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"How Does It Feel" is a single from glam rock band Slade which appeared on the album Slade in Flame.[1] It was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea. The single was released in early 1975. The single only peaked at #15 in the UK which was the lowest charting since Slade's first charting single Get Down and Get With It in 1971. The first week in the top 100, the single only began at #38 which was poor for a Slade single.

The single peaked at #28 for 1975 on rateyourmusic and #3320 for overall singles.

The first 200,000 copies of the single featured coloured sleeves whilst the remainder came in an ordinary vinyl sleeve.

Contents Edit

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Promotion
  • 3 Formats
  • 4 Critical reception
  • 5 Chart performance
  • 6 Cover versions
  • 7 Personnel
    • 7.1 Additional Personnel
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Background[edit] Edit

The tune was originally written by Lea, back in 1970 on an old out of tune piano with half the keys missing. It was brought out of the cupboard to be the theme tune for Slade's film Flame. Holder's melancholy lyrics added an extra dimension to the opening and closing credits. The song also featured members of the band Gonzalez on brass instruments.[7]

Noel Gallagher of the British band Oasis had claimed this track to be easily "one of the best songs written, in the history of pop, ever".[8] The song has become a favourite of fans.

At the time of release, no promotional video was created[9] although the track was performed on Top of The Pops and children show Crackerjack.[10][11]

According to the Fan Club Newsletter for June and July, 1975, "How Does It Feel" had entered the top ten of most European countries.[12][13]

In an early 1986 fan club magazine interview, Hill spoke of the song. "Yes, it was totally different to anything we had ever done before, but you see we were capable of that sort of thing before, though our manager/producer Chas Chandler used to keep us clear from that - keeping the stimulus of the right type of music for the right people. Trying to be too clever was considered at the time to be going in another direction. Whether it has helped us in the long run is questionable. We were maybe cleverer in those early years, which could have introduced us to new things - but it never happened, apart from "How Does It Feel". "Nobody's Fools" was a bit different, wasn't it? That was recorded in America, but it didn't happen over there."

In the same interview, Hill was asked if the song was written with the idea in mind of being the theme for the "Slade in Flame" film. Hill replied "No, it was a coincidence really. It was already written, and it just happened to fit in with the film. It wasn't a huge hit unfortunately, but I thought it was a good idea."[14][15]

In the September–December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, the poll results were announced for the 1986 opinion poll based on Slade’s material. For the best single of the 70s, How Does It Feel placed at #3.

Promotion[edit] Edit

No promotional video was created for the single although the track was performed on the UK TV music show Top of The Pops and the UK children show Crackerjack. The band also performed the song on the Dutch TV show Top Pop. Another form of promotion was the band's live performances around the time of release, where the band had included the song into the live set.[10]

Formats[edit] Edit

7" Single
  1. "How Does It Feel" - 4:46
  2. "So Far So Good" - 2:59
7" Single (Alternative version)
  1. "How Does It Feel (Album version)" - 5:55
  2. "So Far So Good" - 2:59

Critical reception[edit] Edit

Upon release, Record Mirror magazine reviewed the single. "Another two songs from Flame - and the a-side is very different from the usual Slade material, with far less reliance on guitars and far more on an orchestral arrangement. There's a gentle piano intro before Noddy's voice comes in, singing in an almost subdued voice. Even when the song kicks off, the arrangement is very different. Be interesting to see the fans reaction but I don't think they'll have too much trouble succeeding."[16]

In early 2010, Classic Rock magazine featured Slade as part of their ‘The Hard Stuff Buyers Guide’ where the magazine reviewed numerous Slade albums. As part of this article, an ‘Essential Playlist’ listed 14 Slade songs which included How Does It Feel.

Chart performance[edit] Edit

Chart (1975) Peak

position

Total

weeks

French Singles Chart[citation needed] 6 4
German Singles Chart[17] 36 2
Irish Singles Chart[18] 11 2
New Zealand Singles Chart[citation needed] 24
UK Singles Chart[19] 15 7

Cover versions[edit] Edit

  • In 2001, English rock vocalist Chris Farlowe recorded a version of the track for the tribute album Slade Remade.[20]
  • In 2006, English rock group Def Leppard released their own version of the song as an iTunes exclusive bonus track for their album Yeah!.[21]

Personnel[edit] Edit

  • Noddy Holder: Lead vocals and guitar
  • Jim Lea: Bass guitar, piano, organ, flute and backing vocals
  • Dave Hill: Lead guitar and backing vocals
  • Don Powell: Drums

Additional Personnel[edit] Edit

  • Brass instruments by The Gonzales

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