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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Mama Weer All Crazee Now"

Slade - "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (1972)

One of the biggest bands of the 70s according to Great Britain.

In America you'd be hard pressed to find a fan. They wrote and originally performed "Cum on Feel the Noise" which was a hit for Quiet Riot in 1983, ten years after the original. Their highest charting hit in the US was a #20 in 1984 called "Run Runaway". It sounds like Scottish folk song performed with guitars and I've never heard it in my life.There was a video that got airplay on MTV that consists of the band performing in front of a small crowd at a castle. They had seventeen consecutive top 20 hits in the UK from 1971 to 1976 and the highest charting one in America was a #68. Only four of the seventeen charted over here at all. This track only reached #76 in America. None of this is to say they are not a good band. Kiss, Twisted Sister, Poison, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and others have named them as influences, so they are at least partially responsible for glam metal and hair metal. This song has been covered by Reel Big Fish, Quiet Riot and The Runaways.

It's a perfect capsule of Glam Rock. Heavy shredding guitars mixed with tight harmonies on vocals. The band is dressed like they're ready to join Elton John on stage, all flashy hats and platform shoes; but sing about drinking and parting with abandon. The misspelling of the title was kind of a thing they were doing, at least half a dozen of their hits had purposeful misspellings. This track really builds up, by the end when it sounds like a stadium full of people are singing along, and vocalist Noddy Holder is just shouting Mama rhythmically into the microphone you can begin to imagine how huge this band was in England and in fact, Europe and Australia as well. The primary songwriters for Slade were the vocalist/rhythm guitarist and the bassist. You can almost tell this song was written by a bassist. It stops and thumps and rocks, and keeps you moving forward. It was also produced by a bassist, former Animal Chas Chandler, who also managed Slade and between the Animals and Slade, he introduced the world to Jimi Hendrix.

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