Though they couldn’t get arrested in The States, Slade was arguably one of the biggest bands ever across the pond. In the 1970’s these four lads from Wolverhampton, England had 17 consecutive top 20 hits on the UK Singles chart (including six number ones), marking them as the most successful British group of the decade (and I bet you can think of a few other fairly well-known British bands operating during that same time frame). Only The Beatles, with 22 top 20’s in the ‘60’s, ever bettered that single decade performance.

The Slade song likely most familiar to American listeners would be ‘Cum On Feel The Noize,’ but only due to the 1983 cover version by L.A. head bangers Quiet Riot.¹ But by far their best-selling and most revered tune, now aging at exactly 50 years old, is always relevant this time of year. And that would be their anthemic 1973 glam rock celebration entitled ‘Merry Xmas Everybody.’

Here they are performing their smash hit, as seen on BBC’s Top of the Pops in an outlandish scene that somehow looks both futuristic and terribly dated. And in honor of The Twelve Days of Christmas we’ve carefully curated 12 gifts for you to enjoy during the video. Go ahead, hit play and follow along to The Twelve Slades of Christmas.

  1. (0:07) Our first look at lead singer Noddy Holder, a Marty Feldman with mutton chops
  2. (0:12) Bassist Jim Lea in powder blue leisure suit but no apparent shirt
  3. (0:16) Holder now suddenly in scotch plaid and mirrored top hat, as fans flood the stage in background
  4. (0:22) Guitarist Dave Hill sporting, really, one of the worst haircuts of all time – which may have been known as “pudding basin fringe”
  5. (0:36) Holder back in pink waves in the first epic chorus
  6. (1:00) Hairdo aside, did you see Hill’s guitar and outfit? Holy hell
  7. (1:09) A crowd shot reveals that what seemed like a packed room really only goes about 4 rows deep
  8. (1:18) Noddy employs an awkward glam rock twist
  9. (1:52) For no apparent reason Holder suddenly reappears with, jeez I don’t know, egg nog smeared on his face?
  10. (2:18) There are definitely now more people on stage than in the crowd
  11. (2:23) Our first good look at drummer Don Powell, just filling up the snare
  12. (3:08 – 3:13) “It’s Chriiiistmaaaaaaas!!”

¹Did you know Oasis also recorded a version of ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’? It’s true, it’s right there on their 1995 masterpiece album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? and was the B-side to the single ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger.’ It would also be a fine pick as opening number for the Oasis reunion concert I’m still adamantly holding out for.

Many Slade songs were said to be written specifically envisioning audience participation, and maybe your viewing here has inspired you to want a little more rockin’ around the Christmas tree. If so, and if you’re looking to keep the Yuletide party going with something a bit stronger than Brenda Lee, allow me to re-introduce a past SMGM favorite, the “Rock ‘N Roll Christmas” playlist, a 90-minute antidote to the more customarily tepid holiday cheer.