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The Earliest Bird: The Top New recorded Release 10-7-22 – 10-13-22, Slade’s “Crackers: The Christmas Party Album” Reviewed

Christmas begins earlier and earlier but even by the 95 more shopping days till Christmas 21st century Slade beat the lot. Crackers, by the English pub rock band from the 70s, released the Christmas compilation in November NINETEEN EIGHTY-FIVE, but it only dropped on streaming services today and it was worth the wait.

The Wolverhampton pub rockers goes glam former skinheads constructed with lead singer Noddy Holder and multi instrumentalist Jim Lea gave Chinn And Chapman serious competition on the white rock front. Slade wrote white pop rock and roll stompers, and an English exegesis that never did well in the States for similar reasons to the Jam: they were too English. Although far from the cocaine royalty of the UK in 1976, Slade were still washed away with punk and new wave. A band that looked like four Mick Ronsons and sounded like bricklayers, when Joan Jett mentioned that she wanted to make anthems like English soccer chants, that’s what Slade did, didn’t find acceptance among their clear contingency .

In 1973, Slade hit paydirt with “Merry Christmas, Everybody” -a gorgeous little seasonal rocker with a tinge of sadness in the hook. Twelve years after, past Slade’s peak, their label dropped a compilation plus what we might call re-imagining. It is all straight up, no nonsense, cheer and fun for all the family.Whether covering the only song of Jeff Beck anyone would “Hi Ho Silver Lining” or retracing one of the biggest hits “Cum On Feel the Noize”, Slade want you on the floor.

Crackers lives up to its name, it is a wonderful party album that only relents briefly towards the end with an anthem as snooze “My Oh My”. The problem is the extended versions of the album confuse us all, and it weakens the albums potency by dragging it on too long with a four song add.

Still it survives as a great Christmas album and a jolt of nostalgia for those of us who were teens in the UK just pre-punk.

Grade: B+

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