Friday, February 2, 2018

"Little Sheila" by Slade

Song#:  2304
Date:  05/04/1985
Debut:  92
Peak:  86
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After years of massive success in their UK homeland, Slade finally had broke through in the US when two of their songs made the Pop Top 40, including the #1 Rock/#20 Pop hit "Run Runaway." With an even bigger, worldwide to please, the band got back into the studio to record a new album. The first song from the upcoming Rogues Gallery LP, "All Join Hands," was issued in the UK late in '84. It did fine getting to #15. Two other lower charting singles would be released in the UK before the LP got over to the States. When it came time to issue a single in the US, this track was chosen over any of the three that were released in the UK. The song did acceptable at Rock getting to #13, but it just didn't catch on at Pop like their two previous singles and it ended up being a short blip on the chart. It would be the band's last song to reach any US chart. Their career also tumbled in the UK and Europe and after two more albums, the band called it quits.

ReduxReview:  Slade always had their own sound and when they matched it with unique and interesting material like "Run Runaway" or "My Oh My," the results were great and folks wanted more. However, on Rogues Gallery they kind of veered off course and tried too hard at making a record full of catchy, single-worthy tunes. They even pushed their sound into the 80s by adding a bunch of keyboards ala Van Halen. It all didn't quite work. To me, this just doesn't sound like Slade. In fact, it's fairly faceless. Any solid rock band could have recorded and released this. I think Slade is in here somewhere, but they are just buried by a wall of synths and commercial radio-ready rock writing. Despite all that, the tune is kinda catchy and worthy of a few spins.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The band's choice for a second single from the album in the UK would prove to be a bit of a mistake. They chose the track "7 Year Bitch" for release as they thought it had great potential to be a hit record. The band and their label didn't really think twice about issuing a single with "bitch" in the title/lyrics because other artists like Elton John (1974's "The Bitch Is Back") encountered few issues when they gave it a go. However, it seems they underestimated the tolerance level of radio stations at the time and the song ended up getting banned by many of them. The lack of airplay and promotional support pretty much killed the single and it ended up peaking at a low #60.


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