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Slade – Not Just For Christmas – From the Black Country to Chart Toppers

Written by on 8th January 2021

by Stephen Payne

Well, that’s it, Christmas done for another year. We have all eaten too much, drank too much, and sat around watching too much tv. Here at Leighton Buzz Radio though it’s all about the music and I’m sure that while we all love them Christmas songs, it may be nice to have a break from them for a while.


Now I am, of course, bias but my favourite Christmas song is I wish it could be Christmas every day. This song is a staple of the festive season, and it is so ingrained in British culture. Slade the band that sung the song aren’t just Christmas one-hit wonders though, they are titans of the glam era. But how did this band of flashily dressed Brummies get their start?

All the members of the band were born and raised in the Black Country with many of them coming from Wolverhampton. In the 60’s most members of the band performed in different groups in the area with some even releasing EP’s and supporting big acts like the Hollies or the Yardbirds. Two of these groups, the Mavericks and the N’ Betweens, even met when on the way to different gigs in Germany. Later when back in Wolverhampton the N’ Betweens managed to persuade Noddy Holder to jump ship from the Mavericks and join them.

Unfortunately, for the band, their 1969 debut album “Beginnings” was a flop. Chas Chandler the bassist for the Animals liked what he saw, he knew that they just needed their own style and look. Chas persuaded them to take on the skinhead look as it was popular at the time. This was a mistake. Noddy Holder and Don Powell were already tough-looking working-class lads and this looks only magnified that and invited football hooligans into their fanbase. The band decided to shorten their name to Slade and get rid of this image.

The band did well in the late sixties and early seventies with them having a few chart hits and even an appearance on top of the pop, but they never quite made it. It was the bands association with glam rock that hurtled them into stardom. The band decided to grow their hair, pull on some flashy outfits, and join in with the glam rock movement. In 1971 the band released the single Cuz I Luv You. With its clapping and boot-stomping the song was a hit with the youth of Britain and made the band an overnight success.

Slade would go on to have many hits over the coming decades. While they would fall in and out of favour over the years, the band became cultural icons and their music went on to influence artists such as Nirvana, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Runaways, The Clash, Kiss, Motley Crew, Oasis, and Queen just to name a few. Slade and many more classic bands can all be heard on Leighton Buzz Radio, so why not tune in and enjoy a great selection of classic music.