After pounding the stage for ten years and never really obtaining the popularity they so desperately sought and, quite frankly deserved, Slade’s 12th studio release—a repackaged affair of sorts featuring tracks from The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome (worst title and cover ever!)—proved to be the band’s most successful North American release with two singles making it into the US Top 40 charts in 1984. Who says this isn’t a cruel business?
The thing is, as soon as I heard “Run Runaway,” I knew it was gonna be huge. Forget the nonsensical verses — the anthemic chorus, crunching guitar riff and galloping drum beat are an irresistibly infectious dance inducing noise when blended with just a hint of a Scottish jig. Despite this classic track—and the equally wonderful “My Oh My,” Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply is where I eventually parted ways with the band that started me on this 45 year-long musical sojourn. “Run Runaway” would prove to be the band’s last Top 10 hit in the UK. After that, they released a couple of forgettable albums and then split up in 1992. By then, I suppose they had become dreaded dinosaurs of rock with more to lose than gain by staying in the game.
At their core, Slade were cocky glam rockin’ geezers from Wolverhampton, England. They had bad haircuts, ridiculous fashion sense and a knack for implying inappropriate innuendo at every opportunity. Always up for a good time and eager to entertain, they recorded hit songs that still makes me want to bust out the old air guitar and sing along. Theirs was rock and roll at its most basic chord structure, time signature, and certainly, songwriting. Nevertheless, I have a visceral connection with Slade’s music that makes me happy to this day whenever I listen to it. The final song in my hand-clapping, foot-stomping tribute to Slade is
“Run Runaway” from the album Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply.