Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Run Runaway" by Slade

Song#:  1859
Date:  04/07/1984
Debut:  67
Peak:  20
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  Much like their fellow countryman Cliff Richard, the band Slade was wildly successful in their UK homeland while not making much of an impact in the US. Between 1971 and 1975, the band scored thirteen UK Top 10's with six of them going to #1. However, Slade's brand of glam rock was virtually ignored in the US and all they could manage were four very minor Pop chart entries with 1972's "Gudbuy T'Jane" doing the best at #68. By 1975, the band felt that they had conquered the UK and Europe and wanted to focus their efforts on doing the same in the US. They packed up, moved to the States, and began touring. Although the response to their live shows was very strong, their singles and albums failed. After a two-year attempt with no results, the band went back home. They floundered for the balance of the decade and by the 80s they really weren't sure if they were going to continue forward. Then in 1980 they got a huge break. When Ozzy Osbourne dropped out of the Reading Festival, Slade was approached as a replacement. They accepted and ended up putting on a legendary show. It rejuvenated interest in the band and they headed back into the studio. In 1981, they returned to the UK Top 10 for the first time in seven years with the song "We'll Bring the House Down." Over the next couple of years they would grab two more Top 10's including this song. The US remained indifferent until the US band Quiet Riot grabbed a #5 hit with a cover of Slade's 1973 UK #1 "Cum on Feel the Noize." With their profile raised, a decision was made to push "Run Runaway" in the States. Accompanied by a popular MTV video, the song took off and topped the Rock chart while going Top 20 at Pop. It took nearly fifteen years, but Slade finally landed their first hit in America.

ReduxReview:  Although this band influenced a lot of artists, like many folks I hadn't heard of them until Quiet Riot covered their songs. I haven't explored a lot of their back catalog, but from the songs I have heard I can tell that they are a solid band with a lot of fun material. Even though it came way late in their career, this particular single was terrific for the US market at the time. The style of rock was just right and the lean towards Scottish music was timely thanks Big Country's recent hit "In a Big Country." It was also catchy as hell with a call n' response verse that was hard to ignore. Their US popularity would be short-lived, but at least they were able to grab some chart love with this very fun blast of rock.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Unlike a lot of bands, from their formation in 1969 through to their breakup in 1992, Slade never had any personnel changes. The same four members that started the band stayed together for all of those years.  2) The melody of this song was based on an old Scottish hymn titled "There Is a Happy Land." The original hymn was written in 1838 by Scottish schoolmaster and poet Andrew Young.


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