One Track Mind: Slade, "Run Runaway" (1984)

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by Fred Phillips

In the early days of my metal fandom, one of the best ways to sample new music was the compilation albums from K-Tel and the like. They were a lot cheaper than a standard cassette, usually running $4-$5 as opposed to $7-$8 for regular albums, and they gave you a chance to check out a lot of different bands you might not have been familiar with.

One of the compilation cassettes that got worn out in my player was a K-Tel collection called Metal Wars, which I’m guessing I picked up in 1984 or so. It had the distinction of introducing me to Queensryche with the piercing “Queen of the Reich,” and contained several songs that became favorites of mine for a year or two — Krokus’ “Midnight Maniac,” Helix’s “Rock You,” Y&T’s “Summertime Girls” and Judas Priest’s “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll.”

But if I dug that cassette out now — and I’m pretty sure I’ve still got it stashed away somewhere — I’m betting the absolute thinnest part of the tape would be the section that contained Slade’s “Run Runaway.”

I was no stranger to Slade, having discovered them through Quiet Riot’s versions of “Cum on Feel the Noize” and “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” but I wasn’t exactly a fan. That is, until I heard this song.

Almost everyone has those few songs that just make you feel good every time you hear them. “Run Runaway” is one of those songs for me. From their 1984 album Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply, the song has a heavy Celtic feel, complete with fiddle and bagpipes. The song opens with some big metallic sliding power chords and a galloping rhythm section, but quickly turns into a jaunty melody that you could dance an Irish jig to. It’s an interesting combination of heavy rock, pop and dance, but it absolutely works. Don’t believe me? Listen to the song once or twice and get back to me again this time next week when it’s still in your head.

Noddy Holder may have been a little bit goofy with his strange hats, odd outfits and those big sideburns in the late 1970s, but there’s no denying that he has a perfect voice for the brand of rock Slade cranked out. He’s a hugely underrated talent, and sadly, Slade went largely unnoticed by the U.S. audience despite a successful European career. Our loss.

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Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

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