Nobody’s Fools / The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome – BMG
Please watch the video above for the vinyl reviews.
Now here’s two albums that will musically surprise a lot of people. And that’s a good thing. For I can’t be the only one who’s tired of the emphasis on the bubblegum glam (albeit excellent and enjoyable) material at the expense of so much more of the band’s catalogue.
And BMG have issued two albums in hard card (book style) covers with bonus tracks and wonderful they are too.
First up is 1976’s Nobody’s Fools. And while the band had made countless UK and European tours, there’d only been a couple of cursory Stateside visits to that point. So in 1975, the band decamped to the US. While there were cries of Sell Out from UK fans, the band wanted to write stronger songs with a more serious feel, taking themselves more seriously, as well as break the American market. So much of the glam was out the window, and in places there were nods to soul and funk (and even a hint of country) in the rock. There’s still some excellent music here, but this was the start of a reinvention to a more serious rock band. While that alienated some of their older fanbase, that shouldn’t detract from the material. The (minor) hit In For A Penny (originally released November 1975) has a Beatle-esque feel. This album remains one of the band’s favourites and it’s easy to see why. There are parts (especially the vocals) that have many a trademark, but I think the band moved further and faster than the fans did. The female backing vocals did add a commercial edge many weren’t expecting.
Skip forward to 1983 and The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome, which would be one of the band’s biggest US sellers. And recorded the same year that Jim Lea and Noddy Holder produced Girlschool’s excellent Play Dirty album. After the success of the band’s Reading 1980 performance, and perhaps by Quiet Riot’s hit with Cum On Feel The Noize, Slade had a rejuvenation and it shows here. While there are still some glam and trad Slade undertones, it’s an all-out rock album and surely a highlight of 1983. Several hit singles featured, including Run Run Away. Commercial, yes, but just as catchy, fun and enjoyable. But the highlight has to be the 8 minute Ready To Explode. Eight bonus tracks to boot. The album was repackaged as Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply in 1984 in the US, and that alternate artwork is included.
Both CDs come excellently packaged in hard card (book style) packages, the only issue is that -while the booklets are informative, the package makes them appear too thin / lightweight.
The LPs for both, which look and feel pretty good, both come with card inners, and on midweight splatter vinyl. If they sound as good as they feel, they’ll be enjoyed by many a fan.
Joe Geesin | Now Spinning Magazine