THE NOIZE - THE SLADE DISCOGRAPHY.
I was asked about the book on Facebook and if we had written it as fans. I thought I'd give a full reply of how it came to be.
I'm (admittedly) a fan going back to 1972. Over the years I have bought everything, saved everything and never thrown anything away. In the late 70's - early 80's, I took my camera to some Slade gigs and what eventually became www.slayed.co.uk and its sister site, www.sladeforum.co.uk came out of all that.
The site grew and grew and has always been very factual. People have said for a long time that the superb Chris Charlesworth book on Slade needed to be followed up. I always have been interested in writing and felt that the Slade story needed to be brought up to date and still be told properly.
The group have varying degrees of interest in the fans, co-operation with official projects and an unofficial project wouldn't get any help from the band, so I always left the idea alone. Daryl Easlea is writing a Slade book for Omnibus, so I was relieved of the responsibility for that.
I bought a discography book about my favourite band Cheap Trick and thought "There should be a Slade discography book." I bought that author's Nazareth discography book and it made me get on with it.
After a start was made and I got a little feel for what I was doing, I got in touch with Chris Selby and asked if he wanted to do the book with me. It became a 50/50 partnership and I couldn't have done it without him and he wouldn't probably have done it without me.
To the book:
There is about 5 and a bit months solid work in there. We are both serious Slade historians and archivists. The book has a quick pre-music preamble on each of the band members, then we get into the pre-Slade bands - The Vendors, The N'Betweens, Steve Brett & The Mavericks and tell their stories and illustrate their relaeses chronologically. The band eventually found the line-up that became known as Slade.
The format of the book after the pre-Slade period is: Year by year - Summary of the band's year. Releases in date order illustrated and discussed, track by track, and whatever information we could get in there, with band quotes and reviews attached to each release.
There are similar details for all of the releases after the band ended and the solo works.
Is it from a fan's perspective? Yes and no. The main thing was to be as informative about each release as possible. Nobody wants to read me going on about how horrendous 'Okey cokey' was, or even worse, 'Ready to explode'. Personal opinions were kept out of it as much as possible.
Being 'fans' helped us get the book together, but we certainly don't say everything is wonderful that they released. We have bust a couple of myths in the book. We have tried to take a lively and comprehensive textbook approach. Over the years we have met band members and have made friends with people who know all sorts of things. The knowledge is there and we had to be selective with some things we put in the book.
It's not 'The Slade Annual'. We have tried to do *the book that we would have wanted* and one which we believed fans would not be disappointed with. Some are kindly calling it The Slade Bible, which pleases us no end, as it means we have got it right (I hope).
Amazon are doing it at a reduced price at present - just below the price we wanted to put it out at, except that their system actually forced us into the price we ended up with.
CHRIS CHARLESWORTH has kindly reviewed the book at his superbly informative Just Backdated blog, here.