of which topped the charts).