It's Christmas time again and the exciting sound of Noddy Holder screaming "iiiiit's Chrisssssstmaaaassssssss" can be heard on the radio, in shops and at every pub up and down the country. It also means the shops will be bursting with compilations and greatest hits that only the most festively obsessed person or confused elderly relative will buy and that's the bracket that this album falls into.
There's no doubt that Slade are up there as one of the best good time rock'n'roll bands there's ever been. Seeing Noddy's big hair and chest puffed out, Dave Hill's mental outfits and Jimmy Lea and Don Powell all glittered up is true entertainment. Their best songs are really great, but, as proven after listening to this album, the bad ones are bad. I know a lot of the songs are tongue in cheek, but some of the album is almost pointless. A rock version of the 'Hokey Cokey' just doesn't seem right.
At the other end of the scale the album includes their real classics. 'Cum On Feel The Noize' is magnificent and still sounds fresh. Their best track and first number one 'Coz I Luv You' never gets boring. It has the perfect feel, great light and shade with the short guitar stabs and a manic fiddle solo. 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' and 'Gudbuy T' Jane' are strong additions. Then there's the ultimate Christmas song 'Merry Xmas Everybody.'
The album also has some strong covers. 1977 single 'My Baby Left Me But That's Alright Mama' merges a couple of Elvis classics together and 'Let The Good Times Roll / Feel So Fine' is another straight rocker that suits the band.
The album certainly does as it says on the tin, it's just that once again the old faithful are the real highlight tracks and stand head and shoulders above the rest. Then again, if you're having a few Christmas beers you may just enjoy the lot.