Slade are an English rock band from Wolverhampton, renamed in 1969 from Ambrose Slade. The original lineup consisted of Noddy Holder (vocals, guitar), Dave Hill (4) (guitar), Jim Lea (bass), Don Powell (drums).
current (?) lineup:
Alex Bines – Drums
Dave Hill - Vocals and guitar
Russel Keefe - Vocals and keyboards
John Berry - Vocals, bass and violin
Slade rose to prominence during the glam rock era of the early 1970s. With seventeen consecutive Top 20 hits and six number ones, the British Hit Singles & Albums names them as the most successful British group of the 1970s. They were the first act to have three singles enter at #1, and all six of the Wolverhampton band's chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. Total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best selling single, "Merry Xmas Everybody", has sold in excess of one million copies.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music has also made mention of Holder's powerful vocals and guitarist Dave Hill's equally arresting dress sense along with the deliberate misspelling of their song titles for which they became well known.
The group started off as The N' Betweens, as which they recorded two singles and built up a reputation on the nationwide touring circuit. They were reluctantly renamed Ambrose Slade to satisfy the terms of their new record deal with Fontana Records. They released one commercially unsuccessful LP under the Ambrose Slade name, before coming under the management of Chas Chandler who shortened the name to Slade.
While Slade's attempts at cracking the United States market were largely unsuccessful, they left their mark on several US bands who cite Slade as an influence. Kiss bassist Gene Simmons admitted that his band's early songwriting ethos and stage performance style was influenced by Slade. In his book, Kiss and Make-Up, Simmons wrote on page 85, "the one we kept returning to was Slade," and "we liked the way they connected with the crowd, and the way they wrote anthems... we wanted that same energy, that same irresistible simplicity. but we wanted it American-style". Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick said on their From Tokyo to You DVD that his band went to see Slade perform, and that they used "every cheap trick in the book", thus inadvertently coining his group's name. Cheap Trick covered the song "When the Lights are Out" (the original appeared on Old New Borrowed and Blue) on their 2009 release, The Latest. Quiet Riot had US hits with their covers of "Cum On Feel the Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". The origins of Slade's influence on Quiet Riot dated back to the early 1970s, when Kevin Dubrow photographed Slade during their first Los Angeles appearances at the Whisky a Go Go.
After Lea and Holder left the band, the remaining members performed for some time as Slade II before returning to the original name.