326. ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’, by Slade

Baby baby BABY! From one glam rock classic, to another. From the second Noddy Holder hollers that intro, we’re witnessing Slade at the peak of their powers, at the height of their popularity.

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Cum on Feel the Noize, by Slade (their 4th of six #1s)

4 weeks, from 25th February – 25th March 1973

With it, they’re bringing the same attitude as in their previous #1, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’. Noddy lists all the things about which he simply does not give two hoots: So you think I’ve got an evil mind, Well I’ll tell you honey… So you think my singing’s out of time, Well it makes me money… He’s got a funny face, he’s got a dirty mind… Say I’m a scumbag but it’s no disgrace, I ain’t in no hurry…

The message is, in a nutshell, who cares what people think or say about you when you’ve got a chorus like this one coming up: So come on feel the noise, Girls grab the boys, We get wild, wild, wild… At your door! It’s another hit designed for the audience to scream back to them, for football crowds to chant, for kids up and down the land who just want to have a good time. Is it a bit simplistic, a bit repetitive? Maybe. Does it need to be a full four and a half minutes long? Maybe not. But to criticise ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’ for these things is to miss the point, and then some.

If you insisted on analysing the lyrics, you might see this as a riposte, a middle finger in the air to the critics that dismiss Slade, or perhaps even as a celebration of their fame. The I just don’t know why…! refrain could be an answer to the question: ‘How are these four bruisers from Wolverhampton suddenly the biggest band in the land?’

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As with any Slade record, Noddy Holder’s vocals sell it. Nobody yells, grunts or hollers like him. Apparently the now famous ‘baby, baby, baby’ intro was stitched on from an earlier soundcheck. As with other Slade records, whip-cracking handclaps come in to take us home. And as with the previous #1, Sweet’s ‘Block Buster!’, I can’t help but feel that an even heavier production, more bass, more oomph, would improve it even further.

When I said that ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’ announced Slade as the biggest band in the country, I meant it. The single entered the charts straight in at #1, something that had only happened four times previously: once each for The Beatles and Cliff/The Shadows, and twice for a certain Elvis Presley. That’s the company that Slade were now keeping, and they’ll enter at the top of the charts twice more before the year is out.

You’d have to say that this Slade’s most famous (non-Christmas) hit. A chorus that most people could have a go at, even forty-seven years later. It was covered in the eighties, by Quiet Riot (and taken to the Billboard Top 5), and in the nineties as a ‘B’-side by Oasis, who often included it in their live shows. It lives on. It is a classic. Come on, press play below, and feel the noize…

24 thoughts on “326. ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’, by Slade

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    YES! From the Sweet to Slade…I love it. This is the goto version of this song for me. They were so much fun that it’s hard not to like it. I love his voice…it’s just right.

    They missed America by a decade…which I still don’t understand why this didn’t hit over here when it was released but was so massive by that other band in the 80s.

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        I won’t throw shade…I’ll throw Nightime! Pitch dark! lol… I just did not like them…and I honestly couldn’t think of their name.

        He was asked to join AC/DC when Bon died.

      2. badfinger20 (Max)

        Thank you!!!! When I wrote it..I knew you would come along…lol…you answered it much sooner than I thought.

      3. You know, I read somewhere that Quiet Riot didn’t like doing the Slade covers and didn’t put their all into them, especially the second one (Mama Were All Crazee…?) Might not be true, though….

  2. Slade were the best, no covers had the sheer energy of Noddy Holder and the gang. It was big news when this entered at 1, bit of an event for teens of the time. Re AC/DC well Geordie were pretty much doing a Slade impression themselves at that time, All Because Of You and the other singles setting up Brian Johnson to take the job Noddy could have taken on 🙂

  3. The production on these Slade singles was amazing. You couldn’t really appreciate them at the time on a tinny mono transistor playing Radio 1 in 1973, but listening to the records – vinyl and CD – on a decent system with good headphones really does the sound full justice, not just the instruments and that whip-cracking echo on the drums, but also those massed choruses where it sounds like the whole world is one vast singing audience with MC Noddy ad-libbing and cheering them on from stage. And I too thought Geordie were being promoted as a kind of north-eastern version of Slade at the time. Funny how things came full circle with the Noddy-Brian Johnson AC/DC connection. (To think we might have had years of ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ being performed on stage, with Angus and guitar careering around alongside NH in his red cloak or tartan trews).

    1. Funny, I have this feeling that some of the glam rock classics – ‘Get It On’, ‘Block Buster!’, this – just lack a little oomph. The guitar, or the bass, need a bit more meat to them. I guess it was just the style, or the equipment, of the time, but I can’t help wonder what they would have sounded like with some giant 80s production behind them…

      1. Not sure I’d be happy with 80s production on the glam rock classics myself. For me, there was too much in the way of faux strings done on synths, and metronome-style drum machines replacing somebody beating seven bales of fertiliser out of his kit. I can name any number of 80s hits (I’m talking rock, not just disco or electropop) on which it sounds like the drumming is 100% programmed, and frankly it spoils them for me.

      2. Yeah, I don’t mean it needs to be all synth and sax and Def Leppard drums. Just… imagine Slade, or T. Rex, or Sweet, but with huge Judas Priest, Motorhead guitars. I know it’s a different genre, but I just think these earlier records sound too light to modern ears…

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