Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Message From the Country


Get Yer Boots On: The Best of Slade

Shout! Factory

The entire Electric Light Orchestra catalog is now in reissue, with Randy Newman doing the notes. But you know better. You know Jeff Lynne's greatest band was the Move because it included Roy Wood, who soon proved incompatible with ELO's grander ambitions. What you probably don't know is that this (admittedly, as it is said, "remastered") version of the Move's 1971 peak adds naught but four alternate-version "bonus cuts" to 1994's Great Move!: The Best of the Move, which is easier to find cheap (albeit harder to find in stores). Both include the whomping "Message to the Country," the all shook up "Don't Mess Me Up," the Man-in-Black-on-ludes "Ben Crawley Steel Company," and that ultimate bonus cut, the radio-unready greatest-single-of-all-time nominee "Do Ya." Post-psychedelia, the Move were a loud bastion against singer-songwriter miasma. No other band better evokes a giant mechanical lizard.

Cruder than T. Rex and harder than the Sweet, the proto-oi Slade performed the same function--more loudly, it is my sad duty to report, on the still-import-only Slayed? than on this collection of U.K. hits, the first nine of which replicate the first nine on 1973's Sladest. After that there are, I swear, several ballads, and also their only U.S. hit, "Run Runaway," released to capitalize on Quiet Riot's breakthrough cover of Slade's signature "Cum On Feel the Noize." Begins exactly the same as "Do Ya," I swear.

Village Voice, Apr. 18, 2006

Apr. 18, 2006